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RacingBetter News
Thursday 27th July 2023
A Guide To Betting On The Jockey Challenge

Horse racing today is one of the most popular spectator sports in the world. In Great Britain, approximately six million people watch the 10,000 or so races held yearly in 60 racecourses scattered throughout the British Isles. Moreover, more than 97% of these viewers will likely place a bet.

According to a 2020 Statista report, the annual amount wagered on racehorses in the United Kingdom (U.K.) amounts to around GBP£1 billion. No doubt, betting on horses is popular and will continue to be so.

horse race

Betting on the jockey challenge

Betting on a horse race traditionally meant betting on the runners. The jockey challenge, however, offers punters to place bets instead on the person riding the horse rather than the animal that does the galloping. With the jockey challenge, you’ll be betting on which jockey will accumulate the most points in that particular meeting or over a series of race meets.

The challenge is a relatively newish innovation that started in 2008 in Hong Kong. This betting system has also flourished in Australia, where all leading bookies offer jockey challenge betting. Consequently, if you’re betting on the jockey challenge, you won’t have to analyse horses’ forms deeply. Your favourite jockeys will do the work. But you’d need to study the races where the challenges are run for more information.

Points are given to jockeys whose mounts are in the top three finishers. In Hong Kong, the first place is given 12 points, the second gets six and the third receives four points. However, in Australia and the U.K., the point system is three points for first, two for second and one for third place.


Jockey Challenge points

Qualification for a dividend

1st place

3 points

Place a bet on a jockey who gets the highest points accumulated in the race meet.

2nd place

2 points

3rd place

1 point

Other placings

No points

In cases of a dead heat, the scores will be split. For example, if two horses finished in a dead heat for first place, the points for the first and second will be added and shared between the two jockeys, which means they’ll receive 2.5 points each. No more than six points are awarded for each race.

The challenge uses a type of bet called a ‘fixed-odds’ bet. This bet means that once your bet is placed, the dividend will be computed based on the odds at the moment you place your wager. Subsequent changes in the odds will not affect the prize.  

Bookmakers that accept jockey challenge betting also allow punters to make a multiple bet, or multi bet, which means you can combine bets from other race meets. This bet can give you a chance for a huge return for a comparatively smaller capital. Also, disparities in the odds can exist among bookmakers. You can take advantage of this if you shop around.   

horse race

How does the jockey challenge work?

Jockeys are evaluated and assigned a starting price based on how many mounts they have and their starting price or SP. Meanwhile, other jockeys not included in the challenge come under the Any Other Jockey category. Points earned by jockeys in this category aren’t cumulative. If a jockey in the Any Other Jockey category earned the requisite points on their own, the Any Other Jockey category will be declared the winner. 

Participating jockeys in the races nominated for this challenge are given numbers from one to fourteen; individual jockeys are given numbers from one to thirteen. The number 14 is assigned to the category Any Other Jockey.  

If you fancy a flutter on a jockey in the Any Other Jockey category, that’s also an option. However, there might not be odds assigned for the jockey. You can always ask your bookmaker to give the odds in this situation. Bookies can get them from traders.  

Jockey challenge rules you need to remember

Rules may vary as operators have their own, so you must read the fine print and understand the rules thoroughly. However, several rules will likely be similar no matter which racing event you place your bet on. Below are some of these rules:

  • If a race meet has been abandoned, the results for the jockey challenge may still stand. But it will depend on the number of races that have already been run. It would also depend on the operator.
  • A jockey in the market that has failed to complete at least a single riding engagement means bets on the jockey challenge are void. Rules may vary depending on the operator, though.
  • A bet in a jockey challenge is all-in, which means you can kiss your bet goodbye if one of your jockey’s rides is scratched. Of course, this is good news for you if this happens to a rival jockey.
  • If a jockey fails to show up for any particular reason and another jockey fills in, any points that may be accumulated will be credited to the substitute jockey.

Final thoughts

A jockey challenge is a type of horse race betting where you bet on the jockey instead of the horse. Jockeys who place in the top three are awarded points. To win, the punter must pick the jockey with the most points accumulated at the end of the race meeting. Most bookmakers accept jockey challenge bets, whether on course or off course. This challenge uses a fixed-odds type of bet.    

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