Royal Ascot

Ryan Moore Royal Ascot Day 4 Rides: Little Big Bear is still the one to beat

Ryan Moore Betfair column
Will it be a winning Friday for Ryan at Royal Ascot?

Friday at Royal Ascot brings a ride in every race for record-setting Ryan Moore. Get his verdict on them all, including Little Big Bear in the Commonwealth Cup, here...

  • Ryan rides in every race on Friday at Royal Ascot

  • Our man sounds a confident note in Little Big Bear

  • Little Big Bear boosted to 6/42.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook!

  • And could Meditate spring a surprise?

14:30 - Matrika

She had the option of this or the Queen Mary, but we decided to come here. I thought at one stage we were going to run her in blinkers on her debut as she had worked in them at home, but we left them off. It proved the right decision as she won well over 6f at the Curragh.

The form of that maiden win clearly needs building on significantly but the third has come out and won and obviously the potential is there.

15:05 - Little Big Bear

An outstanding juvenile, his run in the 2,000 Guineas was clearly a write-off and I thought he did exceptionally well to get back on track at Haydock. I'm aware that plenty seemed underwhelmed by the run, questioning the level of the winning form and the way he finished off his race, and basically marking down the performance. But, to put the run into contest, that was just three weeks after the Newmarket disappointment.

Of course, he didn't need to be anywhere near his brilliant 2yo form to win at Haydock but that seemed to me - I was riding in Ireland that weekend - like an excellent stepping stone to this.

I'd respect a couple in here, most obviously Group winners Sakheer and Lezoo, stepping down in trip, but he is the one to beat.

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15:40 - Okita Soushi

He was third in the Copper Horse here on quick ground last season before going on to win a couple at Dundalk earlier this year and he shaped well enough off a short break in the Saval Beg last time. A mark of 102 looks fair and this 1m4f trip is no problem for him.

16:20 - Meditate

We have lost Mawj, so I know most will expect Tahiyra to dominate again here, and it will probably be the case. She's a top-class filly.

But I just think we could see a career-best from Meditate here and maybe she will get a bit closer to Tahiyra than she has done previously. A hugely impressive winner at the Breeders' Cup last autumn, and an Albany winner here, she obviously improved enormously from Newmarket to the Curragh this season and I am hoping that progression trajectory continues here.

Tahiyra may just be too good for us, but I'd be hopeful we can give her a race.

17:00 - Jackie Oh

She was impressive when beating Red Riding Hood on her debut at Naas in March, and we thought she would win next time. But she may just have bumped into a very good one in Village Voice there and then she came out and ran her best race yet when fifth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

I think a mark of 102 is fair and she has her chance in what is obviously a hugely competitive handicap.

17:35 - Continuous

We had eight in here at the five-day stage but we thought we had to give Continuous another chance to confirm the promise of his Dante third. On the back of that, I was expecting a big run in the French Derby but it just didn't happen for me.

We think he is a very good colt and, if he runs to his best and fully sees out the 1m4f trip, then he may not be far away. He will need to be at his best though, and probably improve, with Derby runner-up King Of Steel in here, that much is obvious.

18:10 - Hispanic

A good 2yo, improved by blinkers, he didn't run up to his best for me at York on his reappearance. However, the race didn't pan out right from the start - he got a very heavy bump after 50 yards or so - and a mark of 97 looks very fair on his juvenile form.

Read Tony Calvin's Day 4 Royal Ascot Tips here.

Read Kevin Blake's tips for Friday at Royal Ascot here.

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