Moore rides Toormore at Ascot
Ryan Moore has been booked to ride Toormore in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
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Owners Middleham Park Racing and James Pak moved swiftly to secure the three-times champion jockey for the Richard Hannon-trained colt after stable jockey Richard Hughes opted to partner Night Of Thunder. Kieren Fallon had also been in the frame.
Toormore could only finish seventh behind his stablemate in the Qipco 2000 Guineas, but connections hope last year's champion two-year-old can put that disappointing effort behind him.
He had won the Craven Stakes over the Rowley Mile in great style with Moore in the saddle before his Guineas run, beating subsequent French Derby hero The Grey Gatsby by two lengths.
"We got confirmation this afternoon Ryan Moore will definitely ride Toormore, which we're delighted about," said Middleham Park's racing manager Tim Palin.
"Ryan got on particularly well with Toormore in the Craven. We respect Richard Hughes' decision to ride Night Of Thunder. He's always liked that horse, it won the Guineas.
"It must have been very difficult for him and we're delighted to be in the race and secure Ryan, a tip-top jockey.
"The time of the Craven was an exceptional one. Richard (Hughes) said after the Guineas that Toormore ran flat. We felt he didn't go there quite on his A-game that day. Hopefully, he will turn up for the St James's Palace on his A-game.
"It's a very competitive race. There's Kingman and Night Of Thunder vying for favouritism, but if we can spoil the party that would be great.
"Next Tuesday is a big day in Toormore's life. Either he is the champion from last year and the best of his generation or the Guineas demonstrated the strength in depth of the three-year-old milers this year and that is his place in the pecking order.
"We will find that out on Tuesday which makes it very exciting."
Night Of Thunder and 2000 Guineas runner-up Kingman, who went one better in the Irish equivalent, were also among 12 entries at the six-day confirmation stage.
Aidan O'Brien has left in Dewhurst winner War Command, Michaelmas and Giovanni Boldini. Dermot Weld's Mustajeeb, third to Kingman at the Curragh, could join the Irish challenge, as could Paul Deegan's Prince Of All.
Charlie Appleby's Breeders' Cup winner Outstrip, Mark Johnston's Bow Creek, Gosden's Muwaary and the William Haggas-trained Yuften complete the list.