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Ryan Moore: The verdict on my Friday rides at the Future Champions Festival

Ryan Moore has a full book of seven rides on day one of the Future Champions Festival
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Newmarket is host to the two-day Future Champions Festival this weekend, and here with his exclusive thoughts on his full book of seven rides on Friday is Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore...


"But Happily deserves to be favourite after her win against the colts in the Lagardere, where she quite clearly relished the step up to a mile."

- Ryan Moore on Happily

13:50 - Battle Of Jericho

I rode him when he was fourth to US Navy Flag at the Curragh in July and it looks like he has come on a fair bit since then. He beat a fair sort in his maiden and then ran another useful horse in Rizayan to ½ length over 7f at Dundalk last week. That gives him a decent form chance here, though the drop to 5f for the first time is a question mark.

He showed plenty of pace when making all in his maiden over 6f at Leopardstown, and could well be another of those steady Aidan improvers. Sound And Silence looks the obvious one to beat, even with his 3lb penalty.


14:25 - I Can Fly

I don't know much about her to be honest. Aidan clearly has a lot of strength in depth in the fillies division so the fact that she is even here, alongside Butterscotch, suggests she has done really well since winning at Dundalk a fortnight ago. And the manner in which she beat an experienced filly by four lengths there was obviously full of promise, too.

This is a big step up for her though and there are a lot of possible winners in this Group 3, chief among them Rockfel third Gavota, who looks the one to beat to me.


15:00 - Cougar Mountain

A peak-form Limato would take all the beating here but he doesn't have to be far off his A-game to give a few of these a chance, most obviously Massaat.

Cougar Mountain has been running okay over 6f of late and the step up in trip will suit him, and he ran one of his better races when beating Gifted Master comprehensively over 1m here in the Joel Stakes last season. He has each-way chances on that form but this does look tough for him if the big guns run their races.


15:35 - Happily NON-RUNNER (Ryan now rides Magical)

I imagine Aidan's three will dominate the betting but I wouldn't be in a rush to underestimate a few in here. But Happily deserves to be favourite after her win against the colts in the Lagardere, where she quite clearly relished the step up to a mile.

She clearly doesn't have much, if anything, in hand of Magical on their earlier form though, and I suspect September is also better than she has shown of late. Magical ran a decent race when fourth in the Boussac, too.

Like I said though, this is no three-horse race, as there are plenty of fillies with proven Group form in here and unexposed types like Magic Lily, but I think Happily is probably the one to beat as it stands and the track should suit. The relatively quick turnaround is always a concern, though she clearly is a tough sort who takes her racing very well.


16:10 - Melting Dew

He has come a long way since winning his maiden at Chelmsford in May and ran his best race yet when just touched off by Duke Of Bronte at Ascot last time when tried in first-time cheekpieces. The 4lb rise was probably a touch on the harsh side - though, that said, the third is a progressive horse - and hopefully he can be equally effective without the headgear here.

He has been going well at home, and let's hope there is more to come from him. It is a very strong handicap though, with a lot of depth.


16:45 - Veracious

She is a really well-related filly and I thought she shaped really nicely for me when third at Newbury on her debut. I am not sure about the bare form and she does meet some equally well-bred fillies from top yards, but I would like to think that she would have learned a lot from that first run and will be competitive here.

I also liked William's filly Final Treat when I rode her on her debut, and the extra furlong should suit the half-sister to Finsceal Beo.


17:20 - Natavia

She was clearly very impressive when winning at Newbury for me over this 1m2f trip earlier in the season, and after that connections decided to let her take a chance in the Oaks. That didn't work out, and she hasn't been seen since, and I also see that she wears a tongue-tie here, too. And this looks a very good Listed race so she has questions to answer after her mid-season break.

The likes of Architecture and Chain Of Daisies are probably the ones to beat on form but my filly comes into the reckoning on that Newbury win, for sure, and this is only her fourth start.


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