VICTORIA ROAD: BC’22 Juvenile Turf Press Conference 

November 4, 2022

Photo of Victoria Road by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

Keeneland News Release

THE MODERATOR: Ryan Moore, congratulations. Juvenile Turf with Victoria Road. Let’s start at the end. Looked like Silver Knott actually got in front of you at one point. Did that give your horse a little extra push to the finish seeing the other horse in front of him.

RYAN MOORE: My horse, he was in a nice spot and the pace set again down the back straight. And there was a lot of traffic going into the lane.

I thought I would try to get out, Mike was going out, and I was thinking to follow him. There wasn’t much room. There was much room, but there was enough of a gap and my horse showed a really good attitude and he quickened, and he got through.

I think when he done that, he shut down a little bit and just drifted out into the middle of the track slightly. And he left the door open for the runner-up.

I felt he was come to go get me, but my horse did respond or maybe the other horse peeked on his run slightly. But I thought in the lane he had won. And when the out rider was saying it was close, I was pretty sure he held on.

But he’s got better all through the year. He’s won his last four now. He’s already won over a little further. But he’s a handy horse who travels well, got plenty of pace. He’s very comfortable. And he’s out of a very fast mare. But (indiscernible) deep impact and you’d like to think he’s going to be more of a 3-year-old than a 2-year-old.

THE MODERATOR: You think he can improve from this and heading into next year as a 3-year-old for the Classics.

RYAN MOORE: We’d like to think so. That’s what we’d be expecting of him.

Q. Can you compare your last two mounts on him to earlier when you rode him? You talked about improvement. What did you see?

Photo of Victoria Road by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

RYAN MOORE: I rode him twice over six furlongs at the Curragh and the Sals (phonetic) race against some very fast horses, but he showed good speed to (indiscernible) them. When you’re asking a horse to — over six furlongs and he’s in top gear the whole way, you can’t show that turn of foot, you know? You’re already into high gear.

As he’s going up on (indiscernible) he’s gotten better, and he’s won at Gowran. And he won a listed race in Deauville, beat a very good Churchill (indiscernible), won the Busac (phonetic). And he put a good performance over nine in Chantilly, picking up wildly on.

He’s an adaptive horse. He’s a handy horse, he’s a very sound horse and he’s got a great attitude (indiscernible). He’s very straightforward that way.

THE MODERATOR: This is his eighth start. That’s a lot for a 2-year-old especially as much traveling as he’s done all around the world now. You mentioned how handy he is. So, didn’t really see a question in a field with these tight American turns?

RYAN MOORE: No, he’s such a straightforward horse. He’s got a good mind. He’s got good action. He’s very comfortable in these tight turning tracks.

THE MODERATOR: And this race you’ve won five times now. It’s been very successful for you. And teaming up against —

RYAN MOORE: (Indiscernible) today.

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to it. And teaming up with this group with the Coolmore group and Aidan, you’ve had so much success. Tell us a little bit about the relationship you have with this group.

RYAN MOORE: I’ve been very fortunate to ride for Aidan for a long time now. And I’m very privileged that they produce, I think, the best horses in the world, really. And you can’t do it without the horses. Doesn’t matter how good a jockey or trainer you are, you need the horses. That’s what it’s about.

We’re fortunate, real strong team this year. The 2-year-olds looked good, and Aidan’s been spot on all year.

THE MODERATOR: Aidan, congratulations. A double for all the connections today. And Victoria Road, we were just talking with Ryan about you saying what a handy horse he is. Now this being his eighth start of the year. He must be a pretty tough colt.

AIDAN O’BRIEN: Absolutely. He is, Colin rides him every day at home. Does a great job, Colin. We thought he’s precocious. A nice size horse, a very fast horse. Ran him over 5 and 6 early. We were disappointed he was getting beat.

Obviously, he’s a (indiscernible) Saxon warrior. He’s very fast on the dam side. And obviously the class and the (indiscernible) is coming from Saxon warrior.

Ryan started to take his time on him. We were riding him far with over 5 and 6. When he did, he said that was the way to ride him. And obviously he won I think his last three.

When Ryan rode him the last day in Change, took his time, came from a long way back, which is a difficult thing to do.

Ryan said to me after that he thought he was our French Derby horse for next year. So he’s a very exciting horse. He’s not big. He’s well-balanced. Ryan had him in a lovely spot today. Took his time on him, said he was going to produce him late. I didn’t know he was going to produce him that late. But delighted, really.

THE MODERATOR: Ryan took us through the race a little bit and it looked like Silver Knott got a head or neck in front of him. Is that kind of this horse, when he feels that competition, he battles like that?

AIDAN O’BRIEN: I think so. Ryan just said when he came in, said when he got there, he waited a little bit. He got a spit down through him. Is that what you thought, Ryan?

RYAN MOORE: Yes, then had the race won but waited.

Q. When did you start thinking Breeders’ Cup could be a good fit for this horse?

AIDAN O’BRIEN: We thought when his form changed from he was getting beat a few times early. Then when he stepped up and tripped, looked like he was going to get seven furlongs, when he got seven furlongs, looked like he was going to get a mile. He won over nine furlongs the last time.

He’s a horse that had pace to run over 5 and 6 no problem. And when you’re that type of horse that relaxes the way he does and gets that type of trip, we thought it was going to suit him well.

Q. And as busy as he’s been racing from the start, you did get a little bit of break ahead of this race. What went into that?

AIDAN O’BRIEN: Sure. I suppose when he won the last time in Chantilly, that’s what we were thinking, we weren’t going to run him again at Augusta Road and in Doncaster in the Futurity. We were trying to split him up.

We thought this race would suit him. We were hoping we would get nice ground. And I suppose that’s what we were thinking. And he had plenty of experience.

Q. This is the third Keeneland Breeders’ Cup. And you’ve had — the last two were great. I mean, all your horses seem to run well. You have two winners for the meeting now. Is it easier for you to run in Kentucky maybe than the West Coast?

AIDAN O’BRIEN: I’m not sure about that. I think obviously the lads at home and everybody have their horses in great shape at the moment. And obviously Ryan is riding absolutely brilliant. So all those things are big factors.

And obviously we have very well-bred, unbelievable, individual horses. So when all those factors come together, it is always very possible but the horses had ran very consistent through the season this year and the 2-year-old especially and they had been improving from run to run. So I suppose for that to happen makes a lot of stuff has to be right. And like I say Ryan is riding brilliant.

Q. How many can we expect tomorrow then?

AIDAN O’BRIEN: We were hoping coming here we might have a winner — exactly. That’s the truth. We never expect to have a winner. We do our best to have them, right. As right as we can have. But then accept the result. So we know how difficult it is to win Breeders’ Cup races. We’ve come many years not had any winners. So we’re very grateful to have two winners today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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