AMONG the multi-millionaire jockeys lining up in Europe’s richest horse race on Sunday will be one who stands out among all the others.
Not for size, stature or even the horse he will ride – but purely for bank balance.
And yet despite winning a minumum of £592million throughout his career, there’s a good chance you will never have heard of him.
Meet Yutaka Take, the world’s richest jockey.
A legend in Japan, Take, 52, enjoys ‘God’ status in his homeland and has a film star wife.
His face is plastered on posters at racecourses, he’s been the ‘pin-up’ of racing for years and enjoys the same level of fame as pop stars.
He’s like the Frankie Dettori on the other side of the world – only much richer.
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And while the Racing Post estimate Take’s earnings to be more near the £650m mark, to be honest, OLBG’s figure is mind-boggling enough.
With more than 4,000 wins to his name, they reckon Take is far and away the richest jockey in the world.
By way of comparison Dettori – who owns a ‘frightening’ Ferrari and plush mansion – does not even crack the top 30, according to OLBG.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS WON
Of course part of the reason both jockeys have been able to win so much is because their careers have gone on so long.
Dettori will turn 51 in December and remains in peak physical shape, like Take.
Both have lost none of their horsemanship despite being in some cases double the age of their rivals.
And both still get picked for the big races because they deliver the goods.
Take gets the ride on Aidan O’Brien’s Broom in the Arc de Triomphe, where the winner will land £2.5million.
Pain in the Arc
TAKE’S history in the Arc de Triomphe is not without controversy.
He was slammed for the ride on White Muzzle, who came second to winner Carnegie in 1994.
According to reports some punters were put off backing him for life after seeing horse and jockey surge home – but only after being given loads to do on the straight.
In reference to Take’s ride, White Muzzle’s trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam said after the race: “When you ride a bike, you have to pedal.”
Chapple-Hyam forgave the jockey – even if punters didn’t.
He said: “Yutaka Take is a good friend of mine, we’ve had drinks together in Hong Kong and he rode for me when I was over there, and there is no doubt at all that he is a serious, serious jockey.”
Up against him will be Dettori on Love, another O’Brien horse.
Money stopped meaning much to these riders a long time ago, but even so it’s interesting to see how lucrative races in Japan are.
OLBG’s top five features four jockeys who race there, with Norohiro Yokoyama second on the list with £417m in winnings.
It is not until you get to John Valezquez, a Puerto Rican-born superstar who races in America, in fifth that you see a jockey outside of Asia.
Velazquez, according to OLBG, made £321m from his 6,258 wins at the time of the study.
CUT OF THE CASH
Mega money – but you might be wondering why these jockeys don’t crack any sports rich lists apart from their own.
Well, jockeys only keep a portion – normally around ten per cent – of the winnings.
The rest is split between the trainer and owners, with jockeys also making cash from rider fees and retainers.
It’s not all glitz and glamour though.
Jockeys know they are in for a lifetime of dieting, sweatsuits and danger in every race.
Explaining his incredible longevity, Take, who has been a jockey for more than 30 years, said: “My first thing is just enjoyment, enjoy my career being a jockey.
“I am so fortunate that I don’t have to struggle with the weight or anything. Those are two things.
“The third one would be less stress. I try not to have stress from a relationship or whatever it might be.
“I do training and conditioning almost every day. Whenever I have no races, I go to the gym.”
With commitment like that, you could say he’s been worth every penny.
Take’s earnings pass the half billion pound mark yet he does not feature in any rich lists[/caption]
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