The Kentucky Derby is finally here, and Mendelssohn has become a serious contender. The thoroughbred is ridden by jockey Ryan Moore, and if he wins, he will become the first European-trained winner in the Kentucky Derby in 143 years.
Last month, Moore was the victor at the UAE Derby at the Dubai World Cup. Read on to learn more about Ryan Moore.
1. He Is the Son of a Trainer and Former Jumper
Moore was born the son of a trainer, Gary L. Moore. His grandfather, Charlie Moore, lived near the Brighton Racecourse.
Interestingly enough, Moore did not enjoy riding when he was younger. He tells The Mirror UK, “I was having lessons every day at grandad’s yard and was out with a pony club. I didn’t enjoy it. It was all a bit tame, doing cross country and showjumping. It taught me a lot sometimes but sometimes I really hated it. I wanted to be doing competitive racing instead and there were days I wanted to play football instead of going to the club.”
He says that he got older, he realized that he did want to race for his grandfather. “I was close to him and won a couple of races before he died in 2000. I like to think it made him happy, that it brought him something at the end of his life. I’m glad he saw it.”
2. He Started Riding at Age 4
Moore began riding at age 4.
Growing up, his mother was more focused on him getting an education than riding. He did eventually pursue his A-levels, but that did not last. He tells The Independent, “I was taking the odd day off to ride, and knew I couldn’t carry on like that, so I gave up. Then my dad sent me to [Wiltshire trainer] Richard Hannon, who was fantastic with me, and I won the Cesarewitch at the end of my first season.
He continues, “You need the right stable behind you, and I was getting to ride in Group races from a young age, learning the whole time.”
3. He’s Been Called Angry and Surly
As The Mirror UK rightly points out, Moore has been called surly and angry, and says it’s “pretty hurtful.”
He tells the outlet, “It’s just that people always try to speak to me just before a race and sometimes they can put negative things into my mind. Or they’ll try to find out about my tactics. But if I tell them, they won’t be a secret any more. So now I let it all go over my head.”
The Independent notes that people may have the wrong perception of Moore. They write, “He is a humble fellow, and maybe his perceived taciturnity is simply his distaste for the razzmatazz that comes with being a leading sportsman these days.”
4. He Is Married to Michelle Saunders
Moore is married to Michelle Saunders. In 2008, the couple gave birth to their son, Toby.
While he’s made a great deal of money with his wins, he admits that he isn’t an extravagant spender. Moore tells The Independent, “I got [his partner] Michelle a new car last week. With two kids now I felt she needed it. Other than that I try to be a bit sensible, investments and things. You don’t get too long in racing and I’ve seen too many lads make money and end up sitting in pubs without what they should have.”
He concluded “So I take advice, and my mum’s great, she points me in the right direction. I’m not bright enough to do it without the right advice.”
5. His Brother and Sister Are Both Riders
Moore’s older brother, Jamie, is a National Hunt Rider. His younger brother, Josh, is also a jockey, as is his sister, Hayley.
Asked by The Independent if there’s any sibling rivalry between them, Moore said, “We just got on and supported each other. Me and Jamie were always close. There’s only a year and a half between us and there was never jealousy.”