Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has seven booked rides at Newbury today, before heading over to Wolverhampton for two in the evening. Read on for his honest and frank thoughts on each...
On the face of it, I don't appear to have too much of a chance on this one after he finished last of 18 at Doncaster last month. And he also finished last on his only previous attempt over this trip. So let's hope that my agent knows more than the form book is telling me! On the plus side, it would be unwise to assume that he doesn't stay this trip on the evidence of just one run, he appears pretty well weighted on his second over a mile at Windsor last October and a first time visor may bring about some improvement.
With his horses in such good form, Henry's Noble Mission looks the one to beat here. He has the best form in the book, but in Guarantee and Model Pupil he does meet a couple of potential improvers. I really liked Guarantee last season but always suspected that the St Leger would just come a bit too soon for him, and I would expect him to leave that moderate run in the Classic behind him this season. I ride Model Pupil here, and he impressed me when I rode him to win at Doncaster last month. It was a bad race in bad ground, but I really liked the way he went through the line and he felt like he had an engine and that there was more to come. Conditions should be fine for him here and I think he is capable of giving Noble Mission a race. And Charlie's horses are continuing to run well.
Never really got into it in the Lincoln, but let's hope he improves as much from his first to second start as he did last season, as he came from Doncaster to Newbury to beat Fury a neck in this race last year. He is 8lb higher here, so I don't think he is particularly well-weighted, but he has his conditions and he probably has as good a chance as most in here. Nothing more to say than that really.
I have ridden two of the likely market leaders, Rosdhu Queen and The Gold Cheongsam, and I would find it hard to choose between them and Maureen. It's looks a really tight race. But my mount City Image is not without a chance. I rode her when she finished a below-par sixth in the Cherry Hinton but she showed her best form when a close fourth to Purr Along in a Group 3 over 7f at Deauville. Even on that form, she needs to have improved a good deal in the close season to be winning this though, and we will only find out whether she has on the racecourse today. I've heard she is working well though.
Sir Patrick Moore
I think it is pretty clear that Olympic Glory and Moohaajim will fill the first two places here, but is very hard to split the pair and I wouldn't be confident of naming the winner. On official marks I should be finishing third on Sir Patrick Moore and that is realistically the best I can hope for. He won his first two starts well, and showed he is up to listed class afterwards, but his pretensions to Group 1 class were exposed when he was sixth in the Racing Post Trophy. But he is a decent sort, who has won on the course, so let's see how he gets on.
Kyllachy Rise is probably the one to beat in here from those to have raced. But Bold Sniper is nicely bred, works nicely and a mile is a good starting point for him.
Is another well-related newcomer of The Queen's. He also goes nicely enough at home, but I suspect that he will need the experience here and there are plenty of unexposed horses against him, notably John Gosden's Galileo newcomer, Derby entry Feel Like Dancing. But hopefully Circus Turn will give us something to build on.
Of Course Darling
I don't know much about her, other than the fact that her best run was first time up, when fourth in a Newmarket maiden, last season. She may need further than this in time and meets plenty of other unexposed fillies in here, but she doesn't look badly treated off 69 on her debut form and perhaps this surface will bring about some improvement after she raced solely on soft ground last year.
This could be quite a hot little maiden for the track, with newcomers from the Godolphin, Gosden and Botti stables - Woodland Aria has an Oaks entry - and I also hear that Godolphin think a fair bit of Waverunner, even though her form at two was nothing special. But Elik should go well. In truth, while she showed ability, she disappointed us a little in both of her starts at two, but I reckon that she wasn't suited by slow ground and hopefully she should benefit from racing on this surface. She has been going well at home, and hopefully you will see an improved performance from her today and she can get her head in front. Let's hope so, as it's a bloody long way back from Wolverhampton on a Saturday night!