Michael Cox



Gary wants Moore from Macau ‘homecoming’ and is eyeing Hong Kong’s rich pickings

Gary Moore has been granted a license to train in Macau for the 2022-23 season, ending an eight year stint at Rosehill.

Given how much Gary Moore has achieved in Macau it might seem strange to hear him talk of unfinished business at Taipa Racecourse, but the trainer’s trademark enthusiasm comes to the fore and a smile spreads across his face when he speaks about his return to the gambling mecca. 

“I have three goals in mind: I want to make it 10 trainers’ premierships, I want to win a Macau Derby, which has eluded me, and I want a horse that is good enough to go and tackle the Hong Kong Group races,” he told the Report

“It’s official, the Macau Jockey Club have licenced me for the 2022-23 season. I am really excited, there is so much I still want to achieve in Macau and I am looking forward with those goals in mind.” 

Those goals would seem ambitious for anybody other than Moore, who boasts a Hall of Fame CV on both sides of the Pearl River Delta, not to mention his achievements in Europe – where he won an Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a jockey – and Australia, where he was a Group 1-winning trainer during his eight year stint. 

In 2000 Moore took his training talents to Macau and was a dominant force for 13 seasons, winning seven titles and a host of big races including his famous 2010 Hong Kong-Macau Trophy triumph at Sha Tin with 100-1 shot Viva Pronto. 

“I had a lot of success in Macau but I didn’t win a Derby, and I want that on my resume, and I want to find some horses good enough to travel to Hong Kong and win some of those big races,” he said.  

When Moore last trained in Macau in 2014, the only Hong Kong race open to visitors from Macau was the lone Interport series leg at Sha Tin, but all of Hong Kong’ stakes races, except the four-year-old series, are now open to visitors. 


The Gary Moore-trained Viva Pronto (Photo: Macau Jockey Club)

Part of Moore’s successful application to Macau was securing 12 permits and he will fill them, and the rest of his boxes, with a mix of talent from around the world. 

“I hope to be over there and training by October, and we will be looking at the ready-to-run sales in Australia and I have a couple of horses that are spelling here that I will bring with me,” he said.

“But I have also looked at the smart way Annabel Neasham has imported horses to Australia, targeting the older horses, and steering clear of the more expensive three-year-olds turning four that the Hong Kong owners are all over.

I had a lot of success in Macau but I didn’t win a Derby, and I want that on my resume, and I want to find some horses good enough to travel to Hong Kong and win some of those big races.

“I think we can secure some tried horses from Europe that will be affordable and suitable. It is difficult to get to Hong Kong at the moment, but things are slowly opening in Macau, and I think now is the right time to go back.

“I had some great times in Macau and trained for some amazing people who I still have links with. Stanley Ho, who owned Viva Pronto, was somebody who had a huge influence on my career there. He has passed away but his son Arnaldo Ho is carrying on his love of racing and legacy. I hope we can have some success.”

TV star Liza Wang Ming-chun, Stanley Ho and Gary Moore in 1978. (Photo by Yau Tin-kwai/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

Moore’s training partnership with his brother John dissolved after a matter of weeks last year but he said there were no hard feelings and that he was grateful to the owners he had trained for in Sydney. 

“Well, with John, it was bad luck it didn’t work out but overall I had a great eight years back in Australia, I got to train with one of the greatest trainers of all time, and I had some lovely owners that I am very thankful for, Arrowfield, Bon Ho and Yulong,” he said. 

“I am Australian but I have lived most of my life in Asia, between Hong Kong and Macau. I was back there a few weeks ago in Hong Kong and it was very special, it felt like being welcomed home.” 

Gary Moore is bringing his unbridled enthusiasm back to Macau. (Photo by Lo Chun Kit /Getty Images)

Moore, now 70, will be joined in the Taipa trainer’s stand by his son Nicholas and brother-in-law Peter Leyshan, but each will be going it alone.

Macau Jockey Club has struggled to maintain its horse population in recent years but Moore is hopeful the jurisdiction can turn things around.

“Now is the right time,” he said. “I hope my energy and the horses I can attract will help.” 



    Subscribe now & get exclusive weekly content from Asian Racing Report direct to your inbox

      Expert ratings, tips & analysis for Hong Kong racing