Ryan Moore: My exclusive verdict on The Cliffsofmoher in the 2018 Melbourne Cup
Ryan's globe-trotting continues with another big race ride, this time in the Melbourne Cup, a race he won in 2014. Can he do it again on The Cliffsofmoher? Read on to get his exclusive views...
"The obvious question mark is the 2m trip, as his best recent efforts have come over 1m2f. But he has often shaped as though a step up in distance could be worth chancing - he did last time out behind Best Solution, and when he was third in the Hardwicke - and his 1m2f speed will be an asset in a race like this."
Trip the big question for my Melbourne Cup ride
Flemington, 04:00 - Tuesday November 6
I suppose everyone still remembers him for his Derby second, and he has only won once since then, but I think he has just about recaptured his three-year-old best this season. Certainly, his third to Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior in the Eclipse was an excellent effort against two top-class colts, and there has been a lot to like about his two prep runs in Australia.
He shaped especially well when third in the Caulfield Cup last time, and I think he is fairly weighted. The obvious question mark is the 2m trip, as his best recent efforts have come over 1m2f. But he has often shaped as though a step up in distance could be worth chancing - he did last time out behind Best Solution, and when he was third in the Hardwicke - and his 1m2f speed will be an asset in a race like this. And you can't argue with his draw in nine.
But everywhere you look there are big dangers, and a couple of them are also trained by Aidan. Yucatan has always had plenty of ability, and I won a Group 3 on him in first-time blinkers earlier in the season, but he was a revelation when winning the Herbert Power without coming off the bridle last month. He is another who has not gone beyond 1m4f before, but he could take some stopping, even under his penalty, if he is as good as he looked at Caulfield. But his draw in 23 is hardly ideal. I was happy enough with Rostropovich in the Cox Plate, as that was always going to be a stepping stone to this race. Again, a wide draw is no positive for him.
Elsewhere, there are predictably plenty that you can fancy, but if my horse sees out the trip, I quite like his profile after his two prep runs.