Worth the weight as River Jordan cruises to victory
Trainer John Moore will set out to gain River Jordan a berth in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile next month after the honest galloper landed the best win of his career in yesterday's Panasonic Cup - but he knows it is no easy task.
River Jordan, one of three winners for Moore and jockey Darren Beadman on a card they virtually carved up in tandem with John Size and Felix Coetzee, got the perfect run and the good race win he deserved, but it only gets tougher from here.
'Every owner has a dream for his horse and every horse deserves his chance in the big time if he is good enough to get himself there, so that's what we will try to do,' Moore said.
'Personally I don't think he can match it with the big boys but a win like that, with a fair bit of authority, will take his rating to around 107, I should imagine. Obviously that isn't going to be enough to get selected but he'll have to have another start before International day so if we can win another race with him, perhaps he could squeeze into the field.'
River Jordan was never in danger of losing yesterday's feature over 1,600m, sprinting clear at the 200m to beat Hawkes Bay and Fellowship by almost two lengths, but Moore's belief that he will fall short of the top grade has as much to do with the conditions River Jordan will meet at international level as much as the opposition.
'Gee, he really accelerated there today going up half a class but dropping down in the weights and we haven't seen him quicken like that lately with the heavier handicaps,' he said. 'That was impressive. Hawkes Bay is no slouch - he was running well in good races last season, but River Jordan left him standing today. But if he did happen to get to the Hong Kong Mile, under the set weights terms he would go back up to 126 pounds and I wonder whether that might start to dull his turn of foot again.'
While River Jordan had won only two races prior to yesterday, Moore paid tribute to the five-year-old who has been in the first four in 12 of his 16 starts in Hong Kong.
'He's a lovely horse, very honest and easy to handle - even an apprentice would have no trouble riding River Jordan,' Moore said. 'With not much pace in the race, Darren probably had to ride him a horse closer than his ideal spot, but we didn't want him getting back and cluttered up.
'Now I guess the job is to see what races present themselves where River Jordan could win and earn himself the ratings points he would need.'
Beadman had ridden River Jordan in his previous outings with 130 and 132 pounds and agreed the weight was all the difference.
'He's been running well but was crying out for a weight drop and he was able to get away from them today when he made his run, which he couldn't carrying the big handicaps,' he said.