Jockeys at the Cheltenham Festival

Jockeys at the Cheltenham Festival

While the trainers do all the hard work behind the scenes, on the day, it’s down to the jockeys to get the best out of the horses. If a jockey can’t control their horse, then all of the blame rests on their shoulders so it’s vital that they choose the right ride and then perform on the day. Ahead of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, Bet UK take a look at the top 5 jockeys to keep an eye on. Whether you have a favourite jockey or trainer, you can place a wager on the festival here at Bet UK. We will also provide you with news, Cheltenham betting tips and the latest odds throughout the event.

Ruby Walsh

2018 Winners - Footpad (5/6), Benie Des Dieux (9/2)
2019 Favourite - Laurina - Champion Hurdle

Ruby Walsh’s remarkable run as top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival was hindered last year, but he still remains a fan favourite. Walsh suffered a stress fracture in his leg while falling off Al Boum Photo on just the second day of the Festival last year. Previous to last year's injury however, he had been top jockey at 8 of the last 9 Festivals. This year, he is expected to ride Laurina in the Champion Hurdle, the highlight of the first day’s racing. Currently, he’s sitting in second favourite, just behind Buveur d’Air in the running.

Barry Geraghty

2018 Winners - Buveur d’Air (4/6), Le Prezien (15/2)
2019 Favourite - Buveur d’Air - Champion Hurdle

If Ruby Walsh is the most successful current jockey to ride at the Cheltenham Festival, then Barry Geraghty isn’t far behind. Since 2009, Geraghty has had 23 Festival winners, behind only Ruby Walsh. It was a slightly disappointing year in 2018 for him, but when riding Buveur d’Air in 2019, he could be in for another winner. Geraghty also rode Apple’s Shakira, Yanworth and Rhinestone last year, and if he choses similar horses again this side, then he can expect more than 2 winners this year.

Nico De Boinville

2018 Winners - Altior (EVS), With Discretion (10/11)
2019 Favourite - Might Bite - Gold Cup

Nico De Boinville is one of the least experience jockeys at the Festival but has already emerged as one that will have a hugely successful career. Making his Cheltenham debut in 2015, De Boinville won the Gold Cup on Coneygree, before another high profile win in last years Arkle. Although Altior won again last year, he was one of just 2 winners for De Boinville after being involved in 2 shock results. On Day 3 of the Festival, he was riding both favourites Santini and Might Bite, while only managing 2 places. With an improvement on those rides again, as well as potential successes for Style de Garde and Brain Power, he could have an outside chance of top jockey.

Jack Kennedy

2018 Winners - Samcro (8/11), Veneer of Charm (33/1), Shattered Love (4/1), Farclas (9/1)
2019 Favourite - Shattered Love - Ryanair Chase

Joint winner of the 2018 top jockey, Jack Kennedy has a strong chance of another impressive Cheltenham Festival. Getting off to a strong start with Samcro on the opening day, 3 consecutive winners rounded off an impressive Festival for Kennedy. This year, he will be hoping that Shattered Love can perform again in the Ryanair Chase. In terms of improvement, he will be hoping that Mengli Khan and Apple’s Jade have improved showings, after both being fancied before coming short in 2018.

Davy Russell

2018 Winners - Presenting Percy (5/2), Delta Work (6/1), Balko Des Flos (8/1), The Storyteller (5/1)
2019 Favourite - Tiger Roll - Cross Country Chase

Last year’s top jockey will be hoping for another successful Festival in 2019. Davy Russell finished joint 1st with Jack Kennedy on 4 wins, although he will admit himself that there was a chance for him to finish as the sole winner. Russell was on Dortmund Park, Petit Mouchoir and De Plotting Shed, who all had a chance and have improved since their showings last year. This year, Russell will be hoping Grand National winner Tiger Roll can impress at Cheltenham again. Although he will always be remembered for that Aintree win, Tiger Roll has also won at Cheltenham and always impresses at big events.

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

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