AT the midpoint of 2015, an exciting competition is under way for the title of Longines World’s Best Jockey. Leading the standings are US ace Victor Espinoza and Australian-based James McDonald, but several other riders are not far behind.
Established last year, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and Swiss watchmaker Longines present the Longines World’s Best Jockey Award to the jockey with the best performance in the world’s highest-rated races.
James McDonald, up-and-coming star.
The scoring for the award is based upon performances in the 100 highest-rated group I and grade I races established for the year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The scoring incorporates races from Dec. 1 of the previous year until Nov. 30 of the current year. Jockeys accrue 12 points for a win, 6 points for placing second, and 4 points for placing third.
As of July 6, Espinoza and McDonald are tied at the top with 66 points. Each has won five group or grade I contests that qualify under the competition and finished second in another.
Espinoza swept the American Triple Crown—Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes (all gr. I) with American Pharoah, who is atop the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
In third place is Maxime Guyon, who has won four qualifying races and also has a second and a third, for a total of 58 points. Guyon received points for winning the Longines Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) with Flintshire, and the rest of his victories have come aboard Solow, after they paired together to take the Dubai Turf sponsored By DP World (UAE-I), the Prix d’Ispahan (Fr-I), and the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I).
Not too far behind is Frankie Dettori, regular rider of Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) winner Golden Horn, and the inaugural recipient of the Longines World’s Best Jockey Award last year, Ryan Moore.
A list of the qualifying 100 races as well as updated results can be found here.