Do We Have Too Many Jockeys?

Lyle Hewitson left 2 months ago yet is 12th on the log

Image for illustration only – courtesy of Candiese Lenferna

How many jockeys is enough jockeys? The ‘SA jockey economy’ is puzzling a longstanding Sporting Post reader who is keen to understand how it all makes sense.

Long-time racing fan Cecil Pienaar, aka the Honorary Mayor of Albert Falls, writes in the Sporting Post Mailbag that he has been watching the young Apprentices come through the ranks annually.

He has noted that Lyle Hewitson, sadly injured earlier this month in a terrible accident at Sha Tin, rode his last winner here on 19 October, and had his last ride on 30 October in South Africa – yet on a national log of approximately 95 jockeys and apprentices, he has maintained 12th position in terms of winners after being away for nearly two months.

There are also 18 jockeys or apprentices who are yet to ride a winner this season.

Here are some concerns listed by Cecil:

-Don’t we have too many Jockeys?

-Are these Apprentices ‘used a lot’ when they offer the 4Kg and 2.5Kg claim?

-The numbers of youngsters are coming through, yet the same amount of ‘older’ Jocks do not retire?

Some observations:

-Junior Jocks are quickly replaced once horses are ready to win, or for big races.

-At times, horses are withdrawn, reason, no suitable Jockey, even in CT

-Some of the lopsided feature races are carded with the bulk of the field 54 Kg and lower – yet we make it sound like the end of the world.

The lesser known Jocks do the bulk of work riding – is that correct?

It puzzles me and I am trying to understand the dynamics against the background of lesser races in 2022, and smaller fields – certainly in the Cape!

Be interesting to get some input from the Sporting Post experts.


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