Moore and O’Brien take top honours at Royal Ascot

A final-day double gave Ryan Moore top jockey laurels at Royal Ascot for the ninth time, securing a magnificent seven wins and four second placings over the five-day meeting, and helping trainer Aidan O’Brien to another major milestone.

Having won five races and been runner-up in four others in the first four days, it was always going to take something momentous from leading pursuers William Buick and Danny Tudhope to overtake the 38-year-old.

Moore’s partnership with O’Brien was instrumental in the achievement, winning five races for the Ballydoyle handler.

Little Big Bear (purple silks) set the ball rolling for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore
Little Big Bear (purple silks) set the ball rolling for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore (David Davies/PA)

Though the partnership drew a blank on the first day, Little Big Bear (Windsor Castle) set the ball rolling on Wednesday, while Moore rode a double on Thursday with Kyprios taking the featured Gold Cup for O’Brien and Thesis striking in the Britannia Handicap for Harry and Roger Charlton.

Moore and O’Brien doubled up again on Friday with Meditate landing the Albany and Changingoftheguard annexing the King Edward VII Stakes.

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O’Brien’s Royal meeting tally now stands at 81 – one behind Sir Michael Stoute – as he took the trainers’ title for the 11th time, his first since 2019.

“It’s always very special to do well at Ascot and I’m thrilled to have done it, but what matters is that we take nothing for granted, and every winner is treated the same,” he said in typically modest fashion.

“It is marvellous, a great reflection of all the hard work by the team at home.”

To their credit, both Tudhope and Buick briefly made a fist of the jockeys’ battle on the final afternoon, the former landing the Chesham Stakes aboard the Karl Burke-trained Holloway Boy, who belied his inexperience to make a winning debut and give the 36-year-old a fourth victory of the week.

Buick gained his fourth winner of the when Noble Truth made all in the Jersey Stakes, yet by the time the Norwegian-born rider had plundered a fifth success with Stratum taking the concluding Queen Alexandra Handicap for the second year in succession, the Ascot jockeys’ title race was all over.

Far from downcast, Buick said: “It’s been a good week – five winners, very pleased with that. Pleased with the performance of the horses – they all ran well. It’s not easy when you come here – it’s very tough and not all the races work out how you want them to, but I think most of them worked out ok. All in all a good week, and you’ve got to come away happy with that.”

Moore had earlier sealed the honours, employing front-running tactics which saw Broome take apart Irish Derby and St Leger hero Hurricane Lane and five other rivals in landing the Hardwicke Stakes.

That also provided O’Brien with another incredible milestone, as he notched up his 900th Group and Graded winner in both Flat and jumps spheres.

Just for good measure, Moore showed his versatility with a contrasting effort in the Wokingham Handicap, with the David Evans-trained Rohaan giving him an armchair ride to burst through a gap on the rail and become only the fifth back-to-back winner of the six-furlong cavalry charge.

Moore likes to let his riding do the talking and followed the party line, simply adding: “It’s always good to be the leading rider at Ascot, all of the winners mean the same.

“It’s been a good week; the horses have run well, and it’s satisfying when the ones you think will win do so. This is a great meeting and it’s been good to have the crowds back.”

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