Ryan Moore savors Japan Cup win, looks to future glory

By ROBERT KIECKHEFER, UPI Racing Writer  |  Nov. 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM
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TOKYO, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Ryan Moore, three-time English riding champion, Sunday added the Japan Cup to his list of world-class wins but says he isn't nearly done.

Moore's has posted Group 1 and Grade I wins around the world just this year in the Canadian International at Woodbine, The Breeders' Cup Turf and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita, the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, the Ascot Gold Cup, the English Derby and the UAE Derby in Dubai.

Over the course of his career, the 30-year-old has won many of the world's top races.

"I always want to be competing in the big international races around the world," he said after winning the Group 1 Japan Cup Sunday aboard Gentildonna. "The Japan Cup is like the Dubai World Cup, the Kentucky Derby and the Melbourne Cup -- top international events. And I've always wanted to win this race."

Asked what races are still on his "to win" list, though, Moore smiled and quickly replied, "There's plenty, unfortunately." And, he added, "Anyone can win a race once."

Moore agreed with another quick smile that he would be happy to ride Gentildonna during her 4-year-old season. He said Royal Ascot might be a suitable target for her but not the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris in September. "In France, you are likely to find heavier going," he said. "I don't think that would suit her."

In fact, her third-place finish in the race before the Japan Cup -- the Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin -- generally was attributed to a soft turf course following a week of heavy rain.

If the Paris race is off the table for Gentildonna, that would preclude a showdown between the top international fillies of 2013 -- Gentildonna and Arc winner Treve.

Winning major races around the world often is a matter of being available at the right time and in the right place with the right reputation.

Moore took over the mount on Gentildonna from proven Japanese rider Yasunari Iwata after the filly failed to win in any of her previous three starts this year. Although she ran well in each race, she settled for second in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic in March and then was third and second in two earlier races in Japan.

Moore said he was notified while in California for the Breeders' Cup races that he could have the mount on Gentildonna.

"This is horse racing and we always have to think what's best for the horse," said Gentildonna's trainer, Sei Ishizaka, declining to elaborate.

Moore, who has been based in Japan for a three-month contract with the Japan Racing Association, has not let that stand in the way of his travels to the United States, Australia and soon Hong Kong.

He is on to "jockey challenges" surrounding next weekend's Japan Cup Dirt and the following weekend's Longines Hong Kong International races -- events that usually are decided more by the luck of the draw for horses than by jockeys' talent. He called them "sideshows, really," while admitting it is flattering to be asked to attend.

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