The second night of the Breeders' Cup sees Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore take six rides for his boss Aidan O'Brien, and here you can read his exclusive views on them all...
"...he won this race last year, has a decent draw in three and comes here a relatively fresh horse. Everything looks in place for him to run another big race, and he should go close."
- Ryan Moore on Highland Reel
Common sense tells you that this probably rests between Lady Aurelia and Marsha. Marsha inched out Wesley's filly in the Nunthorpe but she could struggle to confirm the form around here. It isn't hard to envisage Lady Aurelia blasting out from stall three and proving very hard to catch around this tight track, with Marsha taking that little bit longer to get into top gear.
They are the form stand-outs in the race, and they both need to run a fair bit below par to give the rest of us a chance.
Washington DC put up one of his rare poor efforts behind that pair at York but we know he is usually a solid, consistent and high-class performer in this grade and he has got very close to Marsha a couple of times, albeit we were getting weight in the Palace House Stakes. Hopefully he will run his race from stall five and, if he does, then he has place claims.
The outside draw in 14 promises to make it very difficult for her. But it was great to see her back to form when beating Hydrangea over 1m2f in the Prix de l'Opera, and that form was obviously given a boost when her stablemate won at Ascot on Champions' Day.
We know that she will like and handle the ground, the 1m1f trip won't be any problem - a look at her Guineas run tells you that - but a wide draw on this track is clearly a big negative. And especially so when there is so little between quite a few of these form-wise. I still think she has a good chance but, with a better draw, I'd have been a lot keener, I can tell you.
Last year's winner Queen's Trust and fellow Group 1 winner Nezwaah haven't fared that well with the draw either but, like my filly, have solid form claims. However, you can make a case for all of this field, though no doubt many will be expecting Lady Eli to atone for getting nailed close home by Queen's Trust in this race over 1m2f at Santa Anita last year.
The step down to 1m1f could suit her better, too. I suspect whoever gets the best run of the race will have a big bearing on who wins, though.
Given the way he beat Lancaster Bomber in the Woodbine Mile last time, and giving him plenty of weight too, I suppose you have to think World Approval is the horse to beat here, though certainly an on-song Ribchester is probably his form equal. But it is a pretty big ask for Ribchester here coming on the back of his second at Ascot a fortnight ago.
Roly Poly has proved a revelation this season and she just keeps on improving; she produced a career-best when beating Persuasive in the Sun Chariot and it is probably even better than it looked at the time as the runner-up went on to beat Ribchester in the QEII. The big issue once again is obviously the draw. She has got unlucky again in 12 - that was the stall she had when running below form in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita last season - but there is no point moaning about it. She has her conditions, so let's just get on with it.
Looking at that Woodbine run, it wouldn't surprise me if Lancaster Bomber got a lot closer to World Approval. He clearly isn't at his best on soft ground, but if Ascot hasn't taken too much out of him and he gets on the front end from stall four on this better ground - there will be a lot of competition for the lead, clearly - then I can see him giving Seamie a good spin.
We have seen on numerous occasions how good the horse is, given that set-up, and this course could suit him. But I am sure plenty will be fancying their chances here.
By the sounds of it, many are expecting Bolt D'Oro to win this after his impressive Santa Anita victory. But US Navy Flag has pretty good form credentials himself, and he stepped forward again when winning the Dewhurst from the front last time.
He has developed into a top-class juvenile and hopefully he can break similarly well here and make use of his inside draw, though of course the big question here is how he handles the dirt. There is only one way to find out but he is a War Front, so let's see.
The trip is also an unknown but I think it will be fine for him around here, and his toughness and speed will stand him in good stead.
I think his claims are obvious. Yes, he is 4lb inferior to Ulysses on official ratings but I think a mark of 123 underestimates this six-time Group 1 winner to a fair degree. I was delighted with him on soft ground at Ascot a fortnight ago, and clearly conditions will be much more in his favour here.
He is simply a different horse on a decent surface, and this will be the first time he has got his ground since Royal Ascot. And he beat two subsequent Group 1 winners in Decorated Knight and Ulysses there, and both re-oppose. Even on this tight track, he is probably more at home over 1m4f than that pair, and obviously he won this race last year, has a decent draw in three and comes here a relatively fresh horse. Everything looks in place for him to run another big race, and he should go close.
I am not underestimating the challenge of Ulysses at all, though, and he was very impressive in beating Churchill in the Juddmonte. He may be better at 1m2f but, given the way he travels through his races and the nature of this track, you have to fear him.
I am convinced Cliffs Of Moher has a big race in him when things finally fall his way - he just hasn't got the breaks since Epsom and he didn't like the ground at Ascot last time - and Seventh Heaven isn't out of this either if she returns to form in what will be her favoured conditions, though this track may not play to her galloping strengths.
There are a few in here you can fancy at their best but I think my horse and Ulysses set the form standard, and are clearly the two the others have to beat.
Nobody needs me to tell them what a task this represents for Churchill. The Americans have a formidable hand here with Arrogate and Gun Runner - and Collected and West Coast aren't far behind them on form - so my horse not only has to handle the dirt, he has to improve for it. And a look at the strength and depth of the home team is quite daunting this year.
Okay, things haven't gone my colt's way since his early-season brilliance in winning both Guineas, but we have never lost faith in the horse, and it speaks volumes that Aidan pitches him in here against this level of opposition on this surface.
I thought he ran an excellent race when third in the QEII last time, and was a bit unlucky not to finish closer, and his attitude, class and tactical speed will stand him in good stead here. Whether or not that is enough, we will see, but history shows it is a massive ask for any horse to come to the States and win this race.