Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore heads stateside on Saturday and gives the verdict on all of his rides from Arlington Park including big-race favourite Deauville...
00:19am - Deauville
"I’d say there is little doubt that he comes here a better horse this season, too, as he has put up a string of good efforts of late, not least his third in the Queen Anne and his defeat of Poet’s Word at Chester in the Huxley Stakes."
21:50pm - Taj Mahal
We won this race with Highland Reel and Adelaide recently, and only just lost out with Long Island Sound last year. And I wouldn't be in a rush to ignore the claims of Taj Mahal. Okay, he may have struggled in his last two races, and this looks a pretty good renewal, but he didn't get to the front in the Irish Derby and then found the company too hot, unsurprisingly, in the Eclipse last time.
His chance here rests on his earlier, excellent efforts in the French Derby and what was a good Hampton Court. If he can get to the lead around here - and he handled quick ground well enough at Ascot - then I think he could trouble some of these who obviously have better form claims going into the race.
One of the major issues he faces is that there will be competition for the lead here, with Permian - who is a Dante and King Edward VII winner who also brings Group 1 form to the table after his run in France last time - and all-the-way Belmont Derby winner Oscar Performance (who also beat Lancaster Bomber in the Breeders' Cup Turf Juvenile) both liking to press the pace, as well. And Sonic Boom and Afandem are also progressive types, too.
Yes, it's a tough race, and Taj Mahal needs to improve a fair bit, but we will see how he jumps from six and go from there. I'd like to think there is more to come from him, and he is getting 7lb from Permian and Oscar Performance, which evens it up a bit.
23:35pm - Rain Goddess
This filly has done nothing but improve this season and, along with the likes of Roly Poly, is the type of horse that Aidan just keeps on getting that little bit more out of. She has certainly come a long way since those runs over 7f in the spring and has proven her versatility with a Sandringham second over a mile, finishing runner-up to the impressive Nezwaah over 1m2f in the Pretty Polly and then chasing home Enable over 1m4f in the Irish Oaks.
That is a pretty progressive profile and she ought to be a big factor if handling the travelling okay. I suppose another worry is that she can get behind in her races, and so a draw in 10 is hardly ideal, but I think she has the class and the temperament to figure and 1m2f is probably the right trip for her.
She also gets weight as the only 3yo in the race. But I'd be a lot keener on her chances from a lower draw. This a pretty deep field in terms of numbers and quality and the likes of Hawksmoor, who has won her last two since coming over from England, and recent course winner Dona Bruja are just two from a 10-strong field that deserve respect.
00:19am - Deauville
Aidan has won this race a couple of times before and Deauville came close to giving him a third victory when losing out by a couple of necks to Mondialiste last season. I'd say there is little doubt that he comes here a better horse this season, too, as he has put up a string of good efforts of late, not least his third in the Queen Anne and his defeat of Poet's Word at Chester in the Huxley Stakes.
I suppose it was slightly disappointing that he didn't get the job done in a Group 3 at Leopardstown last time but the winner, Moonlight Magic, is a very smart horse on his day - and my horse was carrying a penalty on ground probably soft enough for him - so I wouldn't go overboard about that defeat. We know this horse takes his travelling well - he also won the Belmont Derby last summer - and he is uncomplicated, and a trier, and I'm expecting another big run from him.
Clearly, quick ground suits him best and a draw in five is okay. Of the opposition, you have to respect Mekhtaal and there are a few of the home contingent that have winning claims too, including Beach Patrol, who won the Secretariat on this card last year and has been running well in Grade 1 company of late.
He needs to try and get on the pace from stall 10. Like all of the big races on the night, it's tough and competitive - even in the absence of Scottish, who was a late withdrawal due to injury on Thursday - but I think Deauville has a solid, favourite's chance after his improved form this season.