Keeneland is the host track for the 2015 Breeders' Cup and Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has three rides at the Kentucky venue on Friday. Read on for Ryan's exclusive thoughts on his chances of riding a winner or two...
20:50 Keeneland - Alice Springs
"Alice Springs is stepping up to a mile here, but that should suit her, she should improve for the extra furlong, and she is drawn well in stall three."
Hit It A Bomb
I really liked Hit It A Bomb when I rode him on his racecourse debut at The Curragh at the end of September. He only got home by a neck in the end, but I was impressed with him.
He stepped forward from that to win a Listed race at Dundalk next time by over four lengths. Again, he was impressive in winning there, he came right away inside the final furlong. His draw in stall 14 is not ideal, but he probably brings the best form into the race.
There is a strong European challenge here. Cymric didn't fare much better than us with the draw, but he has a good chance. He was only beaten a short neck by Ultra in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, coming from the rear in a race in which they didn't go a great gallop.
Birchwood won the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July, and he finished third behind Air Force Blue and Herald The Dawn in the National Stakes. That is good form. Also, Shogun wouldn't be without a chance. He was only sixth in the Jean-Luc Lagardere, but he is another who raced back in the field, and he was only beaten a total of a length and three quarters.
Airoforce looks like the pick of the Americans. He was impressive in beating Camelot Kitten in a Grade 3 race over eight-and-a-half furlongs at Keeneland four weeks ago. I think that Hit It A Bomb is a talented colt though, and I am hopeful that he can go close.
War Envoy was well beaten in the Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita last year when he didn't have a clear run through the final furlong. He struggled a little at the start of this season, but he put up a career-best performance when he won the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot in June racing off a mark of 104.
He was only fourth behind Sovereign Debt in a Listed race at The Curragh on his only run since, but they didn't go a great pace that day, and that didn't suit him. A stronger pace here should suit him better.
It is not going to be easy for him, especially with Liam's Map in the race. They say that he is unbeatable. Wicked Strong was second to Tonalist in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont four weeks ago, and he looks like another danger.
War Envoy has never run on dirt before, but he is by War Front and he is out of an Elusive Quality mare, so there is every chance that he will take to it. Hopefully he can put up a good show.
Alice Springs was good in finishing third behind her two stable companions Minding and Ballydoyle in the Moyglare Stud Stakes last month, and she was good again in winning the valuable fillies' sales race at Newmarket four weeks ago.
That Moyglare form is obviously working out really well, with Minding winning the Fillies' Mile and Ballydoyle winning the Prix Marcel Boussac. Alice Springs is stepping up to a mile here, but that should suit her, she should improve for the extra furlong, and she is drawn well in stall three.
Illuminate brings good form into the race too. She won the Albany Stakes and the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes, and she was only beaten by Lumiere in the Cheveley Park. However, the step up from six furlongs to a mile is a step into the unknown for her, and her draw in stall 10 is a little wider than ideal.
Nemoralia won a nursery at Doncaster last month, but she ran a big race on dirt at Belmont Park four weeks ago to finish second to Nickname over a mile in a Grade 1 contest. She is a player, as is Harmonize. I watched a video of her latest win at Keeneland, and she looked impressive.
I'm looking forward to riding Alice Springs though. I think she has a good chance.
You can watch the Stateside view here on Golden Horn, American Pharoah, and more Breeders' Cup videos from our colleagues over at TVG.
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Fri 30th – 19:30, 20:10, 20:50, 21:35
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