New format for TAB jumps jockey market Fri, 21 Apr 2017

Dennis Ryan
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The TAB has revived its annual Top Jumps Jockey fixed odds market, but with significant changes after the big hit it took last year from Shaun Fannin’s domination.

Until last year the market was based upon individual wins, something that left the TAB vulnerable from the opening weeks of the 2016 jumps season after Fannin had been disregarded by the odds-setters at an opening quote of $50.

As the 20-year-old’s star rose, so his price was rapidly sliced until he was odds-on and the TAB paid out his backers weeks before the end of the season.

Obviously not wanting a repeat at the same time as wanting to attract punters, the TAB has come up with a different formula this year with graded points for wins and placings.

A jockey winning a maiden, novice or 0-1 win hurdle or steeplechase earns 3 points, with 2 for second and 1 for third. In open and restricted open races the points allocation is 4-2-1, with the exception of 22 designated Significant or Premier races which carry points of 8-4-2.

Fannin is unsurprisingly the short-priced favourite on the 2017 market at an opening quote of $1.90, with Aaron Kuru and Charlie Studd the only others at single figures – $5.50 and $9.50 respectively.

Fannin earned two points on the opening day of the 2017 jumps season at Riverton on Monday, when most points were earned by Waikato-based newcomer Hamish McNeill (5) and North Canterbury journeyman Alan Browne (3).

Michael Mitchell and Mathew Gillies are two notable absentees from this year’s jumps scene, Mitchell having decided to spend the year competing in North America and Gillies sidelined with major knee surgery.

One name surprisingly missing from the list of 22 on the fixed odds market is Melbourne-based Richard Cully, who would be favoured by the points system given his regular participation in feature jumps races on the local scene.

The jumps season continues at Riverton on May 3, followed by Te Rapa on May 6 and Hastings on May 11.

For a full overview of the opening market and the list of major jumps races, refer to https://www.tab.co.nz/information/#news/2017-04-17/top-jumps-jockey-for-2017.