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Game, set, match? Four for John Moore puts trainers’ title within his reach
Championship leader prepares four winners to take him to 67 for the season, six wins ahead of nearest rival John Size with 20 races remaining
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 July, 2015, 11:27pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 July, 2015, 11:27pm
Michael Cox

John Moore made it four wins yesterday after Verdane made it five for the season, a feat beyond the trainer’s wildest expectations. Photo: Kenneth Chan

John Moore made it four wins yesterday after Verdane made it five for the season, a feat beyond the trainer’s wildest expectations. Photo: Kenneth Chan
John Moore all but sealed his seventh trainers’ championship with a stunning four-timer at Sha Tin yesterday and although a title seems assured he plans on taking fate into his own hands with a big finish to the season.

Moore tore through the early part of the programme with three wins from the first five races to extend his break to six wins over John Size, before another win stretched it to what appeared an insurmountable seven victories when Verdane completed the set.

Size clawed one back with Ensuring late, but he would need to win at least six races at the last two meetings – a total of 20 races – to just draw level, and that’s only if Moore draws a blank, something the 65-year-old trainer said won’t be happening.
Gerald Mosse drives expensive colt People’s Knight (right) home to win the final griffin race of the season yesterday, the first leg of John Moore’s four-timer.

“I still expect another two or three winners which would mean that John Size would have to win half the races left in the season,” Moore said. “Still, until I am six ahead with five to go, or three ahead with two to go I won’t be celebrating. I won’t count my chickens because John has a lot of nice horses saved for that final day.”

A point of pride for Moore on his big day was that his first three winners – People’s Knight (Gerald Moore), Chevalier Star (Damian Lane) and Tianhuang (Douglas Whyte) – were all yearling purchases by his son George and all Private Purchase Griffins, rather than the expensive, high-profile tried imports he has come to be associated with over the years.

Not that People’s Knight came cheaply, but the A$1 million (HK$5.82 million) Australian colt continued to live up to his price tag as he went back-to-back with another griffin win at the short quote of $1.25 – a win that was more comfortable than it looked, according to the trainer.

“He only won by a neck, but there were a few factors against him,” Moore said after Whyte dictated in front and slowed the pace on Classic Emperor, leaving the chasers spinning their wheels after turning. “With the way the race was run, my horse was never going to win by a big margin, but he has done it without Gerald having to pull the whip.”

Chevalier Star made it two wins in a row under Damian Lane, giving John Moore his second win for the day.

Moore said an off-season of physical development would be key to People’s Knight’s future: “He has still got to grow, he is going to put on 30 or 40 pounds in the next six months and then you’ll have a Class One horse – he’ll go to Class One for sure.”

The expectations don’t seem to be as high for three-year-olds Chevalier Star and Tianhuang but Moore’s final triumph of the day came with a horse who has far exceeded the benchmark set by his trainer in Verdane (Neil Callan).

Verdane has now won five races this season, all bar one of them on the all-weather track – a feat that seemed way beyond a horse that came into the term nursing a zero for 17 record since his importation from England.

“Not in a million years,” Moore responded when asked whether he would have expected Verdane to win five races, let alone in a term, at this time last year.
Tianhuang (Douglas Whyte) took to the dirt with ease, disposing of a Class Four field with ease.

Moore plans to back Chevalier Star up at Sunday’s season finale after his all-the-way maiden victory and fellow three-year-old Colossus could join him after his close third in a Class Three.

Tianhuang, however, might have to wait until next term to show his best, and Moore said that would be back on the dirt as the son of All American dominated on the all-weather track at his second start.

“I think we have a nice dirt horse here – Douglas just jumped off and said his action is totally different on the surface,” Moore said. “That’s not to say he won’t perform on turf, though, we won’t pigeon hole him after just a couple of starts.”

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Game, set, match? Trainers’ title looks Moore’s to lose

Posted July 6, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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