Ryan Moore: Views on my six Saturday rides at Royal Ascot
It's been a good Royal Ascot for Ryan Moore and he has another six chances to land a winner or two on the final day on Saturday. Here's his exclusive verdict...
"I had a good look at this race last week and I thought Tupi would give me a very good spin. I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the horse, and he has run some good races for me."
Cardini better than he has shown so far
14:30 - Cardini
He probably hasn't run up to expectations in his two starts to date, but everyone knows how well Aidan's juveniles progress, so I wouldn't be writing him off just yet. We think he is better than he has shown, which is why he is here, I guess. Natalie's Joy won in good style at Goodwood and she could be the one to beat.
Will be surprised if mine is beaten
15:05 - Crystal Ocean
This is a horse that I have a lot of time for, and I'll be disappointed and a bit surprised if he is beaten, for all Idaho and Cliffs Of Moher are very good horses on their day, and Barsanti is an improver who beat a decent field here last month.
In fact, Idaho beat Barsanti in this race last season, as well as finishing third in a King George, so I wouldn't be surprised if he bounced back to form after his run at Epsom last time. But I think Crystal Ocean is developing into a top-class horse, and he was very impressive when giving weight and a thorough beating to a good horse in Second Step at Newbury. It will take a good performance to beat him if he is in the same form here
Conditions will suit Van Beethoven
15:40 - Van Beethoven
I was happy enough with him in the Marble Hill last time. He split two decent stablemates in Fairyland and Norfolk third Land Force, and I think the step back to 5f is well worth trying. Hopefully, the race doesn't develop away from me in stall two, and this Scat Daddy colt can continue to progress. He should love conditions.
Hoping to build on surprise Curragh win
16:20 - Merchant Navy
I think it is fair to say that he surprised us a bit when winning at the Curragh. He beat three very solid horses there on his first start since running in Australia in March, carrying a penalty, and hopefully he will come forward a good deal from that. He clearly has a lot to find on his Australian form with Redkirk Warrior - that horse beat him giving him 12lb at Flemington in March - but he seems straightforward, 6f on quick ground will suit, and he just looks very solid.
He has to up his game against the likes of Redkirk Warrior and Harry Angel but the potential is certainly there after that highly encouraging Curragh run. It's a very deep race this year though, with course specialists The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze also in here - and Bound For Nowhere is also the subject of good reports - so this will take a lot of winning.
Expecting good things from Tupi in the Wokingham
17:00 - Tupi
I had a good look at this race last week and I thought Tupi would give me a very good spin. I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the horse, and he has run some good races for me. He was only just beaten by Magical Memory in an Abernant in 2016 and was impressive when winning at Doncaster last season.
It was that Doncaster win that made my mind up about riding him. He won that race after racing in Dubai, and that is the same path that he travels here. He has dropped down to a mark of 100 and I think he can be competitive off that, off a break. He finished second in the Abernant first time out, too.
Everything looks right for Thomas
17:35 - Thomas Hobson
I think he has a very strong chance, and the betting probably tells you the same. He hasn't raced since finishing sixth in the Melbourne Cup but I doubt if fitness will be an issue here, and we know that he is fully effective around here, over the trip, and on fast ground.
He ran away with the Ascot Stakes off a mark of 100 here last year before coming out and finishing second in this race four days later. He is better than he showed on the latter occasion, and I expect a very bold showing, for all he doesn't have that much in hand in the way of form. Everything looks right for him.