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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Simply the best: Moore notches 100th top-flight victory on Winter

Ryan Moore: Winter gave the top jockey a landmark 100th winner
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After a Glorious Goodwood that was threatening to be remembered for its unseasonal wet weather and big-race upsets, it was left to Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien to restore some order as odds-on favourite Winter ran out a dominant winner of the Qatar Nassau Stakes.

Post-race talk inevitably focused on where Winter heads next in pursuit of a fifth Group 1 in succession, a feat that would be highly commendable, though perhaps not quite so commendable as the record of her big-race rider, for whom this latest top-level success was a landmark 100th Group/Grade 1 career victory.

For so long the leader of the pack in the weighing room, Moore's big-race net has been cast around the world, with his top-flight wins including the biggest races in Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

Perhaps understandably given they crop up so regularly, Moore was unaware he had racked up 100 worldwide victories at the highest level.

"I didn't know that," said Moore. "I've been lucky to ride plenty of good horses for good trainers over the years."

There remain Group 1s on home soil missing from the 33-year-old's CV, though a Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic are perhaps uppermost among his tick-off targets.

"You want to win the Derby most," said Moore, referring to the Epsom Classic he has won twice and still covets most. "But there are races in America I'd like to win."

Moore, who rode his first Group 1 winner for O’Brien on Beethoven in the 2009 Dewhurst Stakes and whose century includes two victories in 'local Group 1' races in Hong Kong in early 2016, was riding with increasing frequency for the Coolmore partners behind O'Brien's Ballydoyle fortress before he was officially signed to ride the "main horses" for the yard in 2015. 

Combined, the duo have fast become the dominant force in Group 1 races in Britain, Ireland and beyond, with Moore's masterful tactics in the saddle meaning few races are ever lost to bad luck.

This landmark success was a perfect example, as he went from momentarily looking short of space against the rail to heading his rivals at the furlong marker, having slipped out of harm's way faster than Houdini could pick a lock.

And only last Sunday it was Moore who had been key to Roly Poly's short-neck success in the Prix Rothschild with another brilliant ride.  

"He's an unbelievable fellow and I can't tell you how delighted I am for him,” said O'Brien, also seemingly unaware of Moore bringing up a century Christophe Soumillon had also notched only last month.

He added: "Ryan's a privilege and pleasure to work with and we can't say enough about him; we can't say how lucky we are to have him. He's an utter professional."  

Not one to add hype to his answers for the sake of it, even Moore can struggle to contain his feelings when he has ridden a good one, and there is little doubt Winter was just that.

"She's got an incredible record this year, with two Guineas and a Coronation Stakes," said Moore of a fabulous filly who is fast gaining comparisons to Minding, a seven-time Group 1 winner. "She's high class and always feels like she'll pick them up.”

High class indeed, just like her rider. 

If you are interested in this, you might like:

Wonderful Winter wows fans to secure fourth Group 1 triumph

Winter can emulate Minding and beat the boys later in the year


You want to win the Derby most but there are obviously races in America I'd like to win
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