Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore discusses the chances of his eight rides at the Curragh on Saturday afternoon, including his Irish Derby ride Saxon Warrior...
"I think he is comfortably the best horse in the race, and I hope he proves that."
- Ryan Moore on Saxon Warrior
Aidan's three all have chances in race he likes to win
All The King's Men shaped well on his debut over course and distance, while Aidan also runs a well-related Scat Daddy colt in Mount Tabora, who I ride, and a War Front in U S S Michigan. All three have an entry in the Phoenix Stakes. As is often the case, I don't have any first-hand experience of the 2yos but obviously this is a race that the stable have won with some very good horses - US Navy Flag took this race last season - and they should all love the ground.
Chances in a wide open sprint handicap
Aidan also has a couple of fair chances in this valuable 5f handicap, it seems. My mount Battle Of Jericho will obviously find the pace a touch more sedate in this company after contesting the King's Stand last week, while Dali seems to have progressed well from when I rode him to finish fourth over 6f here in May. Forcing tactics seemed to suit him well when he made all over 5f at Naas last time, and a 6lb rise looks fair enough in the circumstances. But it's an 18-runner 5f sprint handicap, so who knows what will win?
Review has leading claims if at his best
I think Fleet Review is a fair bit better than he showed in the Commonwealth Cup last week, and his juvenile form - he finished a close second in the Middle Park - and his previous second to Sioux Nation obviously tells you that. He has leading claims at his best. Intelligence Cross faces his easiest task for a long time and he, too, has a big shout. He steps down to a more realistic level now and he would just about win this if he reproduced his July Cup fifth last season; he is a very smart sprinter on his day. It's a tight little race, though.
Brother of American Pharaoh set for Irish debut
He is obviously a very interesting contender in this Listed race. I don't know that much about him at the moment I am afraid, other than the fact that he was lightly-raced and won over 6f for Bob Baffert and that he has missed a couple of engagements of late for different reasons, including the Jersey last week.
The fact that he is a brother to the Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh clearly will ramp up the interest in him, and the step up to 1m shouldn't be a problem on pedigree, that's for sure. There are a few 100-odd rated rivals against him in here, so this will be a fair test, but I imagine he is well-regarded and going well at home if they were going to Royal Ascot with him first time up.
Need to bounce back from poor Fairyhouse run
She didn't run at all badly when in midfield in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and on that form she would seem fairly treated off a mark of 96. But she doesn't appear to have run as well when third of four last time out at Fairyhouse. This is the first time I have ridden her, so that's about as much as I can tell you.
Ballydoyle pair set the standard after good Royal Ascot runs
Land Force and Van Beethoven clearly set the form standard, and a pretty high bar for the others to reach. Both are very promising horses with a lot more to give, and come here after excellent efforts at Royal Ascot. I was pretty impressed with Land Force's third in the Norfolk considering he initially raced well away from the pace on the far side, and Van Beethoven was another not ideally positioned on the track when finishing well to take fourth in the Windsor Castle. The step up to 6f will suit both, and they could well dominate. Hopefully, if they do, I am on the right one in Van Beethoven.
Hoping the Warrior proves he's the best
I was very disappointed with him at Epsom. I know he didn't run badly to finish fourth there, but I expected a whole lot more. For whatever reason, he just didn't run his race, but if he comes back to his 2yo best and the form of his Guineas win then I think you see a much better performance. I think he is comfortably the best horse in the race, and I hope he proves that.
You have to give Dee Ex Bee plenty of respect after his second at Epsom but I do think he is very beatable, and I can't really get excited by much of the opposition if I am being honest. Old Persian improved to beat Rostropovich in the King Edward VII Stakes, but I think that form is some way detached from Classic-winning ability.
Aidan's other horses are solid types, and I don't think we saw the best of Delano Roosevelt behind Old Persian at Ascot, as they went a hack canter there. A more evenly-run race here will see him in a much better light. I said before the Derby that I thought the Lingfield race in which Knight To Behold beat my Queen's Vase winner Kew Gardens was not to be underestimated, so perhaps the winner could figure here if proving more tractable, and the Gallinule 1-2 of Platinum Warrior and Latrobe are promising, improving and lightly-raced colts.
But if Saxon Warrior runs his race, I will be disappointed if he doesn't win. He is top class, and we certainly haven't lost faith in him one bit.
Back to winning mark gives us a chance
I was on board when he finished fourth in this race last season, and he seems to like it here, having won over course and distance as well landing a valuable 1m5f handicap at Leopardstown in September. He has actually come down to that winning mark again after just two subsequent starts, so he looks to have a fair bit going for him.