Ryan Moore returns at Newmarket on Friday after lengthy injury break
Ryan Moore Ryan Moore returns at Newmarket on Friday after lengthy injury break Sir Michael Stoute’s Spatial is three-time champion’s comeback ride
Moore says he is ‘very happy to be back’ after a 25-day absence
Ryan Moore will return to action after nearly a month on the sidelines when he rides Spatial for Sir Michael Stoute in the opening race at Newmarket on Friday. The three-time champion jockey has not ridden in public since 31 July, but was cut from 33-1 to 10-1 for this year’s title by one bookmaker following news of his imminent return.
Moore has ridden 57 winners during the current championship campaign, which runs from 30 April until Champions Day at Ascot on 15 October. He trailed Silvestre de Sousa, the reigning champion and leader in this year’s title race, by 17 winners before racing on Wednesday, while Jim Crowley, de Sousa’s closest pursuer, also had a healthy lead over Moore with 70 wins.
Moore has a strike-rate of 22% this season, however, against 16% for both de Sousa and Crowley. If he can maintain the form that has seen him finish as the top rider at both Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood already this year, he should at least begin to narrow the gap as the season reaches its climax.
Spatial is Moore’s sole ride on Friday, but he returns in good time for such major events as the St Leger meeting at Doncaster and Champions Weekend in Ireland in early September. The specifics of his injury remain unclear, but the rider told his blog on the Betfair website on Wednesdaythat he has now been riding out for a fortnight ahead of his return to action.
“I have been riding out for a couple of weeks, but it made sense to give the injury time to completely settle and heal before I started race-riding,” Moore said. “There was simply no point in rushing back, with such a busy autumn campaign both domestically and internationally, and I have been having physio every day and generally keeping myself busy. It seems a long while since I rode Alice Springs in the [Prix] Rothschild at the end of last month, but I am obviously very happy to be back.”
While Paddy Power decided to cut Moore to just 10-1 to win his fourth jockeys’ championship, other bookmakers still offer him at 25-1 to accelerate past both de Sousa and Crowley. The reigning champion is top-priced at 2-5, while Crowley can be backed at 5-2 and James Doyle is a 20-1 chance.
Crowley cut de Sousa’s lead to just three winners with a narrow success in the opening race at Lingfield on Wednesday. His mount Madam Prancealot was headed well inside the final furlong but battled on well to retake the lead in the final stride, relegating Altiko Tommy to second.
However, de Sousa, who was returning to action after a four-day suspension, restored his four-win cushion in the card’s final race. The champion hit the front a furlong out on the 11-4 favourite Masterson, who stayed on under pressure to hold the challenge of Whitstable Pearl by three-quarters of a length.
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The British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary panel will decide on Thursday whether to disqualify Any Currency from first place in the Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The 13-year-old gave Martin Keightley, his trainer, his first success at National Hunt’s showpiece meeting, having finished second in the same race, which is staged on Cheltenham’s cross-country course, in both 2014 and 2015.
However, a post-race urine sample taken from Any Currency tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide (TCA), an anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug which is used therapeutically in racing stables but cannot be present in a horse’s system on a race day. If, as expected, Any Currency is disqualified, the race will be awarded to Josies Orders, the one-length runner-up.