Female jockeys took Cheltenham glory but still underestimated by punters

first_imgThank you for your feedback. Talking Horses: Breeders’ Cup to stay at Santa Anita despite fatalities Hide Share on Messenger Tallulah Lewis, the chair of Women In Racing, said on Thursday that WIR is “delighted to be able to support Vanessa as she continues her ground-breaking research”.Lewis added: “Riding a racehorse requires a high level of skill and strength which are abilities that can be developed by both sexes, with opportunity being the crucial final component. Vanessa’s research makes clear that if women have the same opportunities as their male counterparts they can compete very successfully as jockeys, just as they can in any other sphere in racing.” Share via Email Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Cheltenham Festival 2019 Read more Cheltenham Festival Since you’re here… news Cashmore’s study also found that the use of female jockeys varies widely between trainers. In 2018, for instance, 46% of all trainers did not use a female jockey on any of their runners, while 11.4% of trainers with larger operations – defined as sending out at least 100 runners – did not use a single female rider.Rides for women are also skewed towards older horses, with female jockeys taking 11.2% of all rides on 14-year-olds over jumps but only 1.7% of rides on jumpers aged three, four or five. This pattern was repeated on the Flat, where 15.7% of the rides on 12-year-olds went to women but only 3.2% of rides on two-year-olds“This analysis seems to suggest there is a significant difference between the material performance of female jump jockeys and the public perception of their capability,” Cashmore said. “The betting public consistently underestimate these jockeys. This could be an indicator of negative public opinion about the ability of female riders but also ensures there is value to be found in backing horses ridden by female jockeys in Jump races.“I hope this research can move us another step closer to altering attitudes towards female jockeys and more importantly, driving behavioural change.”Three female jockeys – Bryony Frost, Lizzie Kelly and Rachael Blackmore – rode winners at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, with Blackmore adding a Grade One success on the 50-1 shot Minella Indo in the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle to her win on A Plus Tard, the 5-1 favourite for the Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase, on the opening day.As a result, 14.3% of the 28 winners over the four-day Festival were ridden by women, despite only 9.2% of the rides being taken by female jockeys.That was still higher than the proportion of rides for women in the jumps season as a whole, however, despite an upward trend since 2014. Cashmore’s study found that female jockeys took 9.5% of rides on the Flat in 2018 and 5.7% of rides over jumps. When data from the last five years is included and the trend extrapolated, it suggests that women will take the same number of rides as men in 50 years’ time on the Flat and in the early part of the next century over jumps. Horse racing Share on LinkedIn Was this helpful? The betting public is behind the times in its assessment of female jump jockeys according to a statistical analysis of 1.6m rides over the last 18 years which was released by the British Horseracing Authority on Thursday. The study also suggests that while female riders outperformed their male counterparts at the Cheltenham Festival in March, parity in the number of rides for men and women will not be achieved for another 50 years on the Flat and almost a century over jumps.Vanessa Cashmore, a PhD student at the University of Liverpool, conducted her research with support from Women In Racing and the Racing Foundation. Her analysis suggests that a National Hunt horse ridden by a female jockey at a starting price of even money has a 52% chance of success, while a 9-1 shot has the same chance of winning as a male-ridden horse starting at 8-1. Quick guide Greg Wood’s tips: Friday 28 June Support The Guardian Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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