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Epsom Derby's top jockeys - The five current jockeys who have performed best in the Epsom Derby

Jonathan Vine in Epsom Tips 18 May 2017
Ryan Moore smiles after guiding Ruler Of The World to win the 2013 Epsom Derby.

We take a look through recent record books to bring you which five jockeys to watch out for at the upcoming Epsom Derby.

The Epsom Derby is the most famous flat race in the world and as soon as the flat racing season starts to get into its stride during the spring, the Derby is at the forefront of the minds of all trainers, owners and horse racing enthusiasts. The Derby is also one of the seasonal highlights for all the jockeys in the weighing room, as they dream of riding a winner at Epsom Downs and etching their names into the annals of horse racing history.

To even pick up a ride in the Derby is an achievement in itself, but to ride a winner would be the pinnacle of most jockey’s careers. Not everyone can be lucky enough to ride their way into the Epsom winners' enclosure, but a good record in the Derby is an extremely impressive stat to have on a jockey’s CV.

We’ve looks through all of the Derby’s over the past decade to bring you the five jockey's who have perfomed best in the Epsom Derby

Ryan Moore

Out of all the jockeys riding regularly today, Ryan Moore has the best record in the Epsom Derby. True, Moore has always been booked on a top contender and he’s only ridden one horse who went off at a price higher than 9/1, but his consistency in this incredibly difficult race has to be admired.

The 34-year-old has ridden in all of the last nine Derby’s, finishing outside the places on just two occasions and claiming the Epsom Derby title in 2013 and 2010. Moore came from the back of the pack to win the title with 7/1 shot Ruler Of The World, three years after romping to a stunning victory on Sir Michael Stoute’s Workforce. Workforce went to post as the joint fourth favourite at 6/1, but Moore got his mount off to a fast start and eventually stretched away to win by seven lengths in the quickest time seen in the Derby since Dante’s triumph back in 1946.

Last season was the only time Ryan Moore has ridden the favourite in the Epsom Derby. It’s highly likely he will saddle Churchill in 2017, who currently sits at a price of 4/1 with Ladbrokes, but whatever task he is handed by Aidan O’Brien, his horse will have an excellent chance of winning.

Frankie Dettori

Despite missing the Derby for three years between 2012 and 2014, Frankie Dettori boasts an enviable record in this most famous of races over the past ten years. Dettori guided long odds outsiders to top ten finishes for Saeed bin Suroor in ’08 and '09, he finished third on 6/1 shot, Wings Of Desire last year and has been crowned Derby champion twice.

In 2007, he helped short-priced favourite, Authorized recover from a slow start, plotting a steady path on the outside of the field and storming clear to win by five lengths. Dettori was aboard the favourite once again in 2015, as he guided Golden Horn to a wonderful three-and-a-half length triumph over Jack Hobbs to win the Derby for the second time.

This year, he is highly likely to land a plum ride on one of John Gosden’s leading fancies for the Derby and the in-form Italian will have an excellent chance of claiming a hat-trick of Epsom Derby titles.

Frankie Dettori celebrates after guiding Golden Horn to Derby glory in 2015.


William Buick

Such is the strength of William Buick’s record in the Derby since making his debut in 2010, it makes it every more mystifying as to why he wasn’t handed a ride in last year’s renewal. The 28-year-old Norwegian is yet to win the title, but he finished second on 14/1 shot Libertarian in 2013, before leading Jack Hobbs to a runner-up finish two years later.

Following a tenth place finish on his Derby debut, Buick has finished second twice, fourth, sixth and eighth in the subsequent five years. The average odds of the horses he has ridden in that space of time comes in just short of 14/1, which makes his consistency in this race even more impressive.

Godolphin is currently mob-handed going into this year’s Derby, so it would be incredible if William Buick didn't pick up a great ride. Whichever assignment Buick is handed at Epsom next month, that is a horse you should keep a very close eye on.

Seamie Heffernan

Ryan Moore, Joseph O’Brien and Johnny Murtagh have hogged the headlines for Ballydoyle in recent history, winning the Derby for Aidan O’Brien four times since 2005. This has meant that Ballydoyle regular, Seamie Heffernan’s fantastic achievements in the Derby have gone largely under-the-radar. 

The 45-year-old Irishman has ridden in eight of the last ten Derby’s, finishing outside the top ten just once and landing a sort in the places on three occasions. Heffernan may have been disappointed not to win the Derby on 9/4 favourite, Fame And Glory in 2009, but the following year he gave 100/1 shot, At First Sight a stunning ride, coming home seven lengths behind the rampant Workforce in second.

If you discount Fame And Glory’s astronomical odds, the average price of the horses Seamie Heffernan has riden in the Derby comes in just short of 15/1. Last year, he guided 14/1 shot Idaho to a brilliant third place finish and who’s to say he won’t improve upon that result next month.

Pat Smullen

Harzand’s performance in last year’s Derby was one of the most memorable of the season and 39-year-old Irishman, Pat Smullen gave the favourite a superb ride. The pair didn’t get off to the most impressive of starts, but once Smullen spotted a chink of daylight in the congested pack, Dermot Weld’s star powered to the front and won the title by just over a length.

Before that stunning victory, Smullen’s best result in the Derby was finishing third on 7/2 favourite, Casual Conquest back in 2008. In his six appearances in the Derby over the past decade, Smullen’s lowest finish has been eleventh and he has guided double figured entrants to top eight finishes in 2014 and 2009.

Smullen’s best chance of retaining the title he won so brilliantly last season could be with Dermot Weld’s Titus, who defeated Venice Beach on his only career start back in October and is currently a 25/1 shot with Ladbrokes. Kieron Fallon was the last jockey to land back-to-back Derby’s in ’03 and ’04, so history may be against Smullen when he returns to Epsom, but he’s clearly a very talented jockey and, as we know in the world of flat racing, anything is possible.



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Epsom Derby's top jockeys - The five current jockeys who have performed best in the Epsom Derby

We take a look through recent record books to bring you which five jockeys to watch out for at the upcoming Epsom Derby.

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