Jockeys At The Grand National Festival

Jockeys at the 2019 Grand National Festival

While they don’t always take centre stage, jockeys play a vital role in the Grand National Festival. In such dangerous, high stakes races, jockeys must take a lot of credit for keeping both themselves and their horses safe. Of course, the Grand National is one of the pinnacles of the horse racing calendar and is a chance for a jockey to make his name in front of millions watching. This year, Bet UK has picked out 5 jockeys to keep an eye on, as well as the horses they could be riding. For the latest Grand National betting odds, head over to Bet UK’s online betting. We also have a range of Grand National offers available ready for the big race.

Davy Russell

Number of Grand National Winners - 1 (Tiger Roll - 2018)
Number of Grand National Appearances - 14
Expected 2019 Ride - Tiger Roll - 7/2F*

The reigning winning jockey is expected to return again on Tiger Roll as he looks to retain his crown. At 14/1* Tiger Roll impressed from start to finish to win a photo finish at Aintree and since then he has got even better. A Cheltenham win has put him as firm favourite heading into the race, however that far from guarantees an easy race for Russell. The Grand National is notorious for horses falling and Russell knows that as well as anyone - he has fell in 5 of his last 11 Grand Nationals. However, his record when not falling is tough to argue against. Russell has finished no lower than 11th in the 6 races he has finished since 2006, including 2 back to back places in recent years. If Tiger Roll can stay on his feet throughout, expect him and Russell to be amongst the front runners at the end of the race.

Ruby Walsh

Number of Grand National Winners - 2 ( Papillon - 2000, Hedgehunter - 2005)
Number of Grand National Appearances - 17
Expected 2019 Ride - ***

One of the greatest riders of his generation, Ruby Walsh is amongst the most successful jockeys at every racecourse in the UK and Ireland. Walsh is coming into the Grand National after one of his less successful Cheltenham Festival, with only one win in the opening race. Regardless of his form at Cheltenham, Walsh cannot be ruled out in any race and has the experience to make any horse a contender. Last year, Walsh missed the National through injury, but in 2017 he finished in the top 10 riding 11/1 Pleasant Company. He is without a win since 2005’s Hedgehunter win and he will surely be hoping to put this right.

Barry Geraghty

Number of Grand National Winners - 1 (Monty’s Pass - 2003)
Number of Grand National Appearances - 18
Expected 2019 Ride - Anibale Fly - 11/1*

Much like Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty is one of the top jockeys on the circuit, although he hasn’t enjoyed much success in the Grand National. His only win came in 2003 on 16/1* Monty’s Pass and is without a win in 14 runs since. However, he has came close on a few occasions. Of the 9 Grand Nationals he has finished since 2003, Geraghty has finished in the top 10 8 times, finishing 16th in the other. As with many jockeys, his main focus will be staying on his horse over the opening fences. If he can remain in contention coming up to the home straight, then he is a strong bet to finish impressively.

Leighton Aspell

Number of Grand National Winners - 2 (Pineau De Re - 2014, Many Clouds - 2015)
Number of Grand National Appearances - 7
Expected 2019 Ride - ***

Unlike the other jockeys we’ve mentioned, Leighton Aspell has enjoyed a lot of success at the Grand National, winning 2 of his 7 National entries. 2 wins is more than some top jockeys can ever expect to win. Tom Scudamore for example, is a successful jockey in his own right, but has never even finished in the top 3 in 17 attempts at the Grand National. Aspell’s winners came back to back and were both 25/1* outsiders. Since then Aspell has finished 16th and 7th and was without a horse in 2018. He might not be the most recognisable jockey on the Grand National racecard, but it looks like he has found his home at Aintree and could provide another shock in 2019.

*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting correct at the time of writing.

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