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Article 25th August 2023 Newmarket

By Graham Clark

Colin Moore admits it would be ‘pretty special’ to write his name in the record books more than 60 years after celebrating his first ever victory in the saddle by becoming the oldest jockey in the world to win a race in the Newmarket Town Plate tomorrow (Saturday 26th August).    

The 81-year-old former Jump jockey will attempt to beat the record of Harry Beasley, who remains the oldest rider to win a horse race of any description worldwide at Punchestown in Ireland aged 71 in 1923, when making his fourth appearance in the historic contest which is being run for the 353rd time in 2023.

Since finishing fourth on his first ride in the race in 2019 Moore, whose only winner as a Jump jockey came aboard 50-1 chance Son Of Tam at Worcester in 1961, has subsequently finished sixth in the 2021 renewal before going one place better 12 months ago. 

And while the enthusiastic octogenarian has set his sights on tasting victory in this year’s renewal of the prestigious prize, which was inaugurated by King Charles II in 1666, he insists he has no intention of hanging up his saddle until he achieves his ultimate goal.  

Moore, who lives in Walcot Lees, Shropshire, said: “I wasn’t going to go in the race again but then the entry forms came around and I thought I’ll have a go and it has all gone on from there really.  

“Everybody says to me you always say it will be your last time. It is hard work, but if you want to do it you will manage to do it. 

“Someone asked me the other day, how long are you going to keep going in it and I replied, 'until I win it’. 

“The first time I was fourth then I was sixth and then last year I was fifth. 

“I would like to get in the first three and I’ll be going for it, but it would be pretty special if I could win it. “ 

Despite his advancing years the grandfather of three, who is a director of steel fixing company ABC Reinforcing Ltd, believes he is in better shape than he has been for the last two editions of the race. 

Moore continued: “This year was my best effort in the fitness test as I’ve never done well on the Wattbike that you get tested on, but this year I did a lot better.  

“The first time I rode in the race they did the bleep test and I did okay on that, but I’m very one paced. Everything, touch wood, seems to have gone well. 

“I do actually feel better than I did last year, while in 2021 I had a fall the day before and I was a complete passenger.  

“The horse I was riding out at the time stumbled and fell. I landed awkwardly and the back of my shoulders were sore and I struggled to life my head in the race, but thankfully I managed to get through it.  

“I’ve been riding out all week to put the finishing touches to my preparation and it all seems to have gone fine.” 

Although everything has gone well since confirming his participation in the race Moore has had to bounce back from his own injury problems after suffering a broken left leg just days after his participation in last year’s Town Plate.  

He added: “After last year’s race I didn’t ride out for a week but not long after I got back riding out I got dropped off a horse just as we were jumping off.  

“The mare I was on jinked to the side and I came off and she stood on my leg and I broke my tibia. I was thinking I’m glad this didn’t happen before the Town Plate.  

“The mare shot off up the gallop and I walked back and I thought this will be sore in the morning. I went in to get it checked over and I was amazed that it was broken. 

“If it would have been the main bone it would have been more serious, and luckily she wasn’t the biggest horse as if it was something a bit heavier it could have been much worse.   

“It took eight weeks before I sat on a horse again, but it is no problem at all now.” 

With his regular partner in the three-and three-quarter mile contest Ballyrath moving on to pastures new, Moore will switch mounts to two-time chase winner Daranova. 

And he believes that the Gary Hanmer trained nine-year-old could be just the horse to give his legion of fans that will be in attendance on the day plenty to cheer about.  

He added: “Daranova had a good start to last season, but he hasn’t run that well under Rules both at the end of last season and the start of this one.  

“However, he seems to have come back a bit. His blood was all wrong, but we got that sorted. Every day he seems to be getting better.  

“I think he will be a nicer ride than old Ballyrath. He is a bigger horse, and he has a lovely stride on him. He might take me more into the race than Ballyrath did.  

“There are 20 coming down to watch me, and another two from Gary Hanmer’s yard have asked to come down as well on top of that as they are on holiday. 

“I think Daranova has got a good chance of getting in the first three, but it is hard to know what you are up against. 

“I just think this is a great day and I’m glad to be part of it.” 

Colin is riding again riding to support two charities - the Injured Jockeys Fund (please click HERE to donate) and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (please click HERE to donate).


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