Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore provides the lowdown on four of his Derby day rides at Epsom on Saturday afternoon...
"Epsom won’t be a problem, and her placed efforts in Group 1 company last year make her the one to beat, even though she carries a 3lb penalty for her Group 3 win at Sandown."
- Ryan Moore on Veracious
Should give a good account of himself
14:00 - Nayef Road
He didn't run too badly when upped in class in the Dante, and this looks a more realistic assignment for him. It won't be easy, giving away weight all round off a mark of 105, especially as he went up 9lb for his Newmarket win. But he probably just about deserved that rise given the nature of his win, and we know 1m2f and decent ground suits him well. He is vulnerable to less-exposed up-and-comers but he should give a good account back in grade.
The one to beat
14:35 - Veracious
She was obviously a bit disappointing in the Dahlia on her return, as we thought she would just about win there. But maybe she just caught us out a bit on the fitness front, as she had little more to give in the final furlong or so. I wasn't hard on her though, and this looks a good opportunity for her with that run under her belt. Epsom won't be a problem, and her placed efforts in Group 1 company last year make her the one to beat, even though she carries a 3lb penalty for her Group 3 win at Sandown. Maybe the slight step back in trip, and the tongue-tie, will help, too.
Deserves his shot
15:10 - Zaaki
He was given a wonderful ride by Frankie on his return. We felt he could need it there at Ascot as he had not quite come in his coat, but he was given a peach to just get the better of Barney Roy, who has franked the form since. He has not always been the most straightforward but I think gelding has made a difference to him and hopefully Ascot has brought him on a fair deal, too. He deserves his shot at Group 3 level and has a decent chance.
Derby favourite has a serious chance
16:30 - Sir Dragonet
You can read Ryan's in-depth preview of the Epsom Derby here.
Time to kick on
17:15 - Sextant
I thought a lot of him as a juvenile but he had a few problems and didn't make the track. But he got some experience at three and he is another horse who has benefited from gelding. He certainly looked impressive when winning well on his return at Ascot, though he has paid for it with an 8lb rise. The second has been well beaten since but the third has come out and won, and of course he is a 4yo with precious few miles on the clock. Hopefully, he can kick on now and keep on progressing.