Football flops, cricket collapses and even cycling calamities... there’s been precious little to cheer this summer. But let’s forget the misery for a moment and applaud an old-fashioned, largely unsung, English sporting hero.
Ryan Moore has been champion jockey three times and won four Classics along with countless other big races in Britain and around the world, but the Brighton-born 30-year-old is rarely celebrated outside his own sport.
That is perhaps partly of his own making. Moore definitely does not do celebrity, or much in the way of celebration, for that matter. He allowed himself the merest hint of a grin after Integral won the Group One Falmouth Stakes here yesterday, his third winner of the afternoon and 99th of the season, but the only image he fosters in the obligatory post-race interviews is that of a top professional quietly going about his business. And then just a doff of the cap to appreciative racegoers. No fuss.
But Moore regularly brightens the day of the owners and trainers who hire him and brings joy to the punters who back him devotedly. When everything is on the line, he is Rickie Lambert taking a penalty or Tiger Woods (in his pomp) over a six-foot putt. The man you trust most to get the job done.
Integral completed her climb to the top of the ladder when beating Rizeena and the outsider Peace Burg in fairly straightforward fashion.
This had the potential to be a muddling race and it was, to a degree, with Sky Lantern setting a sedate early pace, but Moore put Sir Michael Stoute’s filly into a position where they had every move covered and once he pressed the button two furlongs from home the race was as good as over. “I just wanted to keep it simple,” said the rider. But of course.
In truth, Integral probably did not need to be at her best, as Rizeena did not look totally at home on the track (she now has no wins from five starts at the two Newmarket courses, five wins from six elsewhere), while Sky Lantern, last year’s 1,000 Guineas winner, folded so tamely that there must surely have been something the matter, other than unsuitable ground.
The winner was not proven on a soft surface, either, and Stoute was far from certain that she would handle it. Now, though, further successes await, with a step back up to 10 furlongs for Goodwood’s Nassau Stakes at the start of next month perhaps next on the agenda.
Moore had earlier taken advantage of a chance ride on Nakuti in the opener and then floored the highly regarded French raider, High Celebrity, aboard Arabian Queen in the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge Stakes, a pointer to next year’s 1,000 Guineas.
There were excuses for André Fabre’s filly and we have almost certainly not heard the last of her, but this was Arabian Queen’s day. And it was most certainly Moore’s.
The Fugue, the winner of four Group One events, most recently at Royal Ascot last month, has been retired to the paddocks after sustaining a knock when sixth in the Eclipse Stakes last weekend.