The Ebor festival comes to a close on Saturday and Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has six rides, including the well-fancied Verdana Blue, to talk about...
"A 2lb rise for that run looks fair, and she remains potentially well handicapped on her hurdling form, with the step back to 1m6f in what will presumably be a strongly-run race really promises to suit."
Saturday - York
He has developed into a very smart horse at and around this trip this season, bolting up at Windsor and finishing third in the group 1 Prix D'Ispahan at Chantilly last month. His performances this year entitle him to a lot of respect in this company.
Kipps is well-handicapped here
He has promised to win a big handicap this season, and hopefully this is it. He may not have been ideally positioned on the outside when I rode him to finish fourth at Newmarket last time and he has been dropped a generous 3lb for it, which makes him look well handicapped here on his earlier second to Hukum at Ascot.
The main issue is whether he will stay the extra distance here, and he is by War Command, but he has a good chance at the weights if fully seeing out the trip.
Trip isn't a threat
He didn't run badly on his return in the St James's Palace Stakes over 1m on his return but he was a little bit disappointing in the July Cup last time, I suppose. But they were obviously Group 1 contests, this intermediate trip could suit and he has definite prospects on his Gimcrack and Champagne Stakes juvenile wins. But he does have questions to answer that he is the same horse at three and One Master and San Donato look very serious opposition.
Hope for drying conditions
15:40 - Verdana Blue
She is obviously one of the best 2m hurdlers around when getting decent ground, and she ran a great race- though not quite great enough - for me when just getting collared close home in the 2m4f Ascot Stakes, in which Wednesday's winner Summer Moon was back in third. A 2lb rise for that run looks fair, and she remains potentially well handicapped on her hurdling form, with the step back to 1m6f in what will presumably be a strongly-run race really promises to suit. Drying conditions would be an obvious plus, too. You have to be enthusiastic about her chances if it is good ground or quicker come Saturday afternoon, so we could have done without that rain during Friday's racing.
He was pulled out of the Gimcrack on Friday, so I presume he comes here instead. He improved a good deal to finish third in the Richmond last time, and has solid claims on that run. If he can come forward again, then he has a serious chance, especially as I can see the drop down to 5f suiting.
Each-way chance here
He has run two solid races off this mark this season, most recently when fourth at Goodwood. He actually did well from his outside draw there, so I would say he has each way chances again, and maybe a winning one, too. He has scope for improvement after just eight runs.