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JOCKEY FEES

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  • #12743
    Adrian
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    • Total Posts 1041

    I think things work out well as they are. The good young jockeys like William Buick, Hayley Turner etc make it on ability – not through cut price riding fees.

    There are plenty of chances for the lesser jockeys through the Winter on the all-weather and on Sundays when the bigger names are often riding abroad.

    They don’t make much as it is if they only ride once a day when they have taken car, fuel, agent’s fee, valets fee into consideration – and you can’t see the latter two taking a cut. Therefore this system would only result in the big names trying to charge more.

    #250423
    Craig Braddick
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    • Total Posts 373

    In Colorado jockeys set their own fees and it works very well. The hignerr priced ones tend to be more selective of the race they ride in anyway and the younger inexperienced jockeys can get rides and if they get onto a good streak are entirely justified in raising their price.

    Capitalism works.

    Craig

    #250447
    Nor1
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    • Total Posts 384

    Agree Craig.
    Top jocks should be able to charge what they think they are worth. This then might reduce their number of rides, therefore giving the less experienced jocks a chance of more bookings.
    Too many give up through lack of rides. KFallon could have been one of them.
    I’m not saying I think jockeys should be paid less but the experienced ones should set their own rates.

    #250457
    Craig Braddick
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    • Total Posts 373

    Agree Craig.
    Top jocks should be able to charge what they think they are worth. This then might reduce their number of rides, therefore giving the less experienced jocks a chance of more bookings.
    Too many give up through lack of rides. KFallon could have been one of them.
    I’m not saying I think jockeys should be paid less but the experienced ones should set their own rates.

    Hi Nor1!

    I think you touch on a point that is very important. Capitalism works in this sense but we also need to make sure the jockeys are paid a decent minimum as a standard for the risks they take.

    Craig

    #250482
    robert99
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    • Total Posts 899

    The riding fee is not the total payment package.
    There are win/place percentages, stable retainers and gifts on top.
    The top jockeys share most of the latter.

    Capitalism only works if it is highly regulated so that those at the bottom are not regularly exploited as has happened time after time in the past.
    Stable staff is just one example.

    #250493
    Nor1
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    • Total Posts 384

    Yes, robert99, capitalism has to be firmly regulated and stable staff are exploited but hopefully not as badly now as in the past.
    However, this does not take away the principle of a minimum riding fee set at the present level, coupled with the top jockeys being able to determine their own fees.
    Trainers are not required to charge the same rate as every other trainer.

    #250499
    robert99
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    As I wrote, top jockeys are already able to increase their earnings based on success and to negotiate their own increased fees. It is the owner who pays. The riding fee is in effect a minimum payment via Wetherbys for simply riding the horse in a race. The top jockeys and their agents use their pull to get onto horses with a winning chance and leave the rest for others. As has been pointed out, riding at two meetings for a top jockey in demand might capture 12 fees per day with a free helicopter ride – for a lesser light one or 2 fees per day a long wait and home in a horse box.
    If the riding fee is not guaranteed to a level then up and coming jockeys will be even worse off.

    #250517
    Nor1
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    • Total Posts 384

    robert99

    If the riding fee is not guaranteed to a level then up and coming jockeys will be even worse off.

    Even worse off than what? I did say the minimum riding fee would have to be kept to the present level and obviously be increased to maintain the value of it.
    Surely if the top jocks earned more in riding fees they would not need to travel to say a Kempton evening meeting. This is not going to earn them much extra in winnings with the value of most of the races they have there.

    How do you explain the different levels of training fees?

    #250526
    Adrian
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    • Total Posts 1041

    With the notable exception of Frankie I think most jockeys would travel to as many meetings as possible – you mention Kempton evening meetings – regardless of how much they could charge per ride. It is not just riding fees that motivate them. It is wanting to ride winners both to keep themselves high up the tables, to keep in with their owners/trainers and of course to earn their percentages. If they think they are going to ride a winner at an evening meeting then you’ll see them rushing off no matter how much they have already earned that afternoon.

    #250534
    Adrian
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    • Total Posts 1041

    With regard to training fees this is based on what they think owners will pay to keep their yard full of horses and also what overheads they have with regards to their staff to horse ratio, quality of feed/bedding, cost of owning/running yard etc. Of course the most successful trainers will charge the most but they are often paying the best wages as well – it is a vicious circle.

    Interestingly, in UK all trainers/stable staff receive the same percentage of prizemoney as arranged through Weatherbys.

    In most other countries – notably America – the racing clubs pay all prizemoney (having deducted the jockey’s fees/percentages) to the owner. The trainer then has invoice the owners for his percentage and that of his staff. When British trainers win money over there I usually suggest they invoice their owners at the British percentage rates but it can cause a bit of confusion with newbie owners when that bill comes through the letterbox.

    #250541
    Nor1
    Member
    • Total Posts 384

    Adrian

    Would or could owners pay the extra for top jockeys to ride their horses for a 2K race round Kempton?

    Does the percentage of wins/rides and total prize money not indicate how good a jockey is?

    Should a jockey table be altered to the amount of prize money won, similar to the trainer table?

    Is life all about rushing around like rats to race meetings day and night?

    Why are jockeys not allowed to value, and price, their skills?

    As I’ve already said, trainers charge different fees, and the prices paid for horses at the sales vary too.

    #250595
    Adrian
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    • Total Posts 1041

    Of course prizemoney is important to jockeys because it affects how much they earn as their percentage. However I still believe that, within reason, if the stables they regularly ride for want them to ride in smaller races then they will go for it.

    If say Ryan Moore started charging more for his rides he may get away with it but generally they just want to ride winners and wouldn’t want to miss out for the sake of a few quid.

    Of course if they go off to ride internationally then they charge expenses and usually a guaranteed lump sum but that wouldn’t be normal here although of course in the bigger races some jockeys may get rewarded with nominations to the horse when it retires etc.

    Some jockeys get retainers but even this is becoming a thing of the past – certainly in terms of large cash sums.

    I think all jockeys think that riding winners – be they the Derby or a seller – takes the same amount of effort and therefore the ones I’ve talked to like the system where the amount of races they win is reflected in the championship and not prizemoney – which can be skewed these days by sales races etc.

    #250601
    yeats
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    • Total Posts 3136

    Think Adrain has got this pretty much spot on, this idea was originally put forward by Josh Apiafi with every jockey getting at least the current riding fee and some getting more on top. It’s just greed, jockeys already get a healthy percentage of the prize money on top of their fee.
    In fact with ever decreasing prize money and lots of 2 grand races there could be a case for reducing the riding fee for some races but of course this will never happen.

    #250636
    robert99
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    • Total Posts 899

    robert99

    If the riding fee is not guaranteed to a level then up and coming jockeys will be even worse off.

    Even worse off than what? I did say the minimum riding fee would have to be kept to the present level and obviously be increased to maintain the value of it.
    Surely if the top jocks earned more in riding fees they would not need to travel to say a Kempton evening meeting. This is not going to earn them much extra in winnings with the value of most of the races they have there.

    How do you explain the different levels of training fees?

    Top jockeys earn in the region of £200K pa from riding fees alone.
    Struggling jockeys after expenses are on the breadline. The system does sort out monetary rewards based on perceived merit. Trainers have a different payment system, their fees also cannot go below a certain level be able to feed, stable and nurture their horses towards a winning chance level, so what?
    If top jockeys double their fee, say, then that takes out money from the overall pot.
    To keep in the top jockey spot then jockeys have to keep riding winners and they are further incentivised to ride as many races as possible, wherever possible and to have arrangements that they will only ride horses with sound chances plus a retainer for first call on their services. They will also make judgements to avoid lengthy suspensions.
    Struggling jockeys then have to pay trainers/owners more to ride by a cash back payment as happens now. They ride the no hopers, don’t often get repeat rides and for many it is a vicious downward spiral irrespective of their hidden talents. A flat jockey with one ride gets at least £96.35 + VAT to keep him going for another day – just.

    #250674
    Nor1
    Member
    • Total Posts 384

    robert99

    Struggling jockeys then have to pay trainers/owners more to ride by a cash back payment as happens now.

    I don’t understand. Are you saying struggling jockeys actually pay to ride with some sort of cash back system?

    My understanding on jockey fees (flat) was they all get paid the same (no cash back) and I didn’t think it made any difference whether they were an apprentice or a top jock. The extras they get on top has been discussed.

    The point I was trying to make was that if the top ones were paid more, and the stats were based on prize money won (as it is for trainers/owners), then perhaps they would not ride so much, giving the others a chance.

    I’m not sure I know of any other occupation where flat rate pay is exactly the same for top and bottom, skilled and learners, young and older.

    #250676
    apracing
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    • Total Posts 3326

    [I’m not sure I know of any other occupation where flat rate pay is exactly the same for top and bottom, skilled and learners, young and older.

    Member of Parliament ?

    And they have the whips in common as well ….

    AP

    #250679
    robert99
    Participant
    • Total Posts 899

    robert99

    Struggling jockeys then have to pay trainers/owners more to ride by a cash back payment as happens now.

    I don’t understand. Are you saying struggling jockeys actually pay to ride with some sort of cash back system?

    My understanding on jockey fees (flat) was they all get paid the same (no cash back) and I didn’t think it made any difference whether they were an apprentice or a top jock. The extras they get on top has been discussed.

    The point I was trying to make was that if the top ones were paid more, and the stats were based on prize money won (as it is for trainers/owners), then perhaps they would not ride so much, giving the others a chance.

    I’m not sure I know of any other occupation where flat rate pay is exactly the same for top and bottom, skilled and learners, young and older.

    Yes.
    Theory and real life are not the same.

    They all get paid the same but some refund some of that money in return for being given the ride opportunity. Getting rides is all about getting noticed and getting noticed is about riding winners. They desperately hope for a run of wins to get noticed.

    The difference between the top jockeys and the average experienced jockey is marginal in reality. Only in perception terms it is a bigger thing. Something of the order from half a length to maybe 5 lengths for a Lester Piggot. Why do you think top jockeys on £200K pa are still badgering for ride after good ride? They know that minor injuries, weight/ fasting problems, suspensions etc can soon tip them from the top and someone else is more than willing to take their place. Every rider is only as good as his last winner. So they remain firmly fixed to the treadmill. The last thing they will ever do is willingly give another rider a chance. You may, for example, have heard the tales of L Piggot thinking nothing of ringing owners for the Derby ride he wanted even though they may have already booked someone else.

    Well the flat rate scheme is there so that the strugglers can last out financially with the hope for a break to happen as has been explained – that is good for competitive racing long term. The system has been adopted to suit the nature of racing not free market ideology and has been accepted as sensible for decades. A top flat jockey at 2 courses with no winners may have a daily income of around £1200 – a struggler £100. It is total income that counts and that income is heavily skewed to the top jockeys from flat riding fees alone.

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