As the newly minted four-time winner of the World’s Best Jockey Award, Ryan Moore will bid to add further lustre to his Hong Kong International Races (HKIR) achievements at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Moore on Friday night was awarded the World’s Best Jockey crown for 2023, tying Frankie Dettori for the most victories in the prestigious award.
The European-based rider was the inaugural winner of the award in 2014 and again won it in 2016 and 2021.
He was officially announced as the winner during a special ceremony and presentation at the Hong Kong International Races Gala Dinner at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Moore claimed the title with victories in eight of the “World’s Top 100 Group 1 Races”.
His qualifying victories were in the Hong Kong Sprint (Wellington), Tattersalls Gold Cup (Luxembourg), Epsom Derby (Auguste Rodin), St James’s Palace Stakes (Paddington), Coral-Eclipse (Paddington), Qatar Sussex Stakes (Paddington), Irish Champion Stakes (Auguste Rodin) and the Breeders’ Cup Turf (Auguste Rodin).
Moore won this year’s award comfortably, totalling 156 points, 36 more than Dettori (120), while James McDonald, who won the title last year, was third with 116 points.
The scoring process rewards jockeys for finishing in the top three of races.
The 100 highest-rated Group 1 races as established for the year by the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee.
The scoring incorporates races from 1 December of the previous year until 30 November of the current year. Jockeys accrue 12 points for a win, 6 points for placing second, and 4 points for placing third.
In accepting the award, Moore said he always wanted to ride the best horses and the best horses win the best races.
Moore was presented with a watch from LONGINES Vice President Marketing Bernardo Tribolet and a crystal vase by The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, in his role as Chair of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).
Moore said getting to ride all around the world and competing against everyone else means more.
“I am very fortunate,” said Moore.
“I get to ride some really good horses for great owners and trainers. When I started, the aim was to ride in the best races on the best horses. That’s what it really is always about.”
Moore, who rode Wellington to victory in last year’s Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), has rides in all four Group 1 races at Sha Tin tomorrow.
All his feature rides are for Aidan O’Brien who has is the only trainer to have runners in all four of the top-level contests on the 10-race program.
Moore’s rides start with the exciting filly Warm Heart in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
The filly has been allocated 117 pounds which has forced Moore to get down to his lowest riding weight in months.
Moore said he was looking forward to riding the filly and rated her a good chance but was wary of a couple of the Japanese horses in the field.
“I’d be disappointed if she didn’t run very well, and if she brings her form from the last sort of four races, she’ll be right there,” he said.
Moore said Hong Kong racing was probably the most competitive in the world and every race is hard to win.
“You appreciate all the winners you get here,’’ he said.
Moore’s second ride of the day for O’Brien is Aesop’s Fables in the Hong Kong Sprint.
Moore returned to riding at Happy Valley’s Wednesday International Jockeys’ Championship following a fall in Japan last month.
He won the second leg of the four-race championship, taken out by Vincent Ho, on M Unicorn.
Moore has previously won all four of the HKIR feature races.