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“Dad was just scratching his head, he didn’t want to buy a horse”

WHEN it comes to England’s most powerful racing family, there’s Moore that jumps out at you.

There’s hardly a corner of the racing world that Gary Moore and his kids haven’t conquered.

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Jamie, Gary and Josh Moore are hoping for a winner or two at CheltenhamCredit: Jamie Mc Philimey

The name ‘Moore’ strikes fear into the hearts of all Flat jockeys thanks to leader Ryan, 38, and his younger brothers Jamie, 37, and Josh, 30, being some of the best at home.

Their sister Hayley, 34, who had great success as an amateur driver, is now an established member of the Sky Sports Racing team.

Rumor has it you’re never more than two meters from a Moore…

But success was not handed to any of them. He came through toil, tears and sweat, a trait passed down to 65-year-old Gary from his father, Charlie.

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In fact, the Moore racing dynasty started by accident.

Gary explained: “My dad had no racing blood, he was self-taught and a used car salesman.

“One day he was in the crowd at a horse sale at Sandown without paying attention, scratching his head. The auctioneer took this as an offer – he bought a horse for £300.

“He didn’t know what to do with it. He lived at the top of Brighton Racecourse, so he rented a yard from the council with four stalls.

“By the time he left to start training at Epsom he had 80 horsepower so you have to take your hat off to him.”

Ryan Moore is one of the best flat jockeys in the world

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Ryan Moore is one of the best flat jockeys in the worldCredit: PA: Press Association

You could never accuse any of the Moores of shirking a bit of rudeness.

Jamie and Josh tend to the twine of 100 sons from their dad – if they’re not busy replacing gates and fence posts that have been stolen overnight!

Gary also likes to get his hands dirty when he’s not tending to an injury.

He joked: “I don’t know what this is about, but the horses seem to like kicking me. Goshen left me the other day. It hurts damn bad.

Injuries are no laughing matter for Jamie and Josh, however. Both have broken their backs in the past 18 months.

Jamie said: “I had a tough 2020. After Goshen in Triumph, my wife was sick and I broke some vertebrae.

“But I had my family around me to support me, which helped me through. I know I’m lucky to have the life I lead, so I try not to let myself down.

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Josh added: “My injury looked worse than it was, it obviously got a lot of attention because I was stuck in the hospital bed waiting for the operation.

“There were bigger issues for other people at the time with Covid. You realize that there are people worse off than you, so you have to move on.

But there have been many ups, the main one Sir De Grugy Champion Chase won in 2014.

He is now living out his days as the Moore family pet.

Jamie said: “Champion Chase was a great day out, the whole family was there and Ryan greeted me on the slide as we walked in.

“It’s true that I spoke to Ruby at the top of the hill during the race and asked him what to do – I was doing so well and he had been in this situation much more than me!

“We love Sire, he is part of the family. My wife goes out to hack it and the kids ride and ride it and it’s an absolute gentleman.

“They could settle in his stable and he wouldn’t flinch.”

Sire De Grugy won 17 races for the Moore's

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Sire De Grugy won 17 races for the Moore’sCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Triumph Hurdle competitor Porticello travels to Cheltenham on Friday

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Triumph Hurdle competitor Porticello travels to Cheltenham on FridayCredit: PA

It’s not just work and no play.

Gary participates in a racquetball league while Jamie and Josh are avid gym goers.

The whole family are football mad – they are Brighton fans with a soft spot for Arsenal, as Gary’s mum grew up in North London.

These divided loyalties almost caused a problem when the family traveled to Brighton against Arsenal at the Amex Stadium.

Gary laughed: “We took Ryan and his boy to his very first game and we were on the Brighton side.

“Arsenal won 1-0 and little Toby got up from his seat to celebrate – I’ve never seen Ryan move so fast to put him back!”

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So what chance of adding a third Festival winner to their list this year?

Josh feels he has an outside chance on Editeur Du Gite – who wears the same colors as Sire De Grugy – in the Champion Chase.

“It’s a great round. He’s still improving, we haven’t seen the best of him,” he said.

“He was brilliant when I won around Aintree last year and he gives me a great feeling at home.”

But their best chance is undoubtedly in the Triumph Hurdle, where Porticello is one of the main contenders.

Gary said: “We would really need a cut in the ground for him, but you can’t blame him.

“He’s a really big fighter, so what he’s done this season is a miracle. He’s got a big engine.

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