The best horse racing jockeys can earn a lot of money during their career, especially if they rack up lots of wins in the world’s major races.
Which of them has put together the biggest fortune over the years?
Frankie Dettori – $18 Million
The Italian-born jockey has a hugely impressive list of wins stretching back to his early days when he rode 100 winners as a teenager in 1990. Since then, he has collected prize money from just about all of the major races in the UK and France, as well as in several other countries with a strong horse racing culture.
Dettori spent most of the peak of his career riding winners for the Godolphin Racing stable, and arguably his finest moment came in 1996, when he rode every single winner in the seven races held on British Champions’ Day at Ascot.
He has appeared in TV adverts and Celebrity Big Brother, as well as lending his name to video games and running restaurants. Thanks to all of this hard work and effort, he has a net worth that is thought to be as high as $18 million or so.
Yutaka Kate – $800 Million
He isn’t particularly well-known outside of his home country, but Yutaka Kate is a horse racing legend in Japan. His career began in 1987 and he smashed many Japanese records over the following decades as he rode to win after win.
Kate’s glorious career also saw him rack up big-money wins in France, Dubai, Hong Kong, and other top racing destinations. Some of his biggest victories include Japanese Derby Grand Prix and Dirt Cup, as well as the Dubai Sheema Classic.
It isn’t clear exactly how much he has picked up from his career as a jockey, as we need to add a massive amount of endorsements to his prize winnings, but some estimates suggest that he could be worth over $800 million.
Javier Castellano – $400 Million
Castellano and John Velazquez are probably the two richest jockeys on the American circuit. Castellano was born in Venezuela and moved to the US in 1997, to further his career. Since then, he had carved out a hugely successful and lucrative career. He started really picking up big prize money from the mid-2000s onwards, with Ghostzapper being a particularly profitable horse for him.
Castellano was top of the winnings list for American jockeys for several years and boosted his bank balance with wins in the Preakness Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the Travers Stakes. If we visit website to look at Kentucky Derby winners, we can see that this prestigious trophy has eluded him so far.
Online estimates of his current net wealth suggest that he could have a fortune of $400 million or more. In 2013 alone he won over $26 million, which was a record at the time, and has broken that record again and again since then.
Christophe Lemaire – $280 Million
While the jockeys we have looked at so far have earned fortunes racing in America, the UK, and Japan, the French horse racing circuit has also produced some highly successful jockeys.
In the case of Christophe Lemaire, he has made most of his money from racing outside of France, with many of his major victories coming in Japan. He has also led his horses to first place in countries like the UK, Australia, and the UAE. His wins include the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas in the UK as well as the Hong Kong Cup and Japan Cup.
The size of his bank balance is thought to be at least $280 million, with most of this money coming from the Japanese racing world, where he has spent a few years as the jockey with the biggest earnings and with no sign of him stopping anytime soon.