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Arthur Moore

Where do you want to start with the story about Arthur Moore and Organisedconfusion? At the beginning?

In 1999, Lady O’Reilly sent Arthur Moore a mare called Histologie, a mare from a good French jumping family, bred to be a staying chaser. It soon became apparent, however, that the mare wasn’t going to make it as a racehorse, so the decision was taken to sell her as a broodmare prospect.

Moore liked Histologie, he liked that she was from the family of top staying chaser Ucello II, and the 1987 King George winner Nupsala. He dug deep and gave the story roots, contacted his old friend Tim Murray, his first ever owner, who had owned The Brockshee, whom Moore had trained to win the Arkle Trophy at the 1982 Cheltenham Festival. Moore thought that they could have some fun with the mare between them, and they cobbled together the inclination and the wherewithal to buy the mare when Lady O’Reilly put her up for sale at Fairyhouse.

“Eight or nine grand she cost,” recalls Moore now, pensively. “Not that much money really.”

Moore also liked the stallion Laveron, a French Champion Hurdle winner, who stood at Scarvagh House Stud in Northern Ireland in 2004 and 2005. He thought that Laveron would be a good fit for his new broodmare. He was right. The resultant foal was Organisedconfusion.

Where do you want to start with the story about Arthur Moore and the Irish Grand National? At the beginning?

Arthur’s father, the legendary Dan Moore, rode Golden Jack to win the Irish Grand National in 1943, and he rode Revelry to win it in 1947. Arthur himself rode the Georgie Wells-trained King’s Sprite to win the Irish National in 1971, beating his father’s Gold Cup hero L’Escargot into third place, and was back in the yard for evening stables before dusk.

But the Irish Grand National roots run even deeper through the trainer’s psyche. Moore was standing beside his good friend Anthony Robinson when the owner made the winning bid for Tied Cottage at Doncaster Sales, and he was standing in the stands at Fairyhouse when, with regular rider Tommy Carberry on the sidelines with a broken ankle, he watched the ultimately terminally ill amateur Robinson ride his horse to victory in the 1979 Irish Grand National, providing Dan Moore with his only victory in the race as a trainer.

Arthur’s quest to train an Irish National winner in his own right remained unbowed. He had to wait 17 years after Tied Cottage for Feathered Gale, but it was worth the wait. So were the next 15 years for Organisedconfusion.

At the end?

You can never decide that you are going to breed an Irish Grand National winner, but you can do all you can to maximise your chances of breeding a good staying chaser, and hope that one day he will be good enough to be competitive in an Irish National.

Owned by Alan and Grace Dunlop, second only behind Tim Murray as owners with Arthur Moore, Organisedconfusion finished third in his first point-to-point in April 2009, then ran in a hurdle race at Down Royal. After that, he went straight over fences.

“We didn’t see any point in wasting time over hurdles,” says Arthur. “We always thought he was going to be a chaser, he impressed us when he won his beginners’ chase at Gowran Park and, after he finished third behind Rare Bob in the Leopardstown Chase in January last season, we were always going to run him in the Irish National.”

Organisedconfusion was only six years old on Irish Grand National day last year, and never before had he competed on the racetrack over a distance in excess of two and a half miles. Stamina unproven and youthful exuberance where history tells you that you need experience and nous: Moore wasn’t fazed.

“I never really thought about his age actually,” admits the trainer. “I always thought that he would have the strength and the stamina for it. And he is such a laid-back individual, thank God, I knew that he would relax through the race.”

To that end, Nina Carberry was an ideal accomplice. The trainer’s niece, she and Organisedconfusion were a little further forward than ideal through the early part of the race, the young horse was just a little keen, but before they turned into the straight for the first time, rider and horse were in unison, relaxed, progressing as one. Even so, Moore didn’t allow himself think that they might win until the run to the final fence.

“There was a loose horse beside us,” says the trainer, “ and I was just a little worried that he would carry us out at the last. Thankfully, nothing like that happened, and we stayed on really well all the way to the line.”

Organisedconfusion was led back into the winner’s enclosure at Fairyhouse last year, jubilant scenes, and Arthur put his now famous Trilby on the horse’s head. That’s the tradition now – big race win, Trilby on head. Have a look at the aftermath of L’Escargot’s win in the Grand National in 1975, or Klairon Davis’s win in the 1996 Champion Chase, or any of Moore’s seven other Cheltenham Festival wins, or Native Upmanship’s Mellng Chase win, and spot the common denominator: Trilby on horse’s head.

Where do you want to start with the story about Arthur Moore and the Aintree Grand National? At King Johns Castle? At L’Escargot?

Arthur was assistant trainer to his father when Dan Moore sent out L’Escargot to get the better of Red Rum in the 1975 Grand National. Then, in 2008, King Johns Castle almost got to wear the Trilby into Aintree’s winner’s enclosure when he finished second behind Comply Or Die. In 2010, the same King Johns Castle refused to cross the starting line.

Next Saturday, Organisedconfusion goes to Aintree in a bid to land a first Aintree National for Moore, while the trainer runs Lastoftheleaders in the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse tomorrow.

Ironically, Rhyme N Reason, the last six-year-old to win the Irish National, did go on to win at Aintree, but that was three years later, as a nine-year-old. No seven-year-old has won the Aintree Grand National since Bogskar in 1940 but, like the age stat in the Irish version last year, it is not a factor that worries Moore.

“Organisedconfusion is well,” says the trainer, “and we have had a good run into the race. He has a nice weight of 10st 8lb, we know that he stays well, and all looks set for a big run.”

By contrast, Lastoftheleaders’s stamina for the Irish National trip is as yet unproven, but Moore is also hopeful.

“He won a bumper at Punchestown over two and a quarter miles on heavy ground,” he says. “He has never won at a distance beyond an extended two miles over hurdles or fences, but he does shape like a stayer. If he settles early and gets into a nice rhythm, he will give himself every chance of staying. We’re hopeful.”

Where do you want the story to end?

© The Sunday Times, 8th April 2012