The Group 1 Sussex Stakes is the big race on day two of the Goodwood Festival, and Ryan Moore holds a strong hand on dual 2,000 Guineas winner Churchill. Here the Betfair Ambassador talks exclusively about his six rides on the afternoon...
"I'd say he (Ribchester) deserves to be the favourite, but favourites don't always win, do they? I haven't lost faith in my colt one bit, for sure. He is good."
- Ryan Moore on Churchill
14:25 - Sofias Rock
He is a horse that I have a fair bit of time for. I rode him when he won by 10 lengths at Leicester earlier in the season, albeit off a mark of just 85, and he has gone to post some smart efforts since. In fact, he recorded a career-best when third in the Bahrain Trophy last time and that run fully entitles him to his mark of 100. You could say that it is lenient, in fact.
He likes to go forward, so is an uncomplicated ride if he breaks well from stall nine, and he has winning form on fast and soft ground.
15:00 - Happy Like A Fool (Non-Runner)
I rode Happy Like A Fool when she was runner-up in the Queen Mary. I think Wesley was disappointed she didn't win there - and the form hasn't worked out as well as it could have done - but she is clearly a very talented juvenile having only her third start, and you have to respect her chances along with a few of these who have shown a similarly decent level of form. I was originally down to ride Battle Of Jericho and he looks a typical Aidan improver.
I rode him when he finished a fair fourth, but nothing more, at the Curragh at the start of last month. But he looked as if he was getting his act together and was far more professional when making all in what looks a good time over 6f at Leopardstown last time - the blinkers that he wore at the Curragh were left off there, and are today too - and he's showing a lot more pace.
The step up in class and step back in trip are the questions he has to answer now, but when the stable's juveniles get on a roll they can be hard to stop. But he clearly needs to progress a good deal to beat the form horses like Havana Grey, Sound And Silence and Invincible Army here, and my filly, too.
15:35 - Churchill
We don't really know what went wrong at Ascot last time, not that he ran that badly. But he was clearly well below his best and he just didn't pick up when I asked him to. He certainly didn't quicken like he had done at Newmarket, or in yielding ground at the Curragh where he surprised me with the immediacy and ease that he came past a subsequent Group 1 winner in Thunder Snow.
Judge him on his Classic wins - and you have to, given we know how his previous form had stacked up against the likes of Barney Roy, Lancaster Bomber and Thunder Snow, the first three home in the St James' Palace Stakes - and he comes here with a big chance. Perhaps Ascot simply told us he needed a break, which he has had.
I don't under-estimate what a task we have on our hands trying to beat Ribchester though. His second to Minding in the QEII last season showed what a top-notcher he is, and his two recent victories have done nothing to dispel that. He could have been a little unlucky when third in this race last year, too, so he looks as solid as you get. I'd say he deserves to be the favourite, but favourites don't always win, do they? I haven't lost faith in my colt one bit, for sure. He is good.
Lightning Spear hasn't sparkled of late, but his Ascot third last season showed he is a very capable horse on his day, and give Lancaster Bomber decent ground and he is a high-class colt, as Zelzal perhaps promises to be, too.
16:10 - Lamya
She cost a lot of money at the Breeze-Ups in May and showed ability when sixth on her debut at Newmarket last month. The winner and runner-up have been beaten since, albeit in decent company, but the third has won subsequently and you can reasonably expect her to have learned a good deal from her first start. But the same is true for a lot of these, too, so who knows who is going to come out on top.
16:45 - Turning The Table
I've never ridden her before but she is a hold-up horse by the looks of it, so I have a decision to make coming out of stall five. She has struggled a bit since going up in the weights for a clear-cut win at Windsor but she didn't run badly over this trip at Salisbury last time and hopefully a bigger field, and perhaps a more strongly-run race, will suit her. It will need to.
17:50 - Cenotaph
To start with, a draw in 18 is anything but ideal. But he is a good horse on his day and his record tells you that 7f is his trip. His best three runs have come over this distance, including when not beaten far at the Curragh last time. He will need luck in running but he is in with a shout if getting the breaks.