Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Ryan Moore

Ryan Moore
Born on the 18th September 1983, Ryan Moore is an active flat racing jockey from Brighton that to date, has won the champion jockey title three times, as well claiming many other British classics. They include two Epsom Derby triumphs, two Epsom Oaks wins, two Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes and the St Leger Stakes in 2017.

Right now, he is the primary jockey for the stable of Aidan O’Brien and Ballydoyle, which means that the majority of his rides are on horses from the Coolmore Stud.

In the Blood

Ryan Moore’s involvement with horse racing comes as no surprise, as many of his family have been connected to the sport over the years in a number of different capacities. His father, Gary L Moore is a successful trainer and he has two jockey brothers, Jamie and Joshua, as well as his sister Hayley Moore who is a leading light in amateur racing.

He even has an Aunty Candy who plies her trade as a professional jockey, so you could say that he belongs to a racing mad family.

Early Start

Having showed an interest in racing as four year old, Ryan joined a local pony club and after finding the experience a bit too ‘tame’ for his liking, he progressed to competitive racing at the age of 12. He joined the big time at the age of 20, becoming part of the Richard Hannon stable, for who he was still riding as late as 2013.

The first major race won by Ryan Moore was the 2002 Cesarewitch Handicap, which he claimed in the saddle of Miss Fara and whilst he wasn’t exactly lighting the flat racing world on fire, he would still become a Champion Apprentice in 2003.

In the years since, the jockey has ridden winners for St Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien and at the age of just 34, he still has many years ahead of him and no one would bet against him becoming flat racing champion again soon.

Time will tell just how iconic this jockey can be and where it places him in the pantheon of the sport’s greats.

Friday, 22 April 2022


Nowadays, Galileo, by Sadler’s Wells out of Urban Sea, is best known as a champion sire. Indeed, in 2017, he was named leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland for the ninth time in ten years, with 12 Group 1 winners, including Classic winners Churchill and Winter, and just under £12 million in prize money. Since 2012, he has stood exclusively at Coolmore Stud, Co. Tipperary, for a “private” fee, which is reputed to be in excess of €400,000.

In a racing career lasting exactly a year and a day, Galileo won six of his eight races, including the Derby, the Irish Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in 2001, and earned over £1.6 million in prize money. He raced just once as a juvenile, winning his maiden, over a mile, at Leopardstown, by 14 lengths from subsequent winner Taraza. He reappeared in the Listed Ballysax Stakes, over 1 mile 2 furlongs, at the Co. Dublin course the following April when, at odds of 1/3, he made short work of stable companion – and future St. Leger winner – Milan, winning easily by 3½ lengths. He stepped up in class for the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial over the same course and distance less than a month later but, although he had to work a little harder for victory, he stayed on strongly to beat Exaltation by 1½ lengths.

As an unbeaten colt with a top pedigree, owned by Mrs John Magnier and Michael Tabor and trained by Aidan O’Brien, it was really no surprise that Galileo started joint favourite, at 11/4, for the Derby at Epsom. His main market rival, Golan, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was also unbeaten and already a Classic winner, having beaten Tamburlaine in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket the previous month. Nevertheless, it was Galileo who prevailed, leading inside the final quarter of a mile and drawing clear for an impressive 3½-length win over Golan, with Tobougg a never-nearer third, beaten a further neck. Galileo earned a Timeform rating of 132, making him one of the best Derby winners since the turn of the century, alongside Authorized and Workforce.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Eclipse Stakes

Named after Eclipse, an undefeated champion thoroughbred of the eighteenth century, the Eclipse Stakes has been sponsored by bookmaker Coral since 1976, making it the longest-running Pattern race in Britain. Inaugurated in 1886, the Coral-Eclipse, as the race is popularly known nowadays, is run over an advertised distance of 1 mile 2 furlongs, or 1 mile, 1 furlong and 209 yards to be exact, at Sandown Park in early July each year. The Coral-Eclipse is open to horses aged three years and upwards and, as such, offers the first chance for the so-called 'Classic' generation to race against their elders at the highest, Group 1 level.

Several horses have won the Coral-Eclipse twice, the most recent of them being Halling, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, who recorded back-to-back victories in 1995 and 1996. Lester Piggott remains the leading jockey in the history of the race, with seven wins between 1951 and 1957. Early twentieth century trainer Alec Taylor, Jr. and Sir Michael Stoute are jointly the leading trainers, with six wins apiece.

In recent seasons, the Coral-Eclipse has been won by such luminaries of the sport as Sea The Stars (2009), Golden Horn (2015), Enable (2019) and Ghaiyyath (2020). It is no coincidence that all four of the aforementioned quartet were named Cartier Horse of the Year in their respective years. Indeed, the Coral-Eclipse has always attracted the crème de la crème of middle-distance talent. The roll of honour includes Ballymoss, Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard, Dancing Brave and Nashwan, to name but a handful.

Friday, 18 February 2022

Geoffrey Freer Stakes

Inaugurated, as the Oxfordshire Stakes, in 1949 by Geoffrey Freer, who was Clerk of the Course at Newbury Racecourse at the time, the Geoffrey Freer Stakes was renamed in honour of Freer following his death, in 1969. Run over an advertised distance of 1 mile 5½ furlongs and open to horses aged three years and upwards, the Geoffrey Freer Stakes is staged annually in August.

Nowadays, the Geoffrey Freer Stakes is a Group 3 contest, having been downgraded from Group 2 status in 2006. However, it has typically proved a strong race for the grade, with several recent winners – Mount Athos (2012), Royal Empire (2013) and Seismos (2014) – going on to contest the Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Australia, albeit without distinction, later the same season.

Just one horse, Mubtaker, trained by Marcus Tregoning, has won the Geoffrey Free Stakes three times; he recorded his unprecedented hat-trick in 2002, 2003 and 2004 to become the most successful horse in the history of the race. Other notable winners include Ardross, trained by Henry Cecil, who recorded back-to-back victories under Lester Piggott in 1981 and 1982, Drum Taps, trained by Lord Huntingdon, in 1991 and Silver Patriarch, trained by John Dunlop, in 1999. Lester Piggott, Pat Eddery and Frankie Dettori are jointly the leading jockeys in the history of the Geoffrey Freer Stakes with four wins apiece. Sir Noel Murless remains the leading trainer, with five wins between 1949 and 1973.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Paul Hanagan

Paul Hanagan
Born on the 8th September 1980 and hailing from Cheshire, Paul Hanagan is a ex champion jockey of great acclaim in the flat racing world.

Having never been in the saddle until the late age of 14 and having had his eyes firmly fixed on a career on the green grass of a football field rather than a racetrack, Paul Hanagan was a graduate of the British Racing School after great encouragement from his father, Geoff Hanagan. Deemed ‘too small’ for professional football, he helped out as a weekend work experience stable hand for trainer Terry Caldwell, based in Warrington, which ultimately led to the pivotal moment when Hanagan realised that racing had gotten under his skin and into his blood.

Captivated by what he saw at Caldwell’s yard, Hanagan would get his first taste of being a jockey, being allowed to ride out at the age of 14 and begin training the British Racing School, graduating in 1997.


Hanagan got his first taste of senior racing on Stone Beck 4 days shy of his 18th birthday , racing to a creditable 4th place under the stewardship of Malcolm Jefferson, who was better known for his work in National Hunt training. Jefferson knew his onions and he saw a promising flat jockey in Hanagan, guiding the young man to join Richard Fahey as an apprentice flat jockey just a year later.

Over the next four years, the apprentice jockey saw his promise turn into results, improving each season and gaining the title of Champion Apprentice in 2002. He did this by riding a highly impressive 87 winners, the 2nd most since the end of WWII, which included a win on Vintage Premium in the John Smith’s Cup.

Richard Fahey foretold a big future for Paul Hanagan and he wasn’t wrong. Having matured over the next few years, he won his first senior Champion Jockey title in 2010 with a brilliant 191 winners and then backing that up by winning it again in 2011, beating Silvestre De Sousa from Brazil on the very last day of the season.

After this great achievement, Hanagan took a brief sabbatical and stated that he need a break after all his efforts. He did return the next year, but he never again hit the heights of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. To this day, he attributes much of his success to Richard Fahey who he spent 14 years with and he will forever be included in the pantheon of great flat jockeys.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Ebor Handicap

Taking its name from 'Eboracum', the Roman name for York, the Ebor Handicap is worth £1 million in prize money, of which £600,000 goes to the winner, making it the most valuable race of its kind in Britain. Inaugurated, as the Great Ebor Handicap, in 1843, the race is run over one mile and six furlongs at York Racecourse, where it forms the centrepiece of the four-day Ebor Festival, staged annually in late August. Since 2019, when prize money was increased to its current level, the Ebor Handicap has been open to horses aged four years and upwards.

Flint Jack, who recorded back-to-back victories in the Ebor Handicap in 1922 and 1923, remains the only horse to win the race more than once. The legendary Lester Piggott remains the leading jockey in the history of the Ebor Handicap, with five winners between 1958 and 1983. His quintet included Gladness, who also won the Gold Cup at Ascot and the Goodwood Cup in 1958, and Jupiter Island, who subsequently became the first British-trained winner of the Japan Cup, in 1983. Other notable winners of the Ebor Handicap include Sea Pigeon (1979), who went on the win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival twice, in 1980 and 1981, and Sergeant (2005), who completed a notable treble by winning the Northumberland Plate, Ebor Handicap and Cesarewitch Handicap in the same season.