James McDonald cleaned up in the votes for top jockey of 2020 from the National Racing Newsroom team. Picture: NCA Newswire

Top 10 jockeys of 2020: Old guard still a major force

28th December 2020

Following on from the 10-to-1 countdown of the Top Australian Horses of 2020, the National Racing Newsroom team have cast their votes for the top Australian jockeys in Part 2 of the 10-to-1 current stars of Australian Racing.

There are obviously a few who narrowly missed out, including the Melbourne Cup winner Jye McNeil, but all the same we are confident we’ve pretty much nailed the top saddle sitters in the land.

The Top 10 trainers of 2020.

Showed the consistency and also the flair which has made him a top-level rider for many years. Didn’t strike a Group 1 win during the Sydney autumn but made up for it in spring with triumphs on Ole Kirk (Golden Rose) and Kolding (George Main Stakes). Bravely spoke out about his battle with depression, in an inspiration to other jockeys.
TOP HORSES: Ole Kirk, Kolding

Went to the next level in 2020 and, deep in December, was sitting on top of the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership race heading into the New Year. Picked up her third career Group 1 win when taking out the Toorak Handicap on Mr Quickie. Another highlight was her first Melbourne Cup ride, finishing third on popular UK traveller Prince Of Arran.
TOP HORSES: Mr Quickie, Prince Of Arran, Miami Bound

Right back at the top of his game in 2020, and well and truly back in business after his stint in Hong Kong. Picked up three Group 1 wins on Mirage Dancer (The Metropolitan), Dreamforce (George Ryder Stakes) and The Bostonian (Canterbury Stakes). Tough rider who never gives an inch in a contest, Rawiller finished 2020 riding back where it all began for him in Victoria.
TOP HORSES: Mirage Dancer, The Bostonian, Dreamforce

If there was ever any doubt whether ‘The Wizard from the West’ could mix it with the big name hoops in the main racing states, it was well and truly dispelled in 2020. Scored the biggest payday of his career when winning the All-Star Mile on Regal Power then returned for a hugely successful Melbourne spring where he scored his first Group 1s in Victoria with Ole Kirk and Arcadia Queen on a day when he won four races on one of the biggest cards in racing. Soon after went home to WA and won the Group 1 Railway Stakes aboard Inspirational Girl.
TOP HORSES: Arcadia Queen, Ole Kirk, Regal Power, Inspirational Girl

Was probably always going to be hard to replicate the exhilarating high of his 2019 Melbourne Cup success, but ‘Willo’ enjoyed another standout year winning five Group 1s in 2020 as well as capturing another Melbourne riding premiership. Dazzling display when bolting in on Chris Waller filly September Run in the Coolmore was one of the major highlights.
TOP HORSES: Behemoth, September Run, Castelvecchio, Loving Gaby

No Winx, no worries for Bowman. Reeled off another four Group 1 wins in 2020 and continued to be a go-to jockey for Sydney’s most powerful stables. Enjoyed extraordinary success with two-year-olds in the Sydney autumn, winning all three majors with the Golden Slipper on Farnan followed by the ATC Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes on King’s Legacy.
TOP HORSES: King’s Legacy, Farnan, Montefilia

Is there any better big-race jockey in the land than Glen Boss? 2020 showed yet again that when there’s a big race to be won, it’s Boss you want on board. Added another five Group 1 wins to his glittering resume and his exuberant celebrations when crossing the line on Sir Dragonet in the Cox Plate will be the stuff of highlight reels for years to come. Won a pair of Group 1s on Bivouac, a Godolphin galloper who could now have the world at his feet, plus he won the ATC Australian Oaks on Colette and the Sydney Cup on Etah James.
TOP HORSES: Sir Dragonet, Bivouac, Colette

Is there any danger he could give someone else a go in The Everest? McEvoy claimed his third victory in four years in the $15m race when saluting on Classique Legend and he clearly ‘owns’ the race. When you win a rich race like The Everest (again), anything else is a bonus but he also collected a Group 1 win on Kiwi Probabeel in the Epsom Handicap.
TOP HORSES: Classique Legend, Probabeel

Like a fine wine, Ollie almost seems to be getting better with age. Oliver’s loud urgings were a regular feature in the finishes of big races and collected another three Group 1s for his trophy cabinet in 2020. Stuck with Lindsay Park filly Personal through thick and thin and she delivered winning the VRC Oaks. Got the biscuits on Russian Camelot in the Underwood Stakes and snared an expected win at the elite level with Shout The Bar in the Empire Rose Stakes.
TOP HORSES: Russian Camelot, Personal, Shout The Bar

The golden boy of Australian racing enjoyed another bright and shiny year in 2020. Was the standout rider in Sydney and grabbed a trio of Group 1s, two of which came on Chris Waller’s star mare Verry Elleegant as well as clearing out with another Sydney jockeys premiership. Nature Strip had some up and down moments but was on his best behaviour for McDonald when blitzing his rivals in the TJ Smith Stakes in the autumn.
TOP HORSES: Very Elleegant, Nature Strip

– National Racing Newsroom, racenet.com.au