Moore the merrier if Protectionist wins Melbourne Cup

GLOBETROTTING English jockey Ryan Moore has jetted back into Melbourne, determined to silence Australian critics by adding the time-honoured Melbourne Cup (3200m) to his world-wide Group One victories on the highly-fancied German raider Protectionist.

Punters have been burned by Moore's last two Cup rides - the Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos, who got lost mid-race before finishing fifth to Green Moon in 2012, and Dandino, which was also fifth last year behind Fiorente when his tactics were again criticised.

Moore was in the punters' good books recently, however, when he landed the $3 million WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, sweeping around the entire field to take out the glamour weight-for-age race on the heavily-backed Aidan O'Brien four-year-old Adelaide.

The 31-year-old, who rode his first race winner over the jumps when he was 16, now rides internationally for major racing stables and is considered by many overseas judges to be in the top three riders in the world.

A Melbourne Cup win would sit nicely with victories in other major races like the Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe, Epsom Oaks and Derby, King George and Queensland Elizabeth Stakes, and many other Group One races around the world.

 

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After landing his first Group One winner at York in 2003, and winning the jockey's title with 182 winners in 2006, Moore was offered the job of replacing champion hoop Kieren Fallon as trainer Sir Michael Stoute's number one rider for his Newmarket stable.

They have since shared in almost 20 Group One wins, even though Moore rides for multiple trainers now.
 

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Rival trainer Ed Dunlop, who has enjoyed great success legging Moore onto his horses, was recently quoted as saying the hoop could ride successfully anywhere in the world.

"I think his great strength is that he doesn't get flustered. A ride at Kempton is a little bit like a ride at Sha Tin for him - even though it's not, of course. He doesn't panic, he assesses races very well and, to be honest, he doesn't get overly excited by however big a race it is," said Dunlop, who will send Red Cadeaux around in today's Cup.

"He's strong, he knows where to be in a race, he keeps things as uncomplicated as possible, (and) he makes very few mistakes."

Punters who have jumped on board Protectionist on the strength of its only Australian start - a fast-closing fourth in the Herbert Power Handicap over 2400m at Caulfield on October 11 - will be hoping Moore lives up to Dunlop's wraps.

The five-year-old continued to firm in Cup betting overnight and from barrier 11, Moore should be able to position him midfield and not too wide. Protectionist is only lightly raced with four wins and four placings from his nine starts.



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