1. Home
  2. /

    Articles
  3. /

    The career of Ryan Moore
The career of Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore. Source: skysports

The career of Ryan Moore

Ryan Moore, an esteemed English flat racing jockey, achieved the title of Champion Jockey in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Presently, he serves as the principal jockey for Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stable, primarily riding horses for Coolmore Stud. Moore occasionally takes rides for Juddmonte and the British Royal Family. By 2023, he had secured over 170 victories in Group or Grade 1 races globally. Among active jockeys, Moore boasts the highest number of British Group and Listed wins.

Becoming a Jockey

Coming from a lineage deeply embedded in horse racing, Moore was almost destined to join the sport. His father, Gary, a former jump jockey and trainer, and his grandfather Charlie, a renowned Flat-racing trainer, set a precedent that Ryan eventually followed, despite a fleeting interest in football. Beginning his riding journey at age four, Moore initially trained at his grandfather's and with the pony club. However, he soon found cross-country and showjumping unchallenging, craving the competitive edge of racing. Influential in his early years was National Hunt jockey AP McCoy, who rode for Moore's father. A young Ryan, just 12, would lead McCoy over hurdles during horse training sessions, greatly inspired by McCoy’s relentless drive and dedication.

Unlike his siblings, who were certain of their racing aspirations early on, Moore had a dual passion for football and even trialled with Brighton and Hove Albion. It wasn't until he was 16, after his initial racing successes, that he decided to pursue jockeying as a career, despite his mother's advice to finish his A-levels, doubting his potential in racing. Moore himself wasn't always confident in his abilities, often feeling inadequate. His academic pursuits were short-lived, as he soon abandoned school to commit to riding full-time.

Highlights and Achievements

Moore's early victories, notably before his grandfather's death in 2000, were significant personal milestones. He cherished the moments he won races for his grandfather, finding solace in the joy it brought him towards the end of his life. By 16, Moore had to manage his weight meticulously, dropping from 8th 10 lb to 7th 13 lb to advance his career.

Despite his brief foray into jumps racing, Moore excelled on the flat, clinching the Champion Jockey title thrice in 2006, 2008, and 2009, alongside numerous major wins in the UK and internationally, including prestigious Classics. Born on September 18, 1983, in Sussex, Moore swiftly rose to prominence, securing his first wins at 16 and earning significant victories even before his grandfather's passing in 2000.

Moore's breakthrough came in 2003 when he was crowned British Flat Racing's Champion Apprentice and Apprentice Jockey of the Year, following his first major win in the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket in 2002. His potential was further underscored in 2004 with 100 wins, including his first Group 2 and 3 triumphs in the Mill Reef Stakes and the Prestige Stakes, respectively, and his first £1 million in prize money. Since then, Moore's career has been marked by consistent victories.

His achievements include four Breeders’ Cup Turf victories, three 1000 Guineas wins, and multiple wins in races like the Epsom Derby and Oaks, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the St Leger Stakes, and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Moore also secured wins in the Japan Cup and the Melbourne Cup.

Moore on Japan Cup. Source: asianracingreport
Moore on Japan Cup. Source: asianracingreport

A key factor in Moore's success has been his partnership with Aidan O'Brien, who has retained Moore as his main rider since 2015. Moore’s first Group 1 victory came with Notnowcato, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, in the Juddmonte International at York in 2006, which propelled him to his first Champion Jockey title that same year.

In 2008, despite an injury-plagued 2007, Moore reclaimed the Champion Jockey title and Flat Jockey of the Year award, also winning his first Breeders’ Cup Turf with Conduit. The Moore-Conduit duo continued to thrive in 2009, capturing another Breeders’ Cup Turf title and a win in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, securing Moore’s third Champion Jockey and Flat Jockey of the Year awards.

The year 2010 was monumental for Moore, as he achieved his first Derby and Oaks wins on Workforce and Snow Fairy, respectively, on consecutive days at Epsom, and his inaugural Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe victory on Workforce.

Starting in 2011, Moore's association with O'Brien intensified, culminating in significant wins like the Epsom Derby on Ruler Of The World, the Japan Cup on Gentildonna, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Magician by 2013. He also triumphed in the Melbourne Cup on Protectionist in 2014.

Journey up till now

Moore’s dominance in major races was especially evident in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, he won the 1000 Guineas on Legatissimo, the 2000 Guineas on Gleneagles, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Found. The following year, he achieved victories in the 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks on Minding, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Highland Reel, and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe on Found. Conduit, a notable horse in Moore’s early career, contributed significantly to his success, securing five wins, including the Breeders’ Cup Turf titles in 2008 and 2009, and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2009.

Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and Ryan Moore. Source: Sky Sports
Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and Ryan Moore. Source: Sky Sports

Moore's international success continued with Snow Fairy in 2010, winning the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup in Japan, the Hong Kong Cup, the Irish Oaks, and the Epsom Oaks, and repeating the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup win in 2011. His partnership with Minding proved highly successful, with victories in the 2015 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket and an impressive run in 2016, winning the 1000 Guineas, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the Nassau Stakes, the Epsom Oaks, and the Pretty Polly Stakes.

During the same period, Moore developed a strong connection with Maurice in the Far East, riding the Japanese thoroughbred to victories in the 2015 Hong Kong Mile, the Mile Championship, the 2016 Tenno Sho, and the Hong Kong Cup. Gleneagles was another successful horse for Moore in 2015, with wins in the English-Irish 2000 Guineas double and the St James’s Palace Stakes.

By 2015, as Joseph O'Brien struggled to maintain race weight due to his height, Moore was appointed to ride Ballydoyle's top horses in the Classics and other significant races. Aidan O'Brien outlined the arrangement, stating that Moore would ride the primary horses, with Joseph O'Brien and other jockeys like Seamie Heffernan and Colm O'Donoghue participating when weight permits.

Ryan Moore. Source: South China Morning Post
Ryan Moore. Source: South China Morning Post

By the close of the 2017 season, Moore had amassed over 2,000 race wins in Britain, ranking third among active jockeys, trailing only behind Frankie Dettori and Joe Fanning, both of whom had longer careers. Up to now, Moore has ridden three Derby winners for O'Brien - Ruler of the World in 2013, followed by Auguste Rodin and City of Troy in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Share

Get the latest news to your inbox.

Subscribe to the newsletter

We value your privacy and promise not to distribute your email to third parties.