What does it mean when a jockey claims weight?

When looking at horse race, you’ll often take a look at the weight a horse has to carry as it can make a big difference to your selections. But, sometimes, when an inexperienced jockey is on board, you will hear people talk about him claiming a certain amount of weight. So, what does this actually mean?

Well, basically, as the jockey is inexperienced, he theroretically won’t have as good a chance of winning a race as an experienced jockey. For that reason, an allowance is given when these amateurs race against professions.

The allowances range from 7lb to 3lb depending on how many winners the jockey has had in the past. An apprentice jockey on the flat can be between the age of 16 to 25, whereas a conditional jockey over the jumps cannot be older than 26.

There is a table for rider’s allowances so you can fully understand it:

Apprentice Jockey Allowances (Flat Racing):

7lb until they have won 20 races;

5lb until they have won 50 races;

3lb until they have won 95 races.

Conditional Jockey Allowances (National Hunt Racing):

7lb until they have won 20 races;

5lb until they have won 40 races;

3lb until they have won 75 races

A Conditional can claim an additional 3lb when riding for their employing Trainer in certain races, if they have ridden less than 5 winners.

So, make sure you’re always checking the weights and if a good apprentice jockey is claiming any weight from the rest of the field, it may make a big difference!

Amateur Jockey Allowances:

Amateurs v professionals:

Claim 7 lbs up to 20 wins

Claim 5 lbs up to 40 wins

Claim 3 lbs up to 75 wins

Amateurs v amateurs (including Hunterchases):

Claim 7 lbs up to 5 wins

Claim 5 lbs up to 10 wins

Claim 3 lbs up to 20 wins