Moore bids to join HK training ranks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 1997, 12:00am

Former multiple-champion jockey Gary Moore is bidding to break back into Hong Kong racing as a trainer's assistant to his Sha Tin-based brother, John Moore.

The latest bombshell comes on the heels of the 45-year-old Australian's shock decision to quit the saddle after Sunday's meeting at Taipa in Macau.

But the decision was a vital part of the plan of John Moore, narrowly beaten for this year's Hong Kong premiership, to have his younger brother on his team next season.

John Moore has applied to have Gary in the same role that he filled with father George Moore during the latter's decade-long rule as Hong Kong's champion trainer.

From Macau, Gary said: 'This has come about because John wanted me to be with him in the stable. He said it was getting that much harder in Hong Kong and he really wanted family around him - and someone who could clearly be a help to him and the stable.

'If the move is approved, then I would be employed by John Moore direct - just as he was by dad before and, I understand, as Caspar Fownes is by Lawrie at the moment.

'He has asked for me and, of course, I would love to be working with him. I have no doubt that I would be useful to him in a number of ways and he is definitely very keen on the idea,' added Moore.

The application to have the former French champion jockey and eight-time champion of Hong Kong as an assistant to the trainer will be heard at the next meeting of the Licensing Committee, almost certainly in mid-August.

Moore returned to Hong Kong on Queen Elizabeth II Cup day to ride and tasted sweet success after an 11-year absence when Victory Mount, trained by his brother, won the second event on the card.

Moore was a charismatic figure on Hong Kong's racetracks in the mid-1970s and early 1980s and then went on to make a huge impact on European racing.

His biggest success was on Gold River in the 1980 Arc de Triomphe.

His career ground to a halt when the Hong Kong Jockey Club disqualified him for five and a half years on betting-related offences in the wake of the 1986 Shanghai Syndicate corruption scandal.

There had been suggestions and hints for some time that Moore, married to Hong Kong-born Barbara, would love to be involved with his elder brother at Sha Tin. He has long regarded Hong Kong as his home.

Moore plans to join John in America after Sunday's finale at Taipa and they will travel to Argentina to check on horses for the stable. Visits to studs in America are also planned.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong punters are in for an interesting time on the first Tuesday in November.

The Melbourne Cup has been a feature of the local racing calendar for several years. The Hong Kong betting public can have a punt on Australia's greatest race - plus two other races on the Flemington card.

This year there will be a lot more on offer on November 4.

After the traditional Melbourne Cup lunch, Happy Valley will be cleared but will re-open for a regular night meeting.

The decision has been taken by the Jockey Club because they wish to fit in 75 meetings and the Melbourne Cup simulcast is officially designated a racing day by the Government.

It will now be a full racing day - albeit split into two sections.