Ryan Moore: Expecting a big run from Basilica in Irish Champion Stakes

Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore has some strong rides on the first day of Irish Champions Weekend

A fantastic weekend of racing awaits starting with the first day of Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown, where Ryan Moore has a strong book of seven rides...

"My lad has gears though and I’m expecting a very big run in a quality race."

- Ryan Moore on St Mark's Basilica

Big chance with drop in class

12:40 - Lullaby

She's a beautiful bred Galileo filly and I suppose it shows the esteem in which Aidan holds her that she started off in the G3 'Flame Of Tara' in the Curragh. She ran a very respectably race there to finish fourth, 3L behind the winner Magical Lagoon. This represents a drop in class and I'd expect her to come on for that initial experience and take another step forward

Good sign that sight set on this Group 2

13:10 - Stone Age

I rode him when he was third first time up in Leopardstown and he then ran a very good race in Galway when beaten a neck by the re-opposing Buckaroo, with Seamie Heffernan. He tried to make all there and kept on well when headed by the winner. I think that was a decent race, they pulled 6L clear of the third, and Buckaroo looked a nice horse. Maritime Wings chased home Point Lonsdale in the 'Futurity' in the Curragh and that represents top two-year-old form. My lad is still a maiden, but Aidan is pitching him into a Group 2 which is a good sign.

Good draw and I wouldn't swap her for anything

13:40 - Mother Earth

The 1000 Guineas winner whose form is there for all to see. She has only been out of the first three in one of her 13 races and the last day, in the Prix De Rothschild, she showed the tenacity and will to win that has been on display all season. Empress Josephine is an Irish 1000 Guineas winner on heavy ground, any rain that falls will be in her favour. There are 12 other fillies in the field, and I'm drawn in two which is a positive. It's very competitive but I wouldn't swap Mother Earth for anything in here.

Should give a good account despite tricky draw

14:10 - Horoscope

He's been a busy boy, this will be his ninth run this season and his only disappointing runs were in Galway when he missed the kick and in the Britannia at Royal Ascot when he encountered fast ground for the first time and it all happened a bit to quick for him. He was drawn 12 when he won the 'Vincent O'Brien Ruby Stakes' at Killarney last time out and he will have to overcome another tricky draw again here in box 14. While it's a competitive race there doesn't appear to be a standout runner so he should give a good account of himself.

Eclipse form working out and I expect a big run

14:45 - St Mark's Basilica

It's a shame there are only four runners in the field but it looks like the quality of St Mark's Basilica and Tarnawa has scared off any other opposition. He has won three from three this season and his Eclipse form is working out well with Mishriff going on to win the Juddmonte by 6L in York. There were only four runners in the Eclipse, so the small field will not be a disadvantage to him here.

I have lots of respect for Taranawa. She looked a super filly at the back end of last season with wins in the Prix l'Opera and the Breeders' Cup Turf in Keeneland. Poetic Flare has been great all season, but the 2000 Guineas winner is stepping up in trip here and that could be difficult against the top two. My lad has gears though and I'm expecting a very big run in a quality race.

Vibes are good but he has from to turnaround

15:15 - Innisfree

He was a very high class two-year-old who won the Group 2 'Beresford Stakes' before going on to finish second to Kameko in the 'Vertem Futurity Trophy' in Newcastle on the Tapeta. He missed his 3-year-old campaign and Aidan started him back after a 651-day absence in the 'Royal Whip' at the Curragh last month where he ran very well to finish fifth behind the re-opposing Earlswood. The vibes seem positive about him and this looks like a good opportunity to get him back on track, but he has to turn that from around with Earlswood.

Hoping for a good run off a nice mark

15:45 - Hook Up

I don't know much about him but Willie Mullins always tends to put me up on a nice horse and it's interesting that, out of his six runners in the 'Connacht Hotel Qualified Riders' race in Galway, this was Patrick's choice. In the context of this race his mark of 86 doesn't look too bad so hopefully he runs well.

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