It’s a long way from being forced to sit on a bucket out the front of a stable as punishment to riding in a Melbourne Cup.
But that’s the extraordinary racing adventure Daniel “Buckets” Moor has been on and one that will feature his first Melbourne Cup ride, on Danny O’Brien’s in-form mare Miami Bound.
“Everyone wants a cool nickname I suppose but my nickname Buckets stuck,” Moor explains.
“It was more or less a form of punishment when I was an apprentice when I was late to work for Ray Lawson at Flemington.
“We used to have to be at the stables at 3.15am for Ray, but as a kid from Warrnambool I was pretty late on occasion.
“Ray would come up with all sorts of punishments.
“His last one was that I had to sit on a bucket out the front of the stables.
“I soon realised if I was late to work I didn’t ride many at trackwork and Ray had some interesting horses.”
Moor, 36, had a successful two-year riding stint in Singapore but decided to get out of the country with his family and return home to Victoria after the COVID pandemic struck.
The popular Victorian hoop is chasing his first Australian Group 1 win and it would be a remarkable story if he did it in the race that stops a nation.
A long-standing working relationship with O’Brien – who has four runners in the Melbourne Cup as he aims for back-to-back wins in the great race – has been the key to Moor snaring a Cup ride.
“I remember the moment where I wandered up to Danny’s training tower one morning at Flemington and told him I didn’t expect much, but did he mind if I came and rode a bit of work for him,” Moor says.
“Danny was all open for that – that was a long time ago now.
“I wandered up there just to ask for an opportunity – to go from asking for limited opportunities in the bush to riding in a Melbourne Cup I’m obviously very thankful for.
“From the minute I was declared on Miami Bound until the time I get on her in the race, it’s probably the most satisfying moments in my career.
“In the back of my mind I knew Danny could have a few runners in the Cup but for me to be in form and in favour with the stable, and a few other stables, I couldn’t be happier with the way it’s gone.”
Miami Bound, last year’s VRC Oaks winner, bounded back to her best last start when getting out over 2500m in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and romping to victory.
Miami Bound romps home in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Pic: Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
The four-year-old mare has won three from four on soft tracks but won’t get her favoured rain affected conditions at Flemington on Tuesday.
However Moor insists she is more than just a soft-tracker.
“We have discussed it at length in the stable and we are of the opinion it’s more about the distance of the races, not the track surface,” Moor says.
“It wasn’t until she got out to the trip of the Moonee Valley Cup that she showed her best this preparation.
“She does like soft ground, she is probably a fraction better on it, but she is fine on a good track as well.”
Miami Bound is a $41 chance on TAB.
Originally published asFrom a bucket to the Melbourne Cup glory?
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