Moore monitoring injured Beadman
Leading big-event trainer John Moore has pleaded with his stable jockey Darren Beadman to ensure he is '100 per cent' for Sunday's major assignments at the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races after losing him midway through yesterday with pains in his lower back area.
'Darren told me it wasn't his back, where he has had trouble before, but there was pain in that area,' said Moore after English rider Neil Callan had successfully substituted for Beadman on Military Move in the Peninsula Golden Jubilee Challenge Cup (1,650m).
'I've told Darren it is so important that he is 100 per cent for the big day - we don't want a situation where he has to stand down during the meeting and we are scratching to find a suitable rider for one of the big races. That has happened once before and the owners weren't happy that we just had to take who was left without a ride. Some of my owners of the international horses were quite anxious even today that we make sure we have a top-class rider for their horses next week and there won't be any question mark. One or two even suggested flying someone in. I hope it isn't going to be necessary but I'll be keeping a close eye on Darren.'
Beadman rode his first four mounts yesterday, Cosmic Boo, Our Dynasty, Elegance Klammer and Iron Hawk, before standing down following the sixth event and his status is sure to be a major talking point this week ahead of the Moore yard lining up runners in all four internationals, including well-fancied chances like Irian (Cup), Admiration (Sprint) and Xtension (Mile) with Beadman booked.
But what was bad luck for Beadman was a blessing for Callan, who took over ably on Military Move, who raced three wide into the breeze throughout but has found a new lease on life with the switch to all-weather racing three starts ago and was just too good.
'I rode him once for John last season in the Classic Mile and we slung him up on the speed and it didn't suit him and he just fell away,' Callan recalled.
'But he seems more grown up now and, when he was up on the speed, I wasn't too concerned that he was wide because he has such a big stride. He was taking one stride to two from the others and I think it was just more important that he had a clear run at it. When he let down, he put a bit of distance between himself and the others and then he just idled a bit the last 50m to the line. Bad luck for Darren but just my bit of luck to get on a good one in a better class of race and get the job done.'
Military Move's apparent turnaround on the all-weather, where he has won twice and finished second from his three attempts, has now given Moore a headache for the future.
The victory will likely take the gelding's rating past 110, with virtually no all-weather racing available to him any more.
'He's holding his form on this surface where he gets some cushion underfoot and that seems to be the key but what we do next is a problem. He might find a race at Happy Valley or we'll have to put him back on the turf at Sha Tin to get his grade,' Moore said.
'I guess we could think about somewhere like Dubai, if we want an artificial surface, but the Tapeta isn't really like the all-weather here. Maybe it's an option. I'll have to talk to the owner about it but at least I'm pleased that the horse is winning races now after coming here highly-rated from winning a sub- standard New Zealand Derby and it initially looked like he was going to be a bit disappointing.'