The first Classic of the season is upon us and Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has a big chance of landing the prize as he talks us through his 2000 Guineas day rides...
"You will need luck in a big field like this but, with a fair passage, I’d be disappointed if I am not there or thereabouts at the business end on this Galileo colt."
- Ryan Moore on Wembley
In good form and has a decent chance
I rode him when he finished a fair fourth in a valuable race at York last summer and he went on to record an even better effort in a similar race at Doncaster next time. He has been in good form of late, finishing fourth off this mark on fast ground at Pontefract last time when perhaps he would have gone close had he got a run up the inner, and he obviously has a decent chance again with the field cutting up to just five.
Has something to prove
He clearly didn't run his race when last in the Gordon Richards on his return last week, but maybe he just needed it badly on his first start since winning the Dante last July. Being a Night Of Thunder, this 1m4f trip isn't a given for him but he came home well at York and that level of form would make him competitive here. He has something to prove after Sandown though clearly, especially with the likes of Pyledriver in opposition, but perhaps the quicker ground here will suit.
He has the quality to win a race like this
I have a lot of time for Battleground and Van Gogh - they are two big, strong, fine horses - and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest were either of those to win this. Battleground never failed to impress me last season, especially in defeat over in Keeneland on his first start since July, and Van Gogh is a Group 1 winner who would have given One Ruler a lot more to think about in the Autumn Stakes here last season with a better trip.
But Wembley has a lot that you look for in a Guineas winner.
He may have only won a maiden but with better luck he could have been coming in here with at least one Group 1 success to his name, maybe two, and everything about the horse tells you he has the quality to win a race like this; he has the experience and the step up to a mile for the first time is sure to suit him.
The quicker ground here is not expected to be a problem either, and a midfield draw in eight could have been worse. You will need luck in a big field like this but, with a fair passage, I'd be disappointed if I am not there or thereabouts at the business end on this Galileo colt. Aidan seems to very happy with all three of his runners.
But it is a race in which you can see plenty fancying their chances; there is clearly little between my colt and Thunder Moon, I have already mentioned One Ruler and his stablemate Master Of The Seas looked decent when winning the Craven, and Mutasaabeq is the one, real unknown in the field, for all this will be an entirely different set-up to his dominating in a small field on his return, both in terms of depth and class of race as well as tactics.
One at a bigger price that I wouldn't ignore is Jim Bolger's Poetic Flare; he is a big, strong colt and I was impressed with him in the 2000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown, a race I rode in.
He's going well but this is a tough race
Another who I haven't ridden this year, but I was on board for his second at Wolverhampton last season. I think you had to be pretty impressed by his Chelmsford win, especially with the winner going one better in admittedly an easy race at Ripon next time. He was given a mark of 94 after that, which will need to underplay his talents if he is to be winning this Listed race, but his half-brother to one of ours, Gabr, won in this grade and hopefully he is a colt going places. He is going well. This will tell us a lot more though, and I suspect Mohaafeth could be hard to beat after his win here recently. Secret Protector is the form horse going into the race, though. This is a good race.
Has conditions to suit
He clearly ran into one in the improver Bullace at Newmarket on his return, and he clearly shaped well for me there in second. A 3lb rise for a comprehensive defeat seems a little harsh, but he is a horse going the right way, with conditions to suit, so he obviously has a fair shout once again. Whether he would want it this quick, I am not so sure, but I liked him.
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