Ryan Moore: rides four for Aidan O'Brien on SundayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Moore to take greater role at Ballydoyle
RYAN MOORE is set to take a significantly increased role at Ballydoyle riding for Aidan O'Brien after the trainer's son and stable jockey Joseph was unable to get to the correct riding weight for the start of Ireland's season.
Speculation had been mounting all day that Moore would be named as number one jockey to the world famous stable after he was booked to ride four of the trainer's runners at the Curragh on Sunday.
In a surprise move O'Brien junior will divert to Limerick's jumps cards on which he will have a first ride over hurdles after he said he was "a little heavy".
The two-time champion jockey in Ireland insisted he would soon be back riding on the Flat once his weight stabilises.
Moore, who rode Ruler Of The World to win the 2013 Investec Derby for O'Brien, rides the first string horses for the trainer on Sunday, while O'Brien junior takes the mount on Egyptian Warrior for his father in Limerick's Family Fun Day Rated Novice Hurdle.
But O'Brien will not have too much time to reflect on his first-ever jumps ride as, once his JP McManus-owned mount has run he will be quickly on his way to the Curragh where he will be an integral part of a post-race schooling session as Qipco 2,000 Guineas favourite Gleneagles, trained by his father, will be put through his paces.
"I'm just a little heavy at the minute but I'll be back riding on the Flat very soon," O'Brien told the Racing Post. "I'll be heading straight to the Curragh after Limerick for the gallops."
O'Brien had four rides on the same Curragh card last year and he got down to as low as 9st 5lb for two of them.
Twelve months on and Moore - fresh off the plane from Dubai after a busy book of World Cup night rides - will fill his shoes at the Curragh, with the British-based rider coming in for four rides including Easter (8st 9lb) in the Group 3 Park Express Stakes.
In an interview in the Racing Post on Tuesday, O'Brien admitted he was heavier now than he was at this stage last year and did not dismiss the idea of riding over jumps.
He said: "I'm probably a fraction heavier than I have been, I'm hanging in there and we'll see what happens over the next while. It should be stabilising now and we'll take it as it comes.
"It's always been the way with me - I can't ride forever but for as long as I can and I've approached every year like that. I don't think I can look to the long term."
He added: "I will definitely ride over jumps too, but whether I see myself as a jump jockey or not is another question."
The 21-year-old applied to the Turf Club and received his jumps licence in March 2013 with a view to riding in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
Looking forward to O'Brien's first jumps ride, Frank Berry, JP McManus's racing manager, said yesterday: "He has loads of experience and I wouldn't say it will be any problem to him.
"We weren't completely sure the horse was going to run earlier in the week so I suppose I only knew for sure today that Joseph was going to ride him. He's obviously a very talented rider and it should come naturally to him."