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Last Updated: Friday, 13 April 2007, 20:49 GMT 21:49 UK
Grand National 'winner' revealed
jockey face
Researchers say the composite face resembles Mick Fitzgerald
Scientist have unveiled what they believe could be the face of this year's winning Grand National jockey.

University of Aberdeen psychologists analyzed the faces of 25 previous winning jockeys to discover what attributes they shared.

A composite image of what this year's winner could look like was then created to help punters beat the bookies.

They say the outcome looks exactly like jockey Mick Fitzgerald, who will ride 33-1 shot Kelami in Saturday's race.

The project was led by Lisa DeBruine of the university's Face Research Lab, who said the winners always shared similar attributes of masculinity, competitiveness and dominance.

She also found winning jockeys are more likely to have a low brow and larger jaw than their less successful colleagues, and are generally more mature looking.

'Bit ugly'

Ms DeBruine said: "This research certainly follows suit to similar experiments that find that testosterone in men is associated with athletic performance.

"It seems that if someone wants to pick the winner of the Grand National then they need to find a jockey that is masculine, competitive, dominant and unfortunately, a bit ugly.

"Mick Fitzgerald was the jockey that best matched the composite image so it looks like my money will be going on Kelami."

The Face Research Lab has previously used its sophisticated computer graphics equipment to study what makes a face attractive, and whether people prefer faces that are similar to their parents.

Ms DeBruine asked 158 people which of the jockeys riding in this year's race the composite image most resembled.


Mr Fitzgerald, 36, who famously said winning the 1996 race on Rough Quest was "better than sex" in his post-race BBC interview, was the most popular, followed by Davy Russell.

He said last year he was likely to retire at the end of this season, supporting Ms DeBruine's assertion that older jockeys are more likely to be successful.

Damian Walker, of Totesport bookmakers, who commissioned the research, said: "I think that the picture is the double of Andrew Thornton and I will be having a word with the odds compilers to trim his mount, Simon, a couple of points."

Jockey Fitzgerald set to retire
19 Sep 06 |  Horse Racing


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