Racing: Prestige brings plaudits for Moore

Ryan Moore, last year's champion apprentice, closed in on his maiden century at Goodwood yesterday with a victory that showed just why he has earned so many plaudits in his first senior year and is tipped as a future champion.

Ryan Moore, last year's champion apprentice, closed in on his maiden century at Goodwood yesterday with a victory that showed just why he has earned so many plaudits in his first senior year and is tipped as a future champion. In the day's feature, the Prestige Stakes, he was riding a relatively unfancied contender, Dubai Surprise, as a first mount for the powerful David Loder yard and seemed beaten as well-backed French raider Nanabanana won her battle with Luas Line and took command.

Moore, however, proved fazed by none of the above as he set his partner, a 16-1 shot, up for her effort and sent her in pursuit. Keeping the daughter of King's Best balanced away from the worst of the muddy, tiring ground, he conjured a relentless rhythmic gallop that caught the leader deep inside the final furlong and wore her down to win by half a length.

It was the 98th success of the year for the 21-year-old, who is in fifth place in the jockey's table. "The ground had got a bit cut up under the stands rail and so I tried to keep to the middle with her," said Moore. "She is a very game filly who handled the ground well."

Loder's assistant Rick Bowman was impressed with what he saw from both horse and rider. "That was a great way to start on his first go for us," he said. "We were worried about the ground, but it was the same for them all and she is a big, strong individual. Ryan gave her every chance, a very good ride indeed."

Moore, one of the Brighton-based racing dynasty, has spent the past two winters honing his skills in Dubai, home of Dubai Surprise's owner Ali Ridha, one of the Maktoum family doctors.

The seven-furlong Prestige Stakes is a step on the ladder for the perceived high-class staying fillies of the future and Dubai Surprise, who had previously won her maiden comfortably, holds the Fillies' Mile entry at Ascot next month. "We've always thought a lot of her," added Bowman, "and today's result was not that much of a surprise, to us anyway. Now she's proved herself on this sort of ground we might consider the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp as well as the Ascot race."

As the run-down to the major autumn prizes gathers momentum, summer officially ended on the other side of the English Channel as the seaside season at Deauville wrapped up with the local Grand Prix. That mile-and-a-half Group 2 contest resulted in a 1-2-3 for André Fabre, courtesy of Cherry Mix, Martaline and Bailador, but no fairytale farewell for Gary Stevens, the homeward bound American stable jockey. He was on the runner-up.

The British challengers were out of luck in the Grand Prix - Swing Wing was fourth and Franklins Gardens last - but earlier Swing Wing's jockey Steve Drowne took the Group 3 Prix Quincey on Geoff Wragg-trained 40-1 shot Autumn Glory. The four-year-old relished the bottomless ground.

Quantity rather than quality is in evidence today, when the best race at seven Bank Holiday meetings is a Listed juvenile contest at Ripon. Both aspects, however, are conspicuously lacking in one of the events at Cartmel, which has attracted just two runners - both from the same Irish stable.

Birdstone, the horse who adopted the role of Bambi-shooter when he thwarted Smarty Jones' bid to land the American Triple Crown, showed his Belmont Stakes victory was no fluke by taking the $1m Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday night. The three-year-old now has the Breeders' Cup Classic in his sights. "This win felt good," said owner Marylou Whitney, "People were standing in the rain shaking my hand. How different from the Belmont, when they were hissing and throwing beer cans."

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