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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Cornelius Lysaght column
Cornelius Lysaght
By Cornelius Lysaght
BBC racing correspondent

Ryan Moore has become unbackable in the race to be champion Flat jockey this season, so cramped are his odds.

Ryan Moore on Nantyglo
Moore is hot favourite to be champion jockey
Not only does he hold a commanding lead over reigning titleholder Jamie Spencer, but that rival has received a ban from riding that's as long as it's untimely.

If continuing at his current rate, Moore, 22, will increase the margin by around 16 winners during Spencer's 16-day enforced absence.

So, barring accidents, and suspensions of his own, the crown will be placed on Moore's young head come the season's end, at Windsor on 4 November.

And that will be a big day for British racing because he would become only the second 'home-grown' champion since Lester Piggott, Willie Carson and Joe Mercer dominated the late 70s/early 80s.

A glance at the intervening years reads like a bad joke: heard the one about the Englishman, the three Irishmen, the American, the South African and the Italian?

Well, Wolverhampton-born Kevin Darley apart, Irishmen Pat Eddery, Kieren Fallon and Spencer, Kentucky Kid Steve Cauthen, Michael Roberts from South Africa, and - of course - Frankie Dettori have ruled the roost.

But now we have Ryan Moore, though, to be fair, it's still a case of Ryan who? to many outside the tight-knit world of Flat racing.

Except perhaps on the south coast of England, where 2003's top apprentice is one of the Brighton Moores, a dynasty of jockeys and trainers, based next door to the local racecourse.

Ryan's father, Gary is a jump jockey-turned-trainer, himself son of Charlie, a shrewd trainer until his retirement in 1993.

Gary's wife Jayne was a successful race-rider too, while their other son, Jamie, is an increasingly accomplished jockey over jumps. And we mustn't forget aunt Candy Morris, another polished rider.

The champion jockey's title could be Ryan Moore's for many seasons to come

Little wonder Ryan has made such a clear mark since riding winner number one, in - of all things - a Towcester hurdle race in 2000.

he Flat, however, is firmly his game now, and a heady cocktail of guile and strength has placed this quiet, almost brooding, young man - yes, definitely more Piggott then Dettori - on the threshold of his first championship.

Trainers Richard Hannon, Amanda Perrett and, of course, dad Gary have been providing many of the best plot lines for the story so far.

But, as was predicted in this column in the Spring of last year, the next chapter, in 2007, may be as main man to the ever-powerful Sir Michael Stoute, himself eight-times champion trainer.

If so, the champion jockey's title could be, or - more likely - will be, Ryan Moore's for many seasons to come.



SEE ALSO
Spencer handed lengthy suspension
20 Jul 06 |  Horse Racing
Stoute will survive Fallon's exit
28 Feb 05 |  Horse Racing


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