Grand National Jockeys

Grand National Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen

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The Grand National jockey Sam Waley-Cohen has horse racing in his blood and his talents in the saddle have been obvious for all to see since a very early age. The Englishman, born in April 1982, has ridden a fair share of winners during his career but will be remembered for bursting onto the scene when riding Liberthine to a surprise fifth place finish in the 2007 Grand National. That mare was owned by one Robert Waley-Cohen, his father.


From humble beginnings to Sam Waley-Cohen Grand National jockey. His early success served as a sign of things to come for Sam Waley-Cohen and he went on to win races of real note in the UK and further afield. The jockey made headlines when landing the King George VI Chase, which had been delayed until early 2011, steering Long Run to success on that occasion.

That proved to be a winning team and the pair, Waley-Cohen and his Long Run, another of his father’s talented string, progressed to add the Cheltenham Gold Cup later that year, becoming the first amateur ride in three decades to lift the world-famous trophy at Prestbury Park. The reason that result will be remembered for many years to come is because it upset a lot of Grand National punters, not to mention connections of the great Kauto Star who was denied another historic win that day.

Grand National Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen

It may have come as a surprise to most backers but the Grand National jockey Sam Waley-Cohen riding winners at the very best meetings didn’t cause any kind of stir in the industry, or indeed to those who knew him best. He came from a long line of high achievers and was determined from the offset to prove his worth.

It is in the Grand National where Sam Waley-Cohen really seems to come on to his best game, however. A hugely successful 2011 also saw him finish second in the Aintree showpiece on Oscar

Time and his CV shows no less than a half dozen wins around the Grand National circuit. There will be no great surprise to learn that effort makes him the most successful course rider in generations and there’s thought to be more to come for the celebrated Grand National jockey.

Sam Waley-Cohen was last seen performing in the Aintree Grand National back in 2017 when failing to finish on The Young Master who was sent off a 20/1 shot that day. They came down at the sixth which is Becher’s Brook.


Sam Waley-Cohen is, indeed, a very interesting individual, both in the sport of horse racing and beyond. Here are a few things you may not have already known about the rider…

  • Sam Waley-Cohen Grand National rider was nominated for Spears young entrepreneur of the year 2011 on the back of a list of successful business ventures.
  • He is the grandson of the Lord Mayor of London Sir Bernard Waley-Cohen.
  • Waley-Cohen is an amateur jockey and was the first in 30 years to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.


Sam Waley-Cohen’s stats for the 2019 year at the time of writing show he has won twice from nine outings. He also finished runner-up on another two occasions and was fourth once. His total earnings during that time stand at £29,993.

His first win of the year came back in May when getting off the mark on Wonderful Charm over 3m 3f in a competitive Foxhunters Champion Hunters Chase around Stratford.

His only other success on the calendar so far came when sitting in the saddle of Igor for trainer Nicky Henderson. It proved to be a shrewd booking with the pair sent off with a 5/1 SP attached but beating off interest from a decent field, finishing well ahead of runner-up Papa Tango Charly. This Grand National jockey will aim for further success this National Hunt season, ahead of the 2020 renewal at Aintree.

  • Igor – 22 November 2019 – 1.30pm Ascot
  • Wonderful Charm – 31 May 2019 – 7.50pm Stratford

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