Melbourne Cup Jockey Guide
The Melbourne Cup (3200m) is Australia’s most famous race and and we take a look at the 2020 Melbourne Cup jockeys.
Known as the race that stops the nation, the $7.75 million event brings together the best of the local and international stayers, while plenty of big name jockeys have enjoyed success in the great race over the years.
2020 Melbourne Cup jockeys
1. HUGH BOWMAN (Anthony Van Dyck)
Well knows for his association with Winx, Hugh Bowman partnered the mare to 25 Group One victories, including four Cox Plate’s. However, Winx is only a part of the Hugh Bowman story. The 38-year-old from Dunedoo in central western NSW has 94 Group One victories to his credit and after taking out the Japan Cup (2400m) in 2017 he was officially crowned as the World’s Best Jockey. Something that is not on his CV is a Melbourne Cup win. He came close in 2018, partnering the runner-up, Marmelo, but has had limited success in the race.
2. JOHN ALLEN (Avilius)
The former Irish jockey moved over to Australia to ride in 2016 and has been a success story down under. He currently sits in 2nd place in the Victoria’ Jockey Premiership, just behind Jamie Kah and has ridden 10 Group 1 winners. He was the stable jockey for Darren Weir and regularly rides for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team but this year he will be seen in the Godolphin colours and is on board Avilius, who he partnered to 6th in the recent Caulfield Cup.
3. JAMIE MOTT (Vow And Declare)
One of a number of local jockeys in the race that have been able to snare a ride in the absence of international hoops due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, Jamie Mott rides last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Vow And Declare. The 32-year-old is yet to register a win at Group 1 level and a victory would be a fairytale for the hoop, who has battled weight throughout his career and broke both legs in a nasty race fall at Cranbourne last year.
4. BEN MELHAM (Master Of Reality)
Ben Melham is one of the gun local jockeys in Melbourne and has ridden for many of the big stables. He finished runner-up in the 2017 Melbourne Cup aboard the Lloyd Williams owned Johannes Vermeer and earlier in his career he partnered Black Caviar to one of her wins. One of his major highlights came in the 2017 Golden Slipper when he steered She Will Reign to victory. Melham has had five attempts at winning the Melbourne Cup and rides Master Of Reality, who was second past the post last year before being relegated to 4th on protest.
5. GLEN BOSS (Sir Dragnonet)
Glen Boss’ name is synonymous with the Melbourne Cup in modern times due to his association with Makybe Diva after he steered the champion mare to victory in 2003/2004 and 2005. The mare is the only three time winner in the 159 year history of the race and that feat is unlikely to be equalled any time soon. The lightweight jockey has 87 Group 1 wins to his credit and landed the Cox Plate aboard Sir Dragonet recently.
6. JYE MCNEIL (Twilight Payment)
Jye McNeil just pipped Daniel Stackhouse in the 2019/20 Victoria Jockey’s Premiership with 139 wins and is one of the rising stars of local racing. He won his only Group 1 aboard Kings Will Dream in the 2019 Turnbull Stakes and narrowly missed out on adding to that with Odeum last Saturday in the Empire Rose Stakes. He rode Princess Jenni to victory in the Bendigo Cup last week, while the week prior, he was successful on Steel Prince in the Geelong Cup. He rides for Joseph O’Brien in the Melbourne Cup and will be carrying the navy blue and white silks made famous by Lloyd Williams. His runner is Twilight Payment.
7. MARK ZAHRA (Verry Elleegant)
The former West Australian has ridden in the Melbourne Cup on three occasion and has finished down the track in each of those. He partnered Southern France last year, finishing 19th, but this is clearly his best chance yet of securing success in the great race. He has ridden the leading mare to victory in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and Caulfield Cup (2400m) at her last two starts and has 19 Group 1 wins to his credit.
8. MICHAEL RODD (Mustajeer)
The former Queenslander picked up the Melbourne Cup in 2007 on board Efficient and is back for another tilt at the race that stops the nation. He had been riding in Singapore since 2015 but racing was shut down over there due to the coronavirus so Road has returned to Melbourne. He has ridden 34 Group 1 winners and steered Maldivian to victory in the Cox Plate in 2008.
9. JORDAN CHILDS (Stratum Albion)
One of the youngest jockey’s in the Melbourne Cup field, Jordan Childs has scored the ride on Stratum Albion. He missed out on the ride on Surprise Baby after partnering that horse to 6th position last year. Childs is the son of the former champion jockey, Greg, who is well known for his association with the champion galloper, Sunline. Jordan broke through for his maiden Group One victory aboard Written By last year in the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and lines up for his third Melbourne Cup start.
10. MICHAEL WALKER (Dashing Willoughby)
The Kiwi-born Michael Walker partners Dashing Willoughby and jumped off Prince Of Arran in favour of that horse. He rode Prince Of Arran to placings in the 2017 and 2018 Melbourne Cup, while he also partnered Criterion to 3rd in the 2015 Melbourne Cup. The talented rider is a regular rider for the Hayes and Dabernig stable. On Tuesday at Flemington he rides for the U.K trainer, Andrew Balding.
11. JAMES MCDONALD (Finche)
The New Zealander endured a whirlwind start to his career in Australia, winning the Sydney Jockeys Premiership on two occasions before being disqualified for 18 months on a betting charge. He has come back in fine style and has won the Sydney Jockey’s Premiership in the last two seasons, while he is currently leading that battle by three wins ahead of Tommy Berry. He partnered the race favourite in 2018 in Yucatan but could only manage 11th. This time he rides Finche and will be looking to go one better than in 2012 when he finished runner-up aboard Fiorente.
12. JAMIE KAH (Prince Of Arran)
Jamie Kah is one of the best riders in Melbourne and currenly leads the Melbourne jockeys premiership with 37 wins this season. She will be out to join Michelle Payne as the only female jockeys to have won a Melbourne Cup and is right in the mix after drawing barrier 1. She is fresh off a win aboard Victoria Quay in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington and has three Group 1 wins to her credit.
13. CRAIG WILLIAMS (Surprise Baby)
With a reputation as being one of the most professional riders in Australia, Craig Williams is also one of the best, having claimed the Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership on six occasions. His career has taken him all over the globe and he has a swag of Group One winners from his time in Australia as well as Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, England and Dubai. He claimed the Melbourne Cup on Vow And Declare last year and can go back to back on Surprise Baby,.
14. DAMIAN LANE (KING OF LEOGRANCE)
The former West Australian has made a name for himself as one of the young guns on the scene and at just 26 years of age he has ridden 20 Group Ones winners. The most recent of those came at the Derby Day meeting on Saturday when he partnered Yulong Prince to victory in the Kennedy Cantala. His 2019 spring carnival was one to remember as he claimed the Caulfield Cup (Mer De Glace) and the Cox Plate (Lys Gracieux). This year, he partners King Of Leogrance
15. DAMIEN OLIVER (Russian Camelot)
Damien Oliver’s name is just about synonymous with the Melbourne Cup after his 2002 win aboard Media Puzzle, which came just days after his brother Jason was tragically killed in a riding fall. So touching was that victory that it was turned into a movie called ‘The Cup’ and released in cinemas in 2011. Ollie first won the Melbourne Cup as a fresh-faced youngster in 1995 on Doriemus and has since ridden the Gai Waterhouse-trained import Fiorente to victory in 2013. The eight-time Scobie Breasley Medal winner has ridden 118 Group 1 winners and partners a solid chance in Russian Camelot this year.
16. WILLIAM PIKE (Steel Prince)
The popular galloper from Perth has gained a bit of a cult figure status and is often referred to as the ‘wizard from the west’ as has dominated the scene in WA for a number of years now. In the past two years he has broken the record for most wins in a season in Australia, first riding 234 winners in 2018/19 before breaking his own record this year. He switched to Melbourne in the middle of this year and has had some memorable days at the carnival with the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) meeting a highlight when he rode four winners. Pike rides Steel Prince this year and it will be his first ever ride in the Melbourne Cup.
17. DANIEL STACKHOUSE (The Chosen One)
The former New Zealand jockey has been a regular in Victoria for a number of years now and will be out to claim his first ever Group 1 win. He rode 138 wins in Victoria last season, just one shy of the winner, Jye McNeil. He picked up the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) aboard Crosshaven at Flemington last Saturday and rides The Chosen One over the two miles in the Cup. He partnered that horse to 3rd placing in the Caulfield Cup behind Verry Elleegant at his last start and if the five-year-old can reproduce a similar effort, the pair can go very close.
18. DECLAN BATES (Ashrun)
Another local rider, Bates picked up a ride at the last minute as connection of Ashrun secured the jockey after their horse gained entry to the Cup by claiming the Hotham Handicap (2500m) on Saturday. Kerrin McEvoy partnered that horse to victory but is already aboard Tiger Moth. Bates will be hoping the five-year-old can become his second Group 1 winner after he partnered Begood Toya Mother to victory in the Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) last year.
19. LUKE CURRIE (Warning)
The veteran jockey has been on the local scene for over 20 years and has had his fair share of ups and downs over the years, fracturing his spine and breaking his ribs as recently as February this year. The 10 time Group 1 winner partnered Hey Doc to victory in the recent Manikato Stakes and will ride Warning for the Anthony and Sam Freedman stable.
20. BILLY EGAN (Etah James)
One of the top jockeys in Victoria, Billy Egan is known for his association with the Patrick Payne stable. He rode 106 winners in the 2019/20 season in Victoria and rides one of the long shots in the race in Etah James. He missed out on securing his first ever Group 1 win on Saturday when riding Cherry Tortoni into 4th position in the Victoria Derby and while a Cup win is unlikely this year, a victory at the highest level shouldn’t be too far away.
21. KERRIN MCEVOY (Tiger Moth)
Kerrin McEvoy is well remembered for partnering Brew to a Melbourne Cup victory in 2000 as a fresh-faced 20-year-old. The kid from Streaky Bay in South Australia went on to have a long stint overseas with Godolphin, riding some big winners for the powerful stable before returning to Australia in 2008. He has gained a reputation for producing on the big stage, riding Redzel to successive victories in the lucrative Everest (1200m) at Randwick, while he is also compiling an impressive overall record in this race, having partnered Almandin to victory in the 2016 Melbourne Cup as well as Cross Counter in 2018.
22. DEAN YENDALL (Oceanex)
The lightweight jockey rides one of the roughies in the race in Oceanex and has been a prolific rider of winners in Victoria for a number of years now. He tied for 3rd in last year’s Victorian Jockeys Premiership with 106 wins and partnered Oceanex to 3rd in the recent Moon Valley Cup.
23. DANIEL MOOR (Miami Bound)
The 36-year-old is another lightweight hoop and is yet to register a Group 1 winner in Australia but has a live chance aboard Miami Bound after that horse picked up the recent Moonee Valley Cup. He returned from a stint in Singapore earlier this year and has 18 wins to his credit in Victoria this season.
24. MICHAEL DEE (Persan)
Michael Dee partners Persan in the Melbourne Cup and the former New Zealander came over to Australia in 2015. The 24-year-old has ridden four Group 1 winners in his time down under and the most recent of those was Alabama Express in the Orr Stakes in February.