Leading Light and Australia Given Poor Rides

Motor Mouth

Motor Mouth is not happy with the ride given to Leading Light in the Irish St Leger. He pulls no punches as he revs up the motor mouth…

I have been in this game for more years than I care to remember. I take it on the chin when I lose. I had a really good bet on COTAI GLORY at Doncaster on Friday, 6/1 and the jockey fell off yards fro the line. Sure I was gutted, but annoyed, no, Jesus he didn’t jump off it or do it on purpose. I was just happy George Baker was OK. If you can’t take things like that then this is the wrong game, it is part and parcel of racing and betting. It cost me big time, but the only blame lays with Lady Luck.

The Irish Leger, in contrast is a race I had NO INTEREST IN, financially. So before the usual pocket talk emails come in, I had NO BET in the race and I had no bet in the Irish Champion Stakes either. I am calling it as I see it, and this post is not motivated by losses.

I am going to make a statement now that may come over as harsh on the face of it, but it has to be said and I will qualify it now by accepting 100% that it is nothing to do with me and the connections can do what they want! So here is comes….

“I don’t think Joseph O’Brien is Ready for The Top Job at Balllydoyle- YET”

Notice I am not using inflammatory terminology, I am trying to be objective here. He will be a great jockey, he has so much potential, but he lacks experience. For me he needs to get experience and work his way up, he has been thrown in at the deep end and is showing his lack of experience and in my view losing races that should have been won, simply through lack of experience.

Ryan Moore wins on The Grey Gatsby

Ryan Moore wins on The Grey Gatsby

On Saturday the Irish Champion Stakes saw Australia beaten, the Grey Gatsby overturning the York form. It is my view that Ryan Moore made the difference. Moore is a master horseman who has worked his way to the top. He has natural ability, but that only goes so far. In races like the Champion Stakes the margins between winning and losing are minute. The value to an operation like Coolmore is worth millions!

There are plenty of idiots who trot out the insults, I am trying to be sensible about it. Aidan O’Brien is a trainer and a Father. I have a son, no one can say anything against my son, I won’t allow it. I can understand Aidan O’Brien 100%. There is no doubt in time Joseph will be a great jockey. Yes he has won classics, the jockey’s title, but he is in a position where that is not in any way surprising, in fact it would be more so had he not! I am talking about the difference between being very good and being the best! In my view Ryan Moore is the best there is right now, the difference in my book is he has worked his way to the top and riding those 55 rated horses round Brighton one day and Catterick the next has shaped him, complementing raw talent with experience. The difference may be 1% but that was enough to make the difference on the Grey Gatsby.

If it was me, and I will say yet again, it isn’t it won’t ever be, and my view means diddly squat, other than I have the right to voice it, I would have signed up Ryan Moore and made sure Joseph learned as much over the subsequent 2 or 3 years. This is not a small family business, this is a multimillion pound operation.

Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United was realistic about his son Darren. I think it is the same here, but the difference is Joseph is good enough, he just needs more experience. Bringing in Ryan Moore for the big ones would also take the pressure off. Coolmore are in the fortunate position that they can sign whoever they want. It is not just money, they have horses any jockey in the world would want to ride!

The Grey Gatsby race is open to much debate, my view is Moore made the difference, others may have a different view. Fair enough.


However, the performance on LEADING LIGHT on Sunday can not be open to any debate, well not reasonable debate anyway. Kingscote should have worn a Dick Turpin mask such was the daylight robbery he perpetrated at The Curragh! The irony is the Ballydoyle pacemaker set it up for Brown Panther.

I have no idea what they were thinking in behind. Brown Panther was always going to stay, the time wasn’t world record pace, the rest of them badly misjudged the pace and gifted the race to the winner. Full marks to Richard Kingscote. He won, but Leading Light is the better horse every day of the week and the form book tells you that, no debate.

There can be no debate that Joseph O’Brien showed lack of experience there. Leading Light was never put in the race. The Pacemaker was there but made the pace for the winner, what was the purpose of all that? It looked bad, it was bad, the race was falsely run.

I would hope that Jospeh O’Brien gets the experience to make him fulfil his potential, but there is a danger that he could be adversely affected with so much pressure and criticism that will follow such a high profile team!

My personal view is he needs to learn to judge pace better, I think he gives them too much to do! I hope this article is read as constructive and not the usual disparaging bile posted by many on the internet!

Aidan O’Brien is the best trainer I have seen in my life, after Roger Charlton of course, and I have total respect for him. He is also a Father and I can see where he is coming from. I just think he would be doing right by Joseph to get him to be the best by learning from the best!

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