Ryan Moore remains my favourite flat jockey. I talk through the pocket. He’s made me more profit than any other jockey on the flat.
His friend Richard Hughes has been the champion flat jockey for the past two seasons, and deservedly so. The pair are brilliant at their craft. It was a delight for me when Hughes welcomed me into his home and we had this half hour on camera chat https://vgtips.co.uk/richard-hughes-talks-to-vg-tips-the-directors-cut/
But with Hughes out injured until later this month, Ryan Moore has been taking some of his rides for Richard Hannon. On Monday he rode two winners for him, one for Sir Michael Stoute and a fourth winner for his dad, Gary Moore.
But it is way too early to be talking about Moore snatching back the champion jockey title from Hughes. And, it seems, anyone who suggests the idea to Ryan will get shorth shrift.
He says: “Everyone knows that I don’t like talking about championships and titles, mainly because I think it is a contrived discussion and pretty much something that the media drives, rather than the jockeys and trainers involved.
“But this year’s title seems to be on the agenda again after I was lucky enough to ride a four-timer at Windsor yesterday, and the fact that Hughesie has announced that he is unfortunately sidelined until April 25 at the earliest, so here I am.
“I do understand that journalists have stories to write and it is newsworthy to a certain extent, but we haven’t even got to the Craven Meeting, so let’s get some perspective here.
“Nothing changes on this subject, year-in and year-out.
“Every jockey’s aim is to ride to the best of their abilities for their trainers and owners, on a daily basis. It may be a cliché but you simply go out and do your job every day, just as every person going to work does.
“And if we are lucky enough to remain fit and injury-free, and enjoy our share of luck, then the winners will come.
“I know certain jockeys and their agents have purposely set out to win the title down the years – the likes of Muis Roberts and Graham Rock – but to me, and I am sure Hughesie and the others, then winners are simply a bi-product of us working hard and doing our jobs properly.
“You only have to look at the long list of injuries suffered by jockeys at the Cheltenham Festival – and Hughesie’s fall in Dubai, and mine in the past few years – to remind yourself that it can tempt fate to look long-term and too far ahead in this game. It is a dangerous business. You focus on today.
“Having been lucky enough to win the title three times, it is not something that I would ever disrespect, and if it came along again as a natural consequence of me doing my job then great – it is not as if I haven’t put in the hours and miles these past few years.
“But if you ask most, if not all, jockeys what they live for, it is the big days and the life experiences. Would a Gold Cup or Grand National winning jockey give up that feeling for a jockeys’ title? I don’t know.
“What I do know are that the special days, such as dad and Jamie winning the Champion Chase with Sire De Grugy, are what you strive for and remember.
“And it is not always about the winning. For example, going over to ride in the Kentucky Derby last year, taking in the whole build-up and occasion, was one of my best riding experiences.
“So, to be honest, it doesn’t matter to me one bit whether I am now the odds on favourite to win the jockeys’ title.
“I will continue to do my job, and that takes me to Dubai, Ireland, America, Hong Kong, Canada and Japan, where quite clearly success will have no bearing on the jockeys’ title.
“So if it happens, it happens, and I will worry about that – and celebrate it – at the time. Just don’t ask me about it again before that please, as I am not talking about it after this.”
You have been warned!
**Now tell me via Have Your Say below… who do you think will be champion flat jockey for this season?**