JOCKEY Ryan Moore was hailed as one of racing’s greats after he took his tally at Royal Ascot this week to a record-equalling eight winners with a 786-1 treble on Ladies’ Day.
Moore almost went one better but he and Kingfisher were edged out by Graham Lee and Trip To Paris in the meeting’s highlight, the Ascot Gold Cup – a result tipped by City A.M.’s Bill Esdaile in yesterday’s paper.
With two days’ competition left, however, Moore looks sure to beat the modern-day benchmark set by Pat Eddery and Lester Piggott.
The three-time Champion Jockey, 31, reprised his winning partnership with trainer Aidan O’Brien by claiming the opening race, the Norfolk Stakes, on 12-1 chance Waterloo Bridge.
Moore led the David Wachman-trained 9-2 shot Curvy to glory in the Ribblesdale Stakes and, with a sense of growing inevitability, won the Britannia Stakes on 10-1 shot War Envoy. It was his eighth victory from 18 races over the first three days of Royal Ascot – a 44 per cent strike rate – and a fourth of the meeting for Ballydoyle kingpin O’Brien.
“What can I say about Ryan? He’s a marvellous jockey, probably the greatest jockey I’ve ever seen,” said O’Brien. “He’s a total professional and fully committed. He has a great feel about a horse and a great feel about a race. We’ve worked with him very closely for three years and we’re privileged he’s riding for us.”
Lee, meanwhile, became the first jockey to taste success in both the Grand National – aboard Amberleigh House in 2004 – and Ascot Gold Cup when he and Trip To Paris held off a fast-finishing Moore and Kingfisher.
The Chester Cup winner was Lee’s first at the meeting and saw trainer Ed Dunlop emulate his father John, who engineered Ragstone’s 1974 triumph in the same race.