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Ryan Moore

Ryan Moore: rider's luck ran out at Tokyo on Sunday

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Moore third behind Purton in jockeys' battle

Japan: Two wins from four races over two days secured Hong Kong-based Zac Purton a prize equivalent to £25,000 in the international jockeys' challenge at Tokyo racecourse on Sunday, when the luck of the draw for mounts ran out at the critical moment for Ryan Moore.

Nine of the 15 jockeys were theoretically in with a chance of winning going into the last event, with Moore in a strong position, on points at least, after he moved to a share of the lead with local rider Suguru Hamanaka in the third leg.

Moore might have taken over at the top of the table in his own right had his mount Kosei Kotari shown as much determination as his rider.

Having challenged Hamanaka's mount American Winner - an American-bred son of Bernardini raised by the Epsom-based Woodcote Stud - for the lead 200m out, the hooded Kosei Kotari promptly curled up and was beaten two lengths, although he still gave Moore valuable points by holding on by half a length from the fast-finishing slow-starter Louise (Yoshimoto Shibata).

However, when push came to shove in the deciding race, Moore, who had claimed second spot in three races on the Japan Cup under card, could get no closer than tenth on rank outsider Meisho Jimmu as Purton rallied Satono Panther close home to win by a neck.

Hamanaka's seventh placing was enough to edge Moore into the bronze medal position.

Moore and William Buick, who failed to build on his promising first-day effort, finishing last and 13th of 15 on Sunday, will be back in harness together as Britain's representatives in a similar event in Hong Kong next month.

Leading positions:
1 Zac Purton 52 points, 2 Suguru Hamanaka 40, 3 Ryan Moore 37, 4 Masayoshi Ebina 30, 5 Craig Williams 29, 6 Isao Yamaguchi, Yoshitomi Shibata 27

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