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Short-Lived Lives Of Chennai-Based Jockeys?

By smart-still-poor-punter | 30-Apr-2019

Hi Friends,

Many of you would agree that more than anything - the owner, the trainer or even the horse concerned - it's the jockey who matters the most in a race. A rider can change the course of a race at any stage with his skilled riding efforts. Several Chennai-based jockeys have had gained a lot of experience but never hit the limelight for reasons best known to their stable owners. 

Except for a handful of jockeys like Robin Corner, late C Krishnan, K Satheesh (now a trainer in Hyderabad), J Abraham, A Imran Khan and N Rupa (now a trainer in Ooty), not many others have really made it big in their profession. Such a list is a long-running one, consisting names like M Raji, M Rajendra Singh, late R Herft, Raj Bahadur, G Ross, Milan, and Kabthar.

I am told that several of these jockeys are jobless today and are literally striving to make both ends meet. Not that these riders did not have the ability to ride in prime races but the senior jockeys always walked away with the plum, leaving the lesser known riders to do the track work alone.

Only those who were in the 'good' books of the stable managed to emerge successful while all others had to fight against their fate to make a living. Is this the main reason that not many riding boys from racing schools are not keen to take up the profession in full scale anymore?

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8 Replies

JP said ...

On : 06-05-2019 09:22 am

Due power cut my wifi was switched off and I couldn't complete my posting. I am not sure whether the Chennai based jockeys were members of JAI. If so what was the association doing in those days and of course they are doing nothing even now. Sinclair Marshall was at helm for long and he was a Madras based jockey. Few top jockeys get retainership and also grab the mounts when free. Even the trainers/ owners are at the mercy of top jockeys. Sometimes it appears the top jockeys are engaged to ride may be due to illegal book makers and to fool poor punters. For example why was Sandesh engaged to ride Adjudicate in Indian Derby and the way he rode and the Invitation result confirms it. These top jockeys get elected in the Association  since the rest simply don't have the guts to oppose them. Further the clubs have lost their credibility due to inefficient stewards/ officials and vets. For example take the case of Accolade winning the Poone Derby shifting and causing the fall of Vulcan and the winner disqualified in Kentucky Derby 2019.

JAI can do so many things for the welfare of the jockeys. They are there to stop racing at the sight of slight rain.

Robin Corner is a Bangalore based jockey and he rode for the late MAM and rode on Invitation days at Madras. 

B.Prakash rode for MAM in regular Madras season.  

JP said ...

On : 06-05-2019 06:39 am

After the SC verdict and late MAM took over the club, everything was under his iron grip. Since the races were held for namesake during that time the jockeys were getting the mount fees as applicable. Most of them were from poor background (syces sons/relatives,rider boys and their sons/relatives) and they had to choose the profession of the father and with the craze for riding would have become a jockey. 

One of the rules to apply for jockey's license is that the parent center should issue " NO OBJECTION"  certificate and this was denied or not issued by the Madras Club. That is the reason why some good talent could not ride elsewhere. Only Imran Khan could achieve because he is related to the people in  MRC . 

smart-still-poor-punter said ...

On : 02-05-2019 02:54 pm


I was not trying to disagree with you anywhere. What I wanted to convey here is that many jockeys, even after having ridden for the most powerful stable in Chennai for several years, don't lead a comfortable life. I had myself spoken to a few during '90s. That they have to run a strict diet and report for track work as early as at 4.30 and 5 am made life quite miserable for them. For all the hardship they underwent, I don't think they were paid well. As all of us know, only in recent years things are coming to shape in Madras Race Club. Till such time no one can say with conviction what was happening inside and whether the riders were getting paid as per norms. This is may basic doubt. Hope you got it.

Ashok kumar said ...

On : 02-05-2019 01:51 pm

The race club  has to make some  arrangements  to the jockeys  owners and trainers 

Deduct  some amount  for their feature  and give some pension so that their  life will  b normal

Depending  on racing  it is very difficult  to  survive

Its my suggestion


S C SHARMA said ...

On : 01-05-2019 10:19 pm

This is a Undisputed fact that late jockey B Prakash paid the best and looked after the best by his late boss MAM . But later before becoming trainer he not maintained  good relation with late MAM. What went wrong I don't know and can't explain where he invested and lost his earnings.? As you stated that he became trainer when he was not financially sound. It is not cakewalk for new trainers to survive until they have good string of horses and deliver good and expected results to their owners. B Prakash having average string of horses and not delivered good results to the owners resulting premature and unexpected end of his career. Like anyother business all trainers are not very successful and number of them incurr heavy losses and retire prematurely. It is upto you how you plan when you are on  top and save for your worst/ bad time. Time will not remain same always for anyone. But to my main point about  good payments and facilities to jockeys particularly in present  days is not wrong and I placed facts and narrated reality which you may disagree as your right to agree or disagree I have no problem/ comments.

smart-still-poor-punter said ...

On : 01-05-2019 10:16 am



     With due respects, I would like to know then how and why one of the best jockeys of India, B Prakash was reported to be in penury when he breathed his last? He had won more number of classics than many other riders in India and, going by your word, if he had been paid for all the winning and placed mounts, plus all the other facilities that you have stated, he must have lived a royal life after retirement. I am told that he was forced to take on to training as he was in very deep financial troubles. Also, he never developed drinking or gambling habits?

S C SHARMA said ...

On : 01-05-2019 06:07 am

The days of striving for jockeys gone. Now a days they are getting good facilities including riding boys are well paid. The mount fee of jockeys increased many fold. They are getting other good facilities such as medical, provident fund and quarter for staying. Apart from share in placed horses number of benovelent funds created for them, so after retirement they can make use these funds to carry on their rest of the life with peace and happiness.if some jockeys made their life miserable than they themselves to be blamed for going on wrong paths and indulging themselves fully with drinking and gambling. Otherwise those who planned well, doing well and happy even after retirement. The present days payments are far better than the earlier ones.

Stryker said ...

On : 30-04-2019 07:11 pm

Not only this sir the jockey who win the 1st night race of India

He is begging n living 

Believe it...