Magic Of Moore

He has now won 21 Group Ones in eight different countries

Legatissimo wins the 1000 Guineas under Ryan Moore

Legatissimo wins the 1000 Guineas under Ryan Moore

No jockey or trainer has ever won all five British Classics in the same season but Ryan Moore is two-fifths of the way towards that unique achievement after the victory of Legatissimo in the 1,000 Guineas on Sunday.

The blue and orange silks of Michael Tabor, part of the Coolmore syndicate, likewise completed the Guineas double after their success on Gleneagles in Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas but there was a new name on the trainer’s roll of honour as David Wachman recorded his first Classic success in Britain.

The shortlist of riders who won four of the Classics in one year includes several of the greatest names in racing history: Sir Gordon Richards, Lester Piggott, Steve Cauthen. If Moore does not already deserve to be mentioned in the same breath – and there is an increasingly strong argument that he does – then it seems to be only a matter of time.

Ryan Moore holds the Cox Plate aloft

Ryan Moore holds the Cox Plate aloft

Classics and Group Ones are what matter to Moore, whose record at the top level both in Britain and around the world over the last few seasons is extraordinary. The increasingly international nature of Flat racing means that opportunities exist for modern jockeys that were simply not there for riders like Piggott but Moore has seized the chance to establish himself as the best big-race rider in the world.

In less than a month last autumn Moore won Group One races in France, Canada and Australia, including his first Melbourne Cup. In the last 18 months he has now won 21 Group Ones in eight different countries. He is often on the best horse but in the blur of a race that is only half the battle. He has a gift for getting them home that makes him the most sought-after jockey in the business.

Time and again major races seem to unfold ideally for whichever horse happens to have Moore holding the reins. It happens too frequently to be coincidence and is testament to his diligence in studying the form and running styles not just of his own rides but of all his opponents.

It happened again here as Moore came through the field on Legatissimo having settled his mount well off the pace as Tiggy Wiggy and Redstart cut out the running. Lucida, the favourite, jinked sharply to her right at the start but made up the lost ground and moved towards the centre of the track before hitting the front two furlongs out. Legatissimo, meanwhile, had only one horse behind her three furlongs out but found some space as the leaders opened up a little at the cutaway just over a quarter of a mile from the line.

2014 Qipco Champion Stakes - The Grey Gatsby & Ryan Moore

2014 Qipco Champion Stakes – The Grey Gatsby & Ryan Moore

Legatissimo still had two lengths to find with the leader at the furlong pole but she was staying on strongly and picked off Lucida half a dozen strides from the line as Tiggy Wiggy kept on for third.

“They usually start to come back a bit at the Dip when they’ve gone fast, so I was just trying to find the right gap and she really picked up well,” Moore said. “Once I put her into gear she was always going to get there. She’s a really tough, hard filly.”

Moore also has the priceless ability to find his way on to the right horse and was booked for Wachman’s runner only when Found, a stablemate of Gleneagles at the Aidan O’Brien stable, was ruled out on Friday morning.

“Luckily I got two good rides [in the Newmarket Classics],” Moore said. “I was a bit gutted when Found [the ante-post favourite and Moore’s expected ride until a few days ago] wasn’t running but I got a good feeling from Legatissimo and everything worked out well.”

Ryan Moore after the 2014 QIPCO Champion Stakes

Ryan Moore after the 2014 QIPCO Champion Stakes

Legatissimo is now the 5-1 joint-favourite for the Oaks alongside Found, who runs at The Curragh on Monday, which suggests that, however the Coolmore partners shuffle their pack for the Epsom Classic, Moore will be riding the favourite. Despite her strong staying performance here, though, Wachman did not seem convinced that the Oaks will be the next stop for Legatissimo.

“She’s a nice filly who’s had a bit of an unorthodox preparation with [this being] three runs in three weeks, but it’s worked,” Wachman said. “She’ll step up to a mile and a quarter next and maybe a mile and a half. The Oaks is a possibility. She’s in everything but maybe a mile and a quarter might be the magic number.

“We’ll see. They have a lot of fillies at Ballydoyle. She’s won her Group One now so maybe something else has to go and do it.”

www.theguardian.com

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