Daniel Moor drives Wild Ruler to victory in the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes

Moor’s Moir Stakes triumph a story of perseverance

By Ben Caluzzi

Daniel Moor’s first race ride was back in 2003 on a horse named Ice Ranger, who finished 8th in a Class 1 at Warrnambool. Since then, he’s applied his trade all around the world to great success. He’s ridden in Hong Kong, Singapore and even Mauritius, where his wife and kids have followed him every step of the way. However, in his 18-year long career the lingering ambition remained that he had never ridden a Group 1 winner in his home country – every jockey’s dream as an apprentice.

That all changed last week when Moor was able to pilot the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young trained Sierra Sue to victory in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, one of Australia’s most prestigious handicaps. Returning to scale and trying to fight back tears, Moor dedicated the win to “a life’s work,” and thanked those who had helped him triumph on the elite stage at last.

It was a special victory for more reasons than one though. Yes, it was his first internationally recognized Group 1 victory, and yes it was for a camp and connections he has grown so fond of in recent times, but the eerie significance of the win was highlighted by another coinciding milestone. It was Moor’s 37th birthday.

Such noteworthy events are rarely celebrated simultaneously. We think of Peter Siddle’s iconic birthday hat-trick on Day 1 of the Boxing Day test, or even Lebron James’ double-digit points streak for the 1000th straight game on his birthday, but for racing fans Moor’s first Group 1 winner in 18 years may just take the cake.

Well, lightning struck twice at The Valley on Friday Night. Moor rode the perfect race to steer four-year-old entire Wild Ruler, trained by Peter & Paul Snowden, home to victory in the Group 1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes.

Moor was able to find a faultless position camped behind Ballistic Lover and Profiteer in the run, with Swats That kindly nestled to his outside, and once the gap came in the straight Wild Ruler exploded to the front in the twinkling of an eye. Damian Lane and The Inferno strode up boldly and looked the winners early in the straight, but Wild Ruler had the most left in reserve after such an economical run, and he was strongest to and through the line.

“He’s one of the most professional sprinters I’ve ever ridden,” Moor said in a post-race interview.

“It’s a fantastic thrill to get the opportunities, and more so to make the most of them.”

A product of China Horse Club and Newgate Farm, the importance of the Group 1 victory for Wild Ruler cannot be understated. It will prove to be an integral selling point in his next career at stud, a vital box ticked on any stallion’s racing CV, and one those involved with the horse won’t soon forget with Moor delivering an A1 steer on the biggest stage.

Moor was also able to secure victory on another key stallion prospect with Forgot You, who he had won on at The Valley two weeks ago, taking out the Group 2 Aspect Kitchens Stutt Stakes. The Busuttin & Young trained colt holds a Ladbrokes Cox Plate nomination, but will likely head to the Caulfield Guineas and or Victoria Derby, where Moor is certain to retain the ride.

Affectionately known as ‘Buckets’ in racing circles, Moor has openly discussed on radio during the week where he thinks he sits in the jockey ranks. He’s described himself as “serviceable” to the bigger camps in times gone by, but with his recent rich vein of form and the taking of important opportunities - this Spring Carnival promises to be his biggest yet.

Two Group 1 victories in the space of 6 days, but 18 years of hard work and dedication has led to this moment. Congratulations Buckets, and good luck in the coming months – the whole industry is loving what they are seeing.