The best brothers in British racing

Features | 24th May 2017

The phrase ‘it runs in the family’ is truly appropriate when it comes to horse racing as both the past and the present is littered with brotherly combinations competing for some of the most coveted prizes in the sport.

Many of these brothers have been in direct competition with each other, fighting for the same titles and often riding out a finish in the same races.

Today we walk through a few of the brothers in racing’s present that have risen to the very top.

Jamie, Ryan and Joshua Moore

Jamie (left), Ryan (middle) and Joshua (right)

Jamie and Joshua are both jump jockeys with Ryan plying his trade on the Flat.

The three brothers are highly competitive but it’s hard to argue against Ryan being the top jockey in the family. Outside of the family rivalry, many in the racing world regard Ryan as the planet’s leading jockey on the Flat, he has recorded a staggering 90 Group Ones worldwide (at the time of writing).

Joshua and Jamie do race each other regularly in many of the top Jumps races around the UK which adds that extra little spice to things.

Harry and Dan Skelton

Harry (left) and Dan (right)

These two Jumps circuit regulars are sons of the legendary equestrian rider, Nick Skelton who claimed Gold in the Rio 2016 Olympics after a 44 year wait!

Dan has made a very fast start as a trainer since departing then Champion trainer Paul Nicholls’ yard as assistant trainer in 2011. Dan is in his early 30s but he has already notched up over 472 wins, including 29 graded / listed winners as well as having a highly impressive season in 2017 / 2018 notching up 150 winners.

Meanwhile Harry’s career in the saddle is going from strength-to-strength. As the number one jockey for Dan, Harry recorded well over a century of winners in the 2017/18 season.

In 2009 Harry also became the youngest jockey to ever win the Irish Grand National on Niche Market at the age of just 19.

Richard and Michael Hills

Richard (left), father Barry (middle) and Michael (right)

The twin brothers have been huge figures in Flat racing for over 30 years with both retiring in 2012.

Michael was stable jockey to their successful father Barry for many years; wracking up over 2,000 winners in the process. His greatest moment in the saddle came in 1996 when landed his only Classic win aboard Shaamit in the Epsom Derby.

While Richard never managed to win the Epsom Derby, he definitely holds the aces over Michael when it comes to overall Classic winners. During his lengthy spell as retained rider to the powerful Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, he managed to win a total of five classics in the famous Blue and White silks (see pictured).

Michael reflected on his and Richard’s retirement, “it’s an end of an era. It’s very sad but all good things must come to an end!”

Willy and Sam Twiston Davies

Willy (left) and Sam (right)

Racing is a big thing in the Twiston-Davies household, father Nigel is a hugely successful trainer who has won the Grand National twice and mum Cathy is a former amateur jockey.

There wasn’t a lot of choice for Sam and Willie as they were put atop a horse at just three-years-old. Both grew up loving racing and have been successful young jockeys, older brother Sam hit a century of winners in the 2017 / 2018 Stobart Jump Jockey Championship.

Willie had success in both Flat to Jump racing, and he is the only jockey to have ever ridden a winner at Royal Ascot, Champions Day, Cheltenham and over the Grand National fences (when 16 years-old in the Aintree Foxhunters’ Chase!) Willie has recently retired with a view to starting a career in the bloodstock world.