Ryan Moore: Temper the Kingman hype... and leave the jockeys' title alone

Ryan rode Kingman to success at Newmarket
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Ryan was impressed with Kingman after riding him to victory at Newmarket on Saturday, but warns against overreacting to the performance at this early stage. The Betfair ambassador also has a message to those calling for all-weather racing to be removed from the jockeys' title...

"When I see that Kingman is quoted as low as 8-1 for the 2,000 Guineas - and trading at [10.0] on Betfair - then I think it's time to put the performance into perspective. We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves here."

A few people apparently remarked that I looked very upbeat in the winners' enclosure after Kingman's debut victory at Newmarket on Saturday.

That may well be so, and I don't mind telling you that I was very impressed by what is clearly an exciting colt.

He gave me a real good feel, and could be anything.

He looked raw, physically, beforehand and felt asleep going down to the start and coming out of the stalls. He missed the start and took time to get himself organised. But once I asked him to go and win his race, he quickened like a really good horse in the final 2f, even though he was still looking around as he lengthened.

That performance certainly bodes very well for the future - I really liked him - but the time to judge these horses is when they step up in grade against better horses, and maybe that will come into the Solario Stakes at Sandown next.

If he turns out to be anywhere approaching as good as Raven's Pass, who won the Sandown race by seven lengths for the stable in 2007, then I am sure Mr Abdullah and Gosden will be happy men indeed.

But when I see that he is quoted as low as 8-1 for the 2,000 Guineas - and trading at [10.0] on Betfair - then I think it's time to put the performance into perspective. We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves here.

Remember, he won that maiden from a horse that had previously finished last of 11 on his only previous start, with another newcomer back in third and a horse in fourth who had finished last of 19 on his debut. And the only horse with any worthwhile form going into the race runs well below par.

Now, I know that you can probably put a decent figure on the performance formwise, given the emphatic nature and ease of the win. And the speed figures boys were impressed, too.

But I don't think Kingman's win justifies him being an 8-1 chance for the Guineas next May - the race is 10 months away, after all, so what price is he to even line up on the day?  - and he is about the same kind of price as War Command. But at least that horse won the Coventry by six lengths, and not what is, in all probability, an average maiden  by the same distance.

And people are too generally far too quick to hype up these kind of horses. I remember Top Offer being similarly touted after winning his Newbury maiden a couple of seasons ago and, although he has clearly had his problems since, the fact is he has beaten eight horses home in four subsequent starts and finished last of 11 off a mark of 92 last time.

But Kingman couldn't have made a more promising start, that much is true.

Stupid idea

Elsewhere, I was a bit disappointed to read that some people are advocating changing the jockeys' title to start on Craven Day, finish on Champions Day, and ignore all-weather racing.

To be blunt, I think it is a stupid idea.

I believe everyone should be given a chance to get on the ladder and make a name for themselves, and if you are young and hungry and willing to put the hours in, then why shouldn't they get the recognition? It is how I got the opportunity to progress. And I actually think it is disrespectful of people to even suggest these changes.

They have probably been thought up by people who want to package the title with a nice little bow and present it on Champions' Day but that is not how the sport works. We must give everyone an equal chance.

And ignoring all-weather racing wouldn't be wise, either. A lot of all-weather maidens are much better than many turf ones these days, and it wasn't long ago that Ghanaati was winning a Classic after winning a Kempton maiden.

So, I think people should respect the history of the jockeys' title and leave well alone.


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