12/08/2010 3:40PM

Ryan Moore tops International Jockey Challenge in Hong Kong


Ryan Moore, the two-time Breeders’ Cup-winning British rider, got the better of local champion Doug Whyte in a thrilling finish to the final race to land the 13th Cathay Pacific International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley, Hong Kong, on Wednesday evening.

Julien Leparoux, the American representative in a field of 12 of the world’s top pilots, made little impact on the four-race competition. His best result was aboard Travel Guide, who finished fifth, just under two lengths behind the Whyte-partnered My Goal, in the third leg.

Leparoux’s other mounts finished sixth, ninth and 10th, meaning that he failed to score in a competition where points are allotted only to the first three in each race – 12 to the winner, six to the second and four to the third.

Moore, who shared this championship with Christophe Lemaire and Johnny Murtagh last year, started well when he brought Something Special with a late run to justify favoritism in the first leg.

His next two rides both finished well beaten and his chance looked remote when Whyte, the 10-time champion jockey and winningest rider in the history of Hong Kong racing, looked set to make all the running aboard Ho Wongchoy in the final leg while Moore’s mount, Fearless, entered the stretch with just two rivals behind him.

But Moore switched Fearless to the wide outside, and the pair conjured a remarkable late burst to catch Ho Wongchoy in the last 50 yards and win by three-quarters of a length.

So Moore, 27, landed the HK$200,000 (US$25,742) first prize, while Whyte, who has won this competition on three previous occasions, this time had to content himself with second place, and the Australian, Nash Rawiller, who won leg two aboard Record High, finished third.