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Gary Moore overcame the odds

Gary Moore trained his first Group 1 when he won the Winterbottom Stakes when Takedown got up in the proverbial last stride to snatch victory from Sheidel, who had led for most of the race.

Naturally the judge called for the photo; however, Gary was already in party mood long before the result was made official.

H e treated the crowd to more antics they hadn’t seen previously, and would not have missed it for quids.

You could imagine George looking down from up above muttering, “what the beck is he up to this time.”

When Gary told his parents he wanted to be a jockey after one ride, his father, George, was quick and to the point, he never wasted words saying, “You can’t ride, you better get back to school,” he said, his wife Iris relied, “he is no good at school either,” she added.

Finally Gary had the last word, he was not going to be a great scholar but some of the wizardy of his father might rub off on him when he decided to become a jockey.

George would be a hard act to follow, he was an outstanding jockey, he topped the Sydney jockey’s premiership 10 times and rode 15 winners over the four days of the Sydney Autumn Carnival in 1969.

Finally Gary packed his case and was off to Tommy Hill at Randwick to become an apprentice, the same Tommy Hill that was involved in the infamous Sydney Derby of 1961, when Mel Schumacher was disqualified for 10 years.

Hill was a fantastic master; he made a successful transition from race riding to training, preparing Rajah Sahib to win the Cox Plate, and Cyron, for Bill Stanley, the biro king.

Gary didn’t out ride his apprentice allowance, maybe he was the victim of a highly successful father, too much might have been expected of him at such a young age.

When riding in Sydney, a lot of people were comparing him with his father George, which was hardly fair.

However, he claims he was not a good rider, as an apprentice he didn’t fully mature until he reached 20.

The turning point in his career was when he went to Europe to rider in France,, he was assured of better opportunities and is was a fresh beginning.

His father George thought it was a good idea to take out a contract for 5,000 U S dollars riding for Daniel Wildenstin, among the leading owners in France.

There he was riding along side of Bill Pyers, Neville Sellwood came over much later, he was riding well when he lost his life in a fall from Lucky Seven at Maisons-Laffitte, built on the banks of the River Seine, with the longest straight in France.

His win on Bering in the French Derby was a great success story, and the hotly contested duel with England super colt, Dancing Brave, in the Arc,, Bering finished second.

Dancing Brave just caught Bering in the shadows of the winning post, coming from well back on the final turn.

Khalid Abdullah, who raced Dancing Brave, and some years later the unbeaten Frankel, had a weakness for Dancing Brave, possibly as it was his first Group 1 success on the turf.

Another major win for Gary was the English 1000 Guineas on Ravinella, she was the best filly of her year in Europe, winning eight races, three of which were at Group 1 level.

He ultimately captured the major prize on the French racing calendar when he won the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe on Gold River.

Racing has been a great career for him, he has around 2,000 winners, seen the world and been paid for it, has ridden against the best jockeys in the world, Lester Piggott, Steve Cauthen and Yves Saint Martin.

Gary is quite a character with a great sense of humour, a successful international jockey unique in one respect, having ridden several Group 1 winners as a jockey and has now trained a Group1 winner when Takedown won the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.

He is training out of Rosehill in Sydney, with 30 boxes at his disposal and a full team currently in work.

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Gary Moore


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