I FULLY expect to be shot down for voicing such a blasphemous opinion. But what is going on with Ryan Moore?
For years he would be the one jockey in the weighing room that, as a punter, you’d want on your side in a tight finish.
Ryan Moore has had plenty of near misses this year[/caption]
But the all-conquering 35-year-old is currently in the midst of a rotten run of luck, with 12 seconds from his last 36 rides.
Astonishingly, ten of those near-misses have been by less than a length.
In the not-too-distant past, the outcome of a driving finish with Moore involved was a foregone conclusion. There were none better at lifting a horse home and he was unstoppable in his role as top jock to the Ballydoyle juggernaut.
But the tide seems to have turned, and the three-time champion endured a frustrating time of things at Sandown’s two-day Eclipse meeting.
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On the Friday, he was denied by a head aboard Extra Elusive in the Listed Gala Stakes, while Saturday yielded three further close calls aboard Magical, Magical Wish and Mekong.
This just a couple of weeks after he hit the crossbar on a number of occasions at Royal Ascot.
No-one can deny his return of five winners was a rock-solid weeks work, but I’d say his ride aboard Circus Maximus was the only ‘peach’ he rode at the Royal meeting.
He gave the well-backed Buildmeupbuttercup a stinker in the Ascot Stakes, left Fleeting with a mountain to climb in the Ribblesdale and suffered an embarrassing defeat aboard Hermosa.
And let’s not forget, he was caught napping by Padraig Beggy, a talented jockey but one who has made less appearances than the Scarlet Pimpernel in recent seasons, when second in the Irish Derby on hot favourite Anthony Van Dyck.
Ryan Moore's high-profile seconds this year
Coronation Cup – Kew Gardens
Oaks – Pink Dogwood
Ascot Stakes – Buildmeupbuttercup
Ribblesdale – Fleeting
King George V Handicap – Constantinople
Coronation Stakes – Hermosa
Irish Derby – Anthony Van Dyck
Coral-Eclipse – Magical
The list could go on (he looked to go too soon on both Kew Gardens and Pink Dogwood at Epsom last month, while he had several other near misses at Ascot), but you get my point.
It could just be a coincidence; perhaps Moore has walked under a few ladders this summer.
But he has been so reliable for so long on the big stage that when things start to go wrong, it stands out like a sore thumb.
I don’t have access to an all-singing, all-dancing database of stats that could either validate or blow my opinion out of the water.
But something doesn’t feel quite right with Moore at present.
A few years ago, I was convinced Frankie Dettori was gone at the game and Ryan Moore was in a league of his own.
Now I’m wondering whether the tables have completely turned.