We’ve all heard household names such as Hugh Bowman, Kerrin McEvoy and Brenton Avdulla and more recently Melbourne Cup winner Corey Brown or arguably Australia’s most famous jockey Damien Oliver. But the journey had to start somewhere for the top metropolitan jockeys around the country. With our racing ranks currently bursting with talent, we explore the best of the up-and-coming generation. These are the 10 of the best youngsters with a huge watch for the future.
Brodie Kirby – Age: 22
Currently dominating with the number 1 ranking in the Western Australian country circuit, 22-year-old Kirby is the King of Esperance Bay with 14 wins from 54 career starts at the track, winning at will with a 25% strike rate. In fact, Kirby has the wood over wizard William Pike in the WA Country standings, with Kirby’s 44 winners this season bettering Pike’s 42. One of the countries in-from jockeys, Kirby has been winning at 26% in his last 50 starts and has also plied his trade in the city, riding winners at Ascot and Pinjarra. Shaping up as another to look for when the sun goes down in the Eastern states, Brodie Kirby is winning at better then 1 in 4 for trainers Sarah Childs and Helen Harding, winning 6 from 23 and 6 from 21 for them respectively.
Harry Coffey – Age: 22
Since beginning his career in 2011, Coffey has ridden 367 winners, 74 of those for one of the countries best in Darren Weir. He emerged as a run rider in 2015 when winning the listed Christmas Stakes on Tuscan Sling, now with 4 listed wins and 2 group 3 victories to his name. 22-year-old Coffey has got a start in 3 group 1’s to date, still chasing his first victory in this class. Riding winners in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, the 2-time group 3 winner has one of the best records in the country at one track in particular, riding 17 winners from 41 starts at Wycheproof (41%) placing a further 15 times, taking his place-percentage to an unbelievable 78%, holding massive bragging rights. Coffey is currently ranked number 15 in the Victorian Jockey Premiership.
10. Jean Van Overmeire – Age: 23
Recently raised the bat, scoring a century of career winners since his first ride in 2016. Getting off to a flyer this season, he has recorded 42 victories across New South Wales, building a lethal combination with trainer Bjorn Baker in the process. Earning a reputation as one of the prominent trainer-jockey partnerships to follow, Van Overmeire has ridden 18 winners from 75 career starts for baker at almost 25%, a brilliant strike rate for the apprentice. Debuting in 2016, he has already had 5 cracks at listed and group 3 company. Look for Jean Van Overmeire to be in the money at Royal Randwick, currently winning there at 25%
9. Raquel Clark – Age: 24
Currently ranked number 5 in South Australia, Raquel Clark is on fast train to Jamie Kah-ville as one of the most dominant up-and-coming female jockeys in the country. Clark scored consecutive listed victories aboard I’m Wesley at Launceston in 2017, also having 4 cracks in group company to date. Since her first ride in 2015, Clark has crossed the winning post first a total of 159 times, riding 47 already this season. She has been very consistent for trainer Leon Macdonald, scoring 18 victories from 99 starts at just under 20%, placing almost half of the time for the trainer in her career. Currently one of South Australia’s best, she has been most impressive at the Balaklava track, also taking a liking to Morphetville, Devonport and Port Lincoln.
8. Ben E Thompson – Age: 21
The young man is due for a group 1 winner any time now, with the 21-year-old having 38 rides in group company, for limited success to date. Thompson’s career began in 2014, since then getting the money on 232 occasions. He has now cracked the top 10 in the Victorian jockey premiership, scoring 34 victories already in 2017-18. Thompson has recorded wins in both Victoria and New South Wales, also booking in rides in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.
7. Jordan Childs – Age: 21
A dual group 3 winner, Jordan Childs has also been given the opportunity at group 1 and group 2 level. The young gun is currently ranked number 7 in the Victorian jockey premiership after 50 wins already in season 2017-18, contributing to his 332 career victories. Childs has had 21 wins from 178 starts for the Patrick Payne stable, closely followed by 19 from 148 for Darren Weir. He can be considered as a bit of a Valley specialist, with the most wins here of all tracks.
6. Luke Tarrant – Age: 23
In and out of the news for the right and wrong reasons in a career starting in 2012, one thing is for sure – this kid can ride. Touted as a future superstar when winning the 2015 Magic Millions 2YO Classic aboard Le Chef, Luke Tarrant has amassed 277 career wins, bouncing back with 16 in season 2017-18. Already a star in Queensland, he has found himself close to the top of the rankings in the state in the past, also winning races around the New South Wales metropolitan circuit. Tarrant is a group 1 placed jockey, a multiple group 2 winner and 5 times successful in listed company. It seems at 23, the previously troubled star has displayed a bottomless pit of talent in a colourful career so far, that is sure to promise plenty in the future. He has been the most prolific for trainer Darryl Hansen in his career to date, winning 18% of the time with 15 victories from 83 starts. He has taken a likening to the Toowoomba track, winning close to 1 in 4 starts in Queensland’s Darling Downs.
5. Andrew Adkins – Age: 20
The 20-year-old recently completed his apprenticeship and is now 201 wins into a career that started in 2013. A very consistent jockey has the achievements to show for it, scoring in 2 group 2s as well as 2 group 3s to date. Rewarded for his performances, Adkins has gained a start in 4 group 1s and 2018 could be the year he claims his maiden G1 victory. Riding primarily for Ron Quinton, he has had 128 starts for the stable for 16 wins, also staying in the money with a further 31 minor places at 36%. Adkins loves the New South Wales country circuits however is also a consistent performer in the city, also getting rides at the Gold Coast where he has previously been victorious.
4. Ben Allen – Age: 18
238 career winners and 46 for season 2017-18 as an 18 year old. Since his debut in 2015, Ben Allen has been group 1 placed, won a group 2 and ridden 5 winners in group 3 and listed races. Destined for a massive future, the young gun holds a place just outside the top 10 in the Victorian jockey premiership, riding winners all over the state as well as South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia. Another up-and-comer performing under the watchful guidance of Darren Weir, Allen has recorded 38 career winners for the stable on top of 50 minor places at almost 30%. Also forging a prominent partnership with trainer Enver Jusufovic, Allen is currently winning at 22% for the trainer, as well as placing at a very handy 58%, certainly one for punters to follow.
3. Michael Dee – Age: 21
2 group 1 wins to his name as a 21-year-old, Michael Dee is flying this season and currently holds onto a spot in the top 10 in the Victorian jockey premiership. His 50 winners for season 2017-18 has catapulted his career tally to 233, furthermore winning 3 group 2 races, 2 group 3s and 3 listed races while coming in for the minors in group company a total of 17 times. Acquiring $11,217,732 prize money to date with plenty of good performances in big races, Dee has won races in home-country New Zealand, as well as Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Dee has been dangerous for the Mick Price stable in particular, claiming victory on 42 occasions for the trainer, with a further 78 minor places at a tidy 38%.
2. Regan Bayliss – Age: 20
The 20-year-old with a group 1 victory already to his name, brought into the spotlight by the ride on Redkirk Warrior in the 2017 Newmarket Handicap. Bayliss is approaching 300 career winners with 31 currently for season 2017-18. Since his first ride in 2013, Bayliss has had rides in 30 group 1s, chalking up 4 minor places to go with his sole win. He has had 4 wins in group 2 class, culminating with another 4 minor places to go with his 7 in group 3 rides. There is no question Bayliss will have a wealth of opportunities in the near future to add more group 1 wins to the already impressive resume, with his total prize money amounting to $12,959,709. Prolific for the Hayes Stable, the likely future number 1 has ridden almost a half-century of winners from 333 starts for the training trio, placing nearly 40% of the time.
1. Jamie Kah – Age: 22
Number 1 in South Australia, number 1 female jockey in the country and number 1 on our list. Jamie Kah has the 4th most wins of all jockeys Australia-wide for season 2017-18, notching up 77 winners to sit behind only William Pike, Brenton Avdulla and Jeff Lloyd. The success of Kah and her partnership with trainer Tony McEvoy has been largely publicised as of late, most deservedly as 22-year-old Jamie Kah has ridden 33 career winners at 26% for the stable, improving this season with 22 wins at 28%. Staring down the barrel of perhaps one day becoming number 1 in the country, Kah is a dual group 3 winner already and with 5 listed wins to her name will hope to break through with her first group 1 victory sooner rather than later. Some-what of a globetrotter (or country-trotter), she has recorded victories in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and even the Northern Territory.