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TORONTO, February 12, 2024 – In this week’s edition of MMQP, multiple graded stakes winning jockey David Moran talks about his road to recovery after ankle surgery in 2023 and what goals he is chasing in 2024.

Starting Gate

  • Hails from Templemore, Ireland, and started his career in 1999 with trainer Frank Ennis before becoming an apprentice rider for Jim Bolger in 2001
  • 558 career wins 
  • 40 career stakes wins  
  • In 2011, Moran and his family moved to Canada, and he scored his first win as a Woodbine regular with War Ridge
  • His first stakes win after the move came on September 8, 2012, in the La Prevoyante with Nikkis Bold Gelato
  • Top horses include Roan Inish, Artie’s Storm, Crumlin Spirit, Dimension (GB), Phil’s Cocktail, The Minkster, Grand Arch, Barefoot Lady (IRE), Rideforthecause
David Moran at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
David Moran at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

Opening Quarter

“I broke my ankle, both bones, in a morning training accident in August last year. I had to have surgery, and plates and screws inserted on both sides. It was a long recovery and it happened in the middle of the season, so the tough part was watching all your horses winning – the ones you had been working all summer. At the end of the day, it is part of the game.”

Half Mile

“At the beginning, when you are injured, you are somewhat in denial. Even when the accident happened, the first thing that went through my mind was, ‘It’s only a bruise – I’ll be back in a few days.’ You just have to take it and get on with it. I did the healing part and with the help of physio and fitness trainers, I got myself going. With the recovery, I was always ahead of schedule.

“There were a lot of horses – at the time I was injured – that I was helping prepare and looked as though they were going to do well. Even the horse (Frac Dancer) who broke my ankle, I had said a couple of weeks before, ‘I found a really nice 2-year-old.’ And then he went out and won back-to-back races, one of them being a stakes race. I also had a 2-year-old, Siesta Beach, for (trainer) Mike Doyle, and that horse went on to win and was second in a stakes race. I missed a couple of wins on Artie’s Storm too.

Malibu Mambo and jockey David Moran winning Race 5 on August 12, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
Malibu Mambo and jockey David Moran winning Race 5 on August 12, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

“The final race I rode before I was injured was a nice allowance win with Malibu Mambo for Mike Doyle. The horses were just starting to hit form, so I missed a lot of winners in the fall.

“There was some real excitement in the fall when my son (apprentice rider Pietro Moran) started up and did very well. It kept me involved and gave me something to look forward to when I was watching the races. Now that we are both training, I can’t wait to hook up with him down the lane – just him and I hooking up in a real battle in the stretch. (Laughing) Hopefully, I can get the better of him.”

Stretch Drive

“When you come back after injury, you have points to prove again, that you can still do it and do it at a high level. There is definitely extra motivation for the season. I feel great. I feel confident. I feel excited for this year.”  

Finish Line

“I remember waking up in the hospital just after I had my surgery and I was feeling sorry for myself. There was a guy beside me in the room and I could hear the doctors talking to him – he was being prepped to have his leg amputated. I said to myself, ‘Shut up, you fool. You only have five or six months before you can get back to normal and this fella’s life is changed forever.’ That opened my eyes.”

Winner’s Circle

Toronto Sun: Jockey David Moran Followed his Passion all the way to Canada

Woodbine: Woodbine Winter Watch with Gail Cox and David Moran

Jockey David Moran and Artie's Storm after winning the Stella Artois Eclipse Stakes on May 29, 2022 (Michael Burns Photo)
Jockey David Moran and Artie’s Storm after winning the Stella Artois Eclipse Stakes on May 29, 2022 (Michael Burns Photo)

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms

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