VETERAN Gerald Mosse has spoken of his delight at picking up the ride on St Leger winner Leading Light in Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
With trainer Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph, who was in the saddle when winning the Classic at Doncaster and the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, unable to get down to 8st 11lb, the allocated weight for three-year-olds in the race, Mosse’s services have been snapped up.
Forty-six-year-old Mosse won the 1990 Arc on Saumarez and has claimed plenty of the biggest races in the world, including the Melbourne Cup and several of Hong Kong’s major prizes where he rode for a prolonged period.
Leading Light was supplemented yesterday morning by his Coolmore owners, along with Criquette Head-Maarek’s Treve and Meandre, at a cost of 100,000 euros each.
O’Brien will also run the Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World, who will maintain his partnership with Ryan Moore, but both Camelot and Kingsbarns have been taken out of the race.
Mosse revealed he threw his hat into the ring for the ride when he learned Chicquita, the Irish Oaks winner, was being sent to the sales rather than running in the Arc.
“I’m extremely happy to have got the ride,” said Mosse.
“I put my services forward for the ride some time ago when I learned that my intended mount, Chicquita, was to be sold by her owner and would not be running.
“They rang me back and obviously I’m very grateful. I have ridden for Mr O’Brien before, but not in the Arc.
“I would not have a worry about the ground if it turned soft. (Yesterday) the ground was just on the soft side of good but we are expecting rain (overnight).
“The horse looks extremely strong and solid and that is just what you need to win an Arc.
“I’ve won the race before and it would be good to put my name back up there among the winners again, but this is not about me, it is about doing my best for the horse.
“He gets a three-kilo (8lb) allowance as a three-year-old which is very helpful and I’m very happy to be riding him.
“He comes from a top stable and looks to have a good chance. It was nice to be chosen to ride him. I’m delighted.”
The Fugue has been left in by John Gosden and not declared for the Prix de l’Opera, leaving a field of 19 for Europe’s most prestigious race.
Malton trainer Richard Fahey’s Garswood will take on Freddie Head’s brilliant filly Moonlight Cloud in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Sunday.
This will be a compelling seven-furlong race as Gordon Lord Byron defends his title – he won the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on his last outing.
He is joined on the trip from Ireland by Eddie Lynam’s smart filly Viztoria, winner of the Park Stakes at Doncaster.
Rebecca Menzies is relishing the prospect of saddling her first runner at Hexham today since becoming Britain’s youngest female trainer.
The 24-year-old has worked for Ferdy Murphy for a number of years, most recently filling the role as assistant to the handler who has recently moved to France to continue his career.
Murphy’s departure across the Channel prompted Menzies to take over the lease on Peter Beaumont’s Brandsby yard near York, with the Gold Cup-winning trainer still living on site.
Menzies kicks off her career in Northumberland as course winner Balding Banker lines up in the opening Kintail Luxury Holiday Cottage Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, with conditional jockey Tony Kelly, who moved with Menzies from Murphy’s yard, taking the ride.
Menzies said: “I can’t wait. On ratings, Balding Banker is one of the best. He actually bled quite badly on his last run for Ferdy, so we’ve gone fairly quietly with him.
“I’ve loved every minute since moving here. Tim Walford is just down the road and he has been kind enough let us use his gallop. We have our own round gallop and to use Tim’s as well, which is a bit stiffer, is a big help.
“Peter Beaumont is actually coming racing, so it will be interesting to see what he has to say. We’ve had plenty of snippets from him in the yard and it’s great to have him there.”