Football super-agent Kia Joorabchian has launched an “internal investigation” after his employee dropped a bombshell live on TV. Rossa Ryan told ITV viewers he had split from Amo Racing, the thoroughbred operation run by Joorabchian.
The owner, who has represented the likes of Philippe Coutinho, chose a different jockey to ride Persian Force in the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville this weekend. He said this was while they looked into why Ryan competed at York’s Ebor meeting on Friday instead of Newbury, where Amo Racing had one runner.
Ryan travelled to the Knavesmire track and he made the announcement after taking the Assured Data Protection EBF Fillies’ Handicap on impressive winner State Occasion. Speaking to presenter Oli Bell, he said: “Me and Amo have departed our own ways,” before adding: “Kia and all the team were great to me there and I can only be thankful for what they offered me, it was brilliant. They took my career to a new level and I wish them the best of luck.
“Hopefully it won’t be the last time I ride for them, hopefully I’ll pick up a couple later in the year as spares, but not as first jockey.”
Joorabchian told the Racing Post in response: “Amo suspended Rossa Ryan for the weekend pending an internal investigation. I’m deeply saddened by this as I took Rossa on as an apprentice and I supported him throughout when he had his injury. I have always been very loyal to him and have taken him to the Arc, the Breeders’ Cup and always trusted him.”
Amid the confusion, Ryan is booked to ride Amo Racing’s horse Olivia Maralda, who is part-owned by Aston Villa player Coutinho in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday afternoon.
That arrangement still stands and the pair line up in a field of seven, headed by hot favourite Meditate. Joorabchian, known for engineering big deals in the transfer market, has enjoyed plenty of success in racing since 2017.
His best horse is Mojo Star, who ran second in the 2022 Ascot Gold Cup, splitting star stayers Kyprios and Stradivarius. The Sea The Stars colt also finished runner-up behind Adayar in the 2021 Derby at Epsom.
That year was Amo Racing’s best one to date, with more than £1 million banked in prize money by the team’s horses. For the current Flat season, 26 winners have carried their purple colours to victory on the racecourse, at a strike rate of 17 per cent.