Which jockey has won the 2,000 Guineas most often?
The career of jockey James Robinson, popularly known as ‘Jem’, effectively came to an end when, in 1852, at the age of 59, he was thrown from a fractious two-year-old colt, by the name of Feramorz, at Newmarket and sustained a broken thigh bone in the fall. The bone was not set properly, leaving his left leg several inches shorter than his right and forcing him into retirement.
Nevertheless, Robinson enjoyed a stellar riding career, winning a total of 24 British Classics, including the Derby six times, between 1817 and 1836, and the 2,000 Guineas nine times, between 1825 and 1848. His Derby record lasted until the latter part of the twentieth century, when surpassed by the legendary Lester Piggott – who would eventually ride nine Derby winners in all – aboard Empery in 1976.
Even more remarkably, though, nearly a century-and-a-half after his death, in 1873, Robinson remains the leading jockey in the history of the 2,000 Guineas. For the record, his nine winners of the Newmarket Classic were, in chronological order, Enamel (1825), Cadland (1828), Riddlesworth (1831), Clearwell (1833), Glencoe (1834), Ibrahim (1835), Bay Middleton (1836), Conyngham (1847) and Flatcatcher (1848). Of jockeys still riding, Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori, 50, has three 2,000 Guineas winners to his name, while Ryan Moore, 37, has two, so Robinson’s record looks safe for a while yet.