Ryan Moore: Cloth Of Stars the one to beat in Sheema Classic but don't write off Idaho

Ryan Moore and Mendelssohn
Breeders' Cup winner Mendelssohn goes for the UAE Derby on Saturday
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Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore gives his verdict on his six rides at Meydan on Dubai World Cup Night...

"Mendelssohn did all that we hoped he would when giving 5lb and a 3/4 length beating to his smart stablemate Threeandfourpence at Dundalk, where he pleased me in how he got the job done."

12:45 Meydan


Heavy Metal in good form but draw may be a hindrance

He disappointed in this race last year but he comes into this contest in good form yet again and looks to hold a leading chance.

He wasn't ideally drawn in 13 last time, so he probably ran well in fourth given the way the race and pace panned out, and he had earlier posted some better efforts over course and distance that just about make him the one to beat.

He is the highest-rated horse, after all. You just hope that his form isn't tailing off, I guess, and that he jumps as smartly as he can and gets a good position on or near the lead from his draw in nine. Ideally, you would obviously want to be drawn lower.

13:50 Meydan


Dal Harraild not without a chance in Gold Cup

He's a pretty smart horse when getting on the lead - though he did win from off the pace at York last season, if I remember rightly - so he is potentially well drawn if he gets away briskly from stall one. He doesn't need to go forward, though, and we will see what happens on that score.

Dal Harraild clearly has something to find with the likes of Vazirabad, who shaped well behind Rare Rhythm over 1m6f here last time and is going for a hat-trick in this race, and Big Orange, but the gap may not be insurmountable.

He could do no more than he did when beating a decent, race-fit rival by 10 lengths at Chelmsford earlier this month, and you could argue that was a career-best.

I suspect that the race in which Rare Rhythm and Vazirabad finished first and second last time could be the key piece of form here, though, but the betting probably tells you that. They do look a class above, though I thought Frontiersman was possibly interesting as well if you are looking for an outsider.

14:30 Meydan


Dirt should suit Breeders' Cup winner Mendelssohn

He did us proud last season, bouncing back brilliantly from his poor showing in the Champagne Stakes, with the fitting of blinkers prompting the improvement. He shaped really well for Wayne [Lordan] when second in the Dewhurst and then showed a lot of ability and plenty of heart and tenacity when going one better for me in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar.

Mendelssohn did all that we hoped he would when giving 5lb and a 3/4 length beating to his smart stablemate Threeandfourpence at Dundalk, where he pleased me in how he got the job done. Aidan clearly wouldn't have had him fully tuned up there, and his pedigree, as a Scat Daddy half-brother to Beholder, certainly gives you a fair degree of confidence that the dirt will suit him.

Let's get this out of the way before we start talking Kentucky Derbys though, as he has his stamina to prove and this is certainly no easy task, anyway. Far from it.

Indeed, Gold Town has obviously progressed really well over here - if he is as good as he has looked from the front of late, then he will be hard to beat, but obviously he has had things in his favour so far - and Threeandfourpence and Seahenge, very closely matched on their Dewhurst and Dundalk form behind my horse, are certainly not here to make up the numbers. They have pedigrees which make you think this surface could suit them, too. This race has depth but I am happy with my horse.

15:05 Meydan


Washington DC has an each-way chance in strong renewal

I think we all know where we stand with Washington DC. He is largely consistent in this grade and treads the same path as he did last season, coming here straight from the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

He actually ran really well when not beaten far at Del Mar considering his slow-ish start over 5f on that track. He also ran a bit better than it looked in this race last season, too, when he was only beaten four lengths or so.

He travelled well into the race, came to get competitive, but just got tired on the rain-softened ground; he has an each-way chance. There is no surprise to see Blue Point as the short-priced favourite though, given his reappearance effort over 5f behind Ertijaal here, but there is not a lot covering a fair few of these. In other words, a typical Group 1 sprint.

16:35 Meydan


Lancaster Bomber has claims but don't overlook Japanese runners

He probably didn't get the full credit he deserved for a string of good efforts in defeat last season, most notably his second in the St James's Palace Stakes and in the Breeders' Cup Mile - that Del Mar form is arguably the best on offer going into this race - and it will be interesting to see how he goes here if getting on the lead.

But stall 12 is clearly far from ideal in that regard. He missed the kick and was going on strongly at the finish when fourth in the UAE Derby here last season, so that would give you hope that he will last home over 1m1f in this company, and I believe Aidan is very happy with how he has developed physically since last season.

We know that Lancaster Bomber is a good traveller, in both senses, and he is bang there on ratings. Let's hope the ground stays quick for him. Once again though, you can throw a blanket over a few of these form-wise, and the Japanese have a very strong hand, including last year's winner Vivlos, a couple of decent fillies and Real Steel, who I rode to land this race a couple of years ago. He has had his issues since, but I think he is the best of the Japanese along with Neorealism and he has been trained with this race in mind again. Neorealism can pull hard and I imagine they could ride him aggressively from stall two.

17:10 Meydan


This could be Idaho's year to net a big one

The Sheema Classic is the best race of the night and Cloth Of Stars is probably the one to beat on his Arc second, but you don't have to look too hard for serious dangers.

Poet's Word shaped well in the Hong Kong Cup last time, has been in good order at home, and I think you will see a better horse at this 1m4f trip, while the Japanese pair of Rey De Oro and Satono Crown, who I have ridden a couple of times, are not to be underestimated, not that I imagine many people will have been doing so.

Satono Crown ran no race the last time I rode him, but he is very capable when on a going day. Ray De Oro is probably the form choice alongside Cloth Of Stars, though. He is arguably the best horse in Japan. He won the Derby last year, didn't get the run of the race when second in the Japan Cup and I would take out more positives than most from his defeat at Kyoto last month.

The track was horrible that day, his regular rider Christophe Lemaire was suspended, he missed the kick, and he raced wide with no cover, so I thought he ran a very brave race to finish as close as he did. He is good.

Idaho ran a stormer to finish fifth in the Japan Cup last time, when maybe unlucky not to finish closer, and he could prove to be a factor here if building on that performance. He has always threatened to be a top-class horse when it all clicks for him, and hopefully he has grown up and this will be his year to net a big one. I think the improvement is there. If we want to go forward, as he did in the Arc, then obviously stall two gives us options.

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