Hong Kong’s most successful trainer John Moore notched his 1,700th Hong Kong win when Savvy Seven (132lb) broke through for his first in the Class 5 Wang Tau Hom Handicap (1800m) at Sha Tin yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 8 February).
“1700 wins – that’s a very important milestone in my life and also in Hong Kong,” Moore said. “But, getting back to the horse that did it, the enigma – Savvy Seven! He’s been trying so many times to finally win a race.”
Moore has been a record-breaking trailblazer in Hong Kong since gaining his licence in 1985. He is Hong Kong’s longest-serving and winning-most trainer, netting an all-time record prize money haul of HK$2.03 billion since taking over from his legendary father George Moore.
“It’ll go down in folklore,” he said, before adding, “I was lucky enough to start training at 35 years of age which is where I had the big advantage.”
The seven-time champion trainer’s lengthy honour roll of winners includes training the last six Horse of the Year winners, and a hatful of Group 1 wins including four overseas, notably Sterling City’s victory in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (dirt, 1200m).
But it was in lowly Class 5 that the Australian handler hit his latest milestone. Savvy Seven, a 22-start maiden before today, got home by a neck under Frenchman Alexis Badel.
“To do it with a Class 5 winner, especially the enigmatic Savvy Seven – it’s amazing he could never win a race, and I got totally fed up with all the expectations around (him), but then he goes and does it today to put my 1700th win on the board,”
“I’ll have to go back and give the horse a big kiss and bucket full of carrots,” he laughed.
Moore outlined his ambitions for the second half of the Hong Kong racing season, which includes a hoped-for second big race win at Meydan.
“To win Group 1s and hopefully go to Dubai and win a Group 1 there,” Moore said when asked.
The 69-year old has three horses entered for the Dubai World Cup meeting in March, with reigning Horse of the Year Beauty Generation in the Group 1 Dubai Turf (1800m) and Sha Tin 1000m track-record holder Aethero in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) his big hopes.