In this week’s report, trainer Gail Cox shares her thoughts on the 2022 campaign and looks ahead to the upcoming 2023 Woodbine season.


Jockey David Moran riding Silent Farewell.

David Moran riding Silent Farewell to victory on October 2, 2022 to give trainer Mike Keogh his final winner. (Michael Burns photo)

Jock Talk: David Moran

Stat pack

* 550 career wins
* 40 stakes victories
* Top horses include Roan Inish, Artie’s Storm, Grand Arch, Dimension (GB), I’m a Kittyhawk, Crumlin Spirit, The Minkster, Silent Runner
* Won 44 races in 2022 and reached $2.3 million (U.S.) in earnings for the second straight year. Notched three stakes scores (Grade 2 Stella Artois Eclipse, with Artie’s Storm, Queenston, with The Minkster, and Lake Huron, with Silent Runner). Teamed with Silent Farewell to deliver Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Mike Keogh his final victory.

Shaping up

“I’ve been keeping fit, just getting back into the swing of things. Usually, in February, I’m back in the pool and doing a lot of swimming. I swim an hour a day, five days a week, and play a lot of squash as well. That keeps you ticking too. But there’s nothing like riding horses. It’s amazing, all the different muscles that you use. It’s an incredible feeling when you are in that saddle. The treadmill is fine, but I find it very daunting. I’ll do it when I have to, but being in the pool and playing squash, those things make you more tired and you don’t even realize it when you’re in the middle of it.”

A solid season

“It was a decent year, overall. The earnings were pretty good, and I was happy enough with it. I had a lot of seconds in stakes, where if some of them had won, it would have been a super year. We finished second with Flirting Bridge (IRE) in the [Grade 1] E.P. Taylor, so the horses ran well, very well, but it would have been an amazing year if we could have gone one better with a few. Artie’s Storm, Paul Buttigieg’s horse, he was fantastic. He won the Grade 2 Eclipse, and he was top three in several other stakes too. He had a big year.”

Special victory

“The most memorable race for me last year was giving [trainer] Mike Keogh his last winner [with Silent Farewell, on October 2, 2022]. That meant a lot. Mike is such a super, super person, and amazing horse trainer. It was sad to see him retire, but that was like winning a stakes race. It was emotional. I met up with him this winter and he’s in good spirits. He’s happy. I also rode the last winner, Spring Mountain, for [trainer] Danny Vella, who retired this winter after a great career.”

This season

“The name of the game is winning races. That’s the bottom line. If the horses are running well, hitting the board, it keeps everyone happy. That was what happened in 2022. A lot of the horses finished in the top three or four, so I was having a good year that way. In terms of goals for this year or any year, I just try and win as many races as I can. That’s about it. I go out there with the aim of riding winners and trying to keep everyone happy. You hope you can ride for a barn that gets on that hot streak and ride that wave. This year, I have a few horses that I think look pretty promising. There were a few that were on the up last year and hopefully they make that jump forward this year.”

Finish line

“When the spring comes and the better weather arrives, that’s when you really start getting excited ahead of the season. There is always something to look forward to. When the horses start breezing in the spring and the temperature starts to go up, you can’t wait for the racing to start.”