Billy Loughnane - A Star In The Making?

Features | 27th June 2024

At just 18 years old, Billy Loughnane rode his first Royal Ascot winner at the 2024 festival. With such huge success at such a young age, are we looking at the next superstar in British racing?

Jockey Profile

Name: Billy Loughnane 

Age: 18 

Career Highlights: Becoming Champion Apprentice Jockey in 2023, his first season riding. 

Interesting facts: Rode over 100 winners in his first year as a jockey. 

Billy is the current holder of the Apprentice Jockey Champion 2023 title, and last week achieved two wins at Royal Ascot, the biggest stage in the sport and horse racing’s equivalent of the Olympics, as many other teens his age have just sat their A levels. 

In only the second year of his career he has achieved more than 200 wins, and over £1 million in prize money. 

How Did Billy's Career In Racing Begin?

Known as ‘Billy the Kid’, his racing journey started on a rocking horse, then Shetland ponies, and since then he hasn’t looked back. 

Utilising his knowledge and passion, Billy used to study the form for trainer and father Mark Loughnane’s runners even before he was riding. Having initially trained with success in Ireland, his father has been based in Britain since 2011 and it wasn’t uncommon to see Billy and his younger brother Jack by his side on the racecourse in the earlier days. 

A Superstar In The Making?

 His achievements in such a short time are rare and he looks poised to emulate greats Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore, both champion apprentices. He had a stellar season in 2023, achieving 100 winners by October, which was the first year of his career. His 100th winner came just nine days after riding out his 95 wins claim (this enables you to become a professional jockey). Billy was also part of Racing League 2023 for the Irish team, who won the league overall with over 800 points achieved by the team.

Having a great season so far, Billy has already celebrated four wins this month and continues to pick up a number of great rides.

The Irish Team celebrating after winning the Racing League 2023