Ryan Moore: Some good chances on Craven Stakes day at Newmarket
Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has another solid book of rides on the second day of Newmarket's Craven meeting, including some decent place prospects in the two Group races...
"He was held in high regard last season and comes here with a run under his belt, so obviously has a sound each-way chance, and maybe something better if Brando underperforms."
- Ryan Moore on Equilateral
Smart colt who is entitled to have improved
13:50 - Breath Of Air
I haven't ridden him before and I only know what his form tells me, and that he is a lightly-raced colt whose Newbury maiden defeat of Mohaather clearly reads very well - though it's possibly not that relevant, given the runner-up's obvious, subsequent improvement - and who signed off for the 2yo season with a good Listed third at Doncaster. The unknown here is the quicker ground but he is clearly a smart horse and one who is entitled to have improved for his break, as well.
One mile Trip the right starting point
14:25 - Junooh
A smaller field than is usual for the Wood Ditton but no less easier to solve for anybody. Our colt, one of three for Hamdan Al Maktoum in here, is a half-brother to the stable's smart 1m2f and handicapper Khairaat and could well get further than this in time, but a mile is the right starting point for him and he shapes nicely enough at home. Whether he will be as sharp and ready as some of these, I am not so sure, but it's nice for him to make his debut just down the road.
Solid performance expected with run under his belt
15:00 - Equilateral
Brando is obviously the one to beat yet again, having won this for the past two years and who goes so well when fresh, but this looks a decent renewal. At least my colt has had the benefit of a recent run - a good third at Doncaster - and he handles quick ground. He was held in high regard last season and comes here with a run under his belt, so obviously has a sound each-way chance, and maybe something better if Brando underperforms. This revolves around whether the favourite runs up to his best.
Good stable record in Craven gives us a chance
15:35 - Watan
This promises to be an informative race, and a few of these will be hoping to throw their hat firmly into the Guineas ring with an impressive win. It is clearly full of unexposed and exciting colts, with five of the 10 unbeaten, but Watan is one of those with the more established Group form on the board courtesy of Acomb second on fast ground, though he didn't run his race for me in the Solario. He's a good colt when on song, as we saw later on at Leicester as well, but this will clearly give us a much better idea as to what his level is going to be this season. The stable have a good record in this race, with four wins in a row in recent times, so that's a positive. It's an interesting race but if I could pick one for the day it would probably be Royal Marine.
Likely to keep progressing with experience
16:10 - Clerisy
As a Kingman half-sister to Expert Eye, she clearly has an excellent pedigree and a run at the back-end at Wolverhampton in December will have served her well, as she was green there and the experience was needed. She will obviously need to improve on the bare form of that third to be winning here, but the potential is there and we have been pleased with her in the run-up to the race. I expect her to keep on progressing as she gathers experience. Handmaiden sets the form standard but there are several likely-looking newcomers in here, as well.
Trip an unknown but debut was promising
16:45 - Doughan Alb
I don't know much about him other than he was just touched off over 1m at Lingfield recently. This could be a hot novice by the looks of it, but at least he split the right horses at Lingfield and hopefully he can build upon that promising debut. The extra 2f here looks a fair question mark for him to answer on pedigree, though.
Step up in trip looks a good call in competitive race
17:20 - Kamikaze Lord
I rode him when he was just touched off at Ascot last season, when I thought he was a solid, straightforward horse, and he went on to win his novice at Kempton afterwards. He only narrowly got home in front there at short odds, but the runner-up won next time and the step up to 1m, from 6f, looks a fair enough call on pedigree. I think he will go okay in a competitive race.