Gerald Mosse emerged from Sha Tin Jan. 9 as "Mr. 100 Percent" -- two rides for two easy wins -- and immediately announced that rumors of his imminent retirement are completely unfounded.
Mosse, who turned 42 last week, arrived stylishly with One World for John Moore, and Meridian Pride for Almond Lee Yee-tat before assuring owners, trainers and the fans that he’ll be around for some while yet.
“To come here today for just two rides was a bit disappointing, but to turn those two rides into two nice winners was very enjoyable; I can take more of that,” Mosse laughed.
“But the fact I had only two rides today needs highlighting. Everyone seems to think I am retiring, so they are not giving me rides. But that is not the case, I will decide when I finish riding, no one else.”
Mosse did concede, however, that he is only licensed until March 22, after which he plans to base himself in France for the majority of the 2009 European season.
“I love Hong Kong, but the break will do me good,” the Frenchman explained. “I have the opportunity to ride for Alain de Royer-Dupre, and Carlos Laffon-Parias, and I am looking forward to that. I want to stay in France right up to the Arc meeting (early October).
“After that, I would like to come back to Hong Kong and ride again, if they will have me. I sincerely hope I will be given that opportunity.”
Mosse’s double took him to nine winners for the term, a sterling effort in a season that has been blighted with two major suspensions, the first one held over from last season when stewards deemed him to have erred on the Moore-trained favorite Willing Storm.
“That was the one that killed me,” Mosse continued. “I missed the first nine meetings of the season because of that suspension which, for me, was too big a penalty for a simple mistake.
“What people do not understand is that the real penalty goes way beyond those nine meetings. You are missing the association with the horses. Other jockeys get on horses that I might have been riding, they win on them and then you don’t get back on. Other partnerships are formed in your absence, and this makes it very hard to get any momentum when your suspension finishes. You have to start all over again.”
Mosse then hit a second big hurdle, when stewards found him guilty of not riding Meridian Pride all the way to the finishing line on Nov. 30 and suspended him for five more meetings.
“I think I hit the horse 24 times, but I did not in the last stride and they suspended me,” he bemoaned, “but anyway, he’s won today so that’s good for the owners, and he certainly owed me that.”
Of One World, who made light of his top weight of 133 pounds in racking up win number seven in the space of just 17 starts, Mosse was suitably impressed.
“He is a lovely horse, and felt very good underneath me as he lengthened out on the straight,” Mosse said. “He managed the 1,400 meters today but he is still a little bit hot (in temperament) and wanted to go a bit too keenly in the first 250 meters or so.
“The way he feels, he will get even further than 1,400 meters eventually but not just at the moment. He needs to learn to relax and settle down better before he’ll be ready to handle a mile.”