It's a busy day for Ryan Moore who takes four rides on the final day of Newmarket's July Festival before dashing over to France for a couple of Group races at Longchamp...
"He would just about be the form pick here on his juvenile form, and his Irish 2,000 Guineas second was hardly a poor effort, was it? I think 6f on quick ground could just see him back to his best..."
- Ryan Moore on US Navy Flag
The big guns from the five-day stage may have gone elsewhere but there are still some exciting colts in here - the well-bred Quorto looked very promising when quickening up well to win over 6f here on his debut, and the likes of Blown By Wind and Certain Lad look solid in this grade - but I thought Cape Of Good Hope was pretty impressive himself when beating a couple of fair sorts at Tipperary. He is gaining experience, we know trip and ground aren't an issue, and he is progressing. He looks a good prospect.
There are clear negatives about him - he has finished last on both his starts this season, and ideally I think he would prefer some ease in the ground, so any rain would help him - but I still think he has a decent shot at this competitive handicap. I liked him when I rode him last season, winning on him here and on the Rowley course, and he only found a well-handicapped Parfait too good in the consolation race here last year. He has been dropped 2lb for his modest efforts this season, albeit they were in Listed company, and I think he has chances if he doesn't find the ground too quick.
Things haven't quite clicked for him this season, and he needs to bounce back from a below-par run at Royal Ascot last time, but I'd be fairly confident, confident as you can be anyway, that this different test will suit him. I know he won the Middle Park over 6f last season - and he showed tremendous pace when making all in the Dewhurst - but this is his first test against hardened, specialist sprinters, so this certainly presents him with a difficult challenge and one he hasn't faced before.
But he would just about be the form pick here on his juvenile form, and his Irish 2,000 Guineas second was hardly a poor effort, was it? I think 6f on quick ground could just see him back to his best, but it's a big ask all the same against proven Group 1 sprinters like Blue Point, Limato and Redkirk Warrior, as well as the up-and-coming 3yos like Eqtidaar.
We definitely think Sioux Nation is a lot, lot better than he showed behind Eqtidaar in the Commonwealth Cup last time, by the way.
As is usually the case, with newcomers from the yard, I don't know much about her. I will no doubt find out more on Saturday. But, as is often the case too, she has a great pedigree, being by Galileo and a half-sister to the Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Garswood, and presumably she looks the part, as she cost 1,600,000gns in the ring last autumn.
He ran okay when fifth to Marmelo at York on his only start to date over this 1m6f trip, but he is probably vulnerable to stronger stayers in this Group 2 if something in here does make it a thorough test. He clearly has something to find form-wise with the winner too but, at his best, he will give a good account of himself.
Only six runners, and we have lost Irish Derby winner Latrobe from the race this week, but Epsom runner-up Dee Ex Bee is in here looking to come back to form after his below-par Curragh effort and unexposed improvers Folamour and Neufbosc have to be respected.
However, Kew Gardens beat Dee Ex Bee comfortably in the Zetland last season and he showed what we always thought he was capable of when beating Southern France and Nelson emphatically in the Queen's Vase last time. He has had a nice break since Ascot, with Aidan playing the patient game and sidestepping the Irish Derby with him, and hopefully that can be rewarded here. The step down in trip doesn't concern me.