Ryan Moore at Royal Ascot: The thoughts on my Wednesday rides at the Royal meeting
After landing a winner with a great ride on Thomas Hobson in the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday, Ryan Moore has another exciting book of six rides on day two at Royal Ascot, and here the Betfair Ambassador talks exclusively about the chances of each...
"He shrugged aside his rushed trip to Epsom last time with a typically gutsy win in the Coronation Cup and you can expect another big run from him."
14:30 - Whitecliffsofdover
He was a very smart 2yo, his best run coming with a third in the Lagardere, but he surprised me a bit with the convincing manner of his win in the Free Handicap on his return. He was clearly less impressive when only third in a Listed race at Naas last time, but that was on easy ground and I think a return to this quicker ground will suit him.
And we are putting blinkers on him for the first time to sharpen him up. On form, he has every chance of being thereabouts, though, being honest, I do suspect that the likes of French Guineas runner-up Le Brivido, Guineas fifth Dream Castle and 1,000 Guineas third Daban probably have stronger claims than him.
15:05 - Happy Like A Fool
I was on board Acapulco when she won this race in 2015 - and obviously Wesley also took this with Lady Aurelia last year - and you get the same vibes around this filly. She certainly looked the part at Ascot last week and her Keeneland win in April looked pretty smooth to me. They clearly think the world of her, and I hope they are right.
The home team don't look overly-strong but Heartache looked a good filly at Bath and could be the biggest danger. Neola also looked pretty quick at York, and Treasuring followed up her second to Declarationofpeace with a smooth win at Navan.
15:40 - Smart Call
This looks a very hot renewal and you couldn't have been anything but impressed with Laugh Aloud at Epsom. Then you have the proven Group 1 form of Qemah and last year's winner Usherette, not to mention the improving Mix And Mingle, who I rode to beat the Rouget Filly at Lingfield last time. Throw in the likes of the Argentinian recruit Greta G and this is a very lively heat.
The drop down to 1m is probably not ideal for my mount Smart Call but this race looks the best option for her. I thought she shaped really well when third in the Middleton Stakes on her first start for us. She was clearly a top performer in South Africa, where she did have winning form over a mile, and I can tell you she has pleased us, and has been working well, since York. The trip is the obvious concern, though, as she would want further ideally, as well as a deep level of opposition.
16:20 - Highland Reel
Everyone knows how good and tough Highland Reel is. In fact, I think his hardness, longevity and durability tends to deflect away from what a top-class horse he is. He has won five Group 1s - among them a Breeders' Cup Turf, a King George and a Hong Kong Vase - and that takes some doing.
He shrugged aside his rushed trip to Epsom last time with a typically gutsy win in the Coronation Cup and you can expect another big run from him. Yes, ideally, he many want an extra 2f, but he finished second in a Juddmonte last year and we know he loves the track and the ground.
I do think that Ulysses has a massive chance, though, and I think he is the one we all have to beat. He has really blossomed this season and I thought he was very impressive when beating Deauville on his return in the Gordon Richards. He has been working very well at home since, and comes here in great nick.
Jack Hobbs looked very good in Dubai and has a clear form chance, but I just wonder whether he will find 1m2f on this ground too quick for him. I wouldn't rule out Queen's Trust at a bigger price; she will come on for that York return and 1m2f on fast ground are her conditions, as we saw in Santa Anita. And Decorated Knight is also a dual Group 1 winner now, don't forget.
17:00 - Ballet Concerto
He hasn't really gone on from his impressive Doncaster return for me in April, and I would be worried about fast ground for him, even if he has won on it. But I do think he is still fairly-weighted despite a 5lb rise for Doncaster and I didn't give him a hard time once he was hampered in the Diomed Stakes last time.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think he was in with a winning chance at the time, but I looked after him there, so the positive is that he didn't have to overly-exert himself.
17:35 - Rain Goddess
She has run very three solid races for Aidan and, while giving weight all around in a race like this is always going to be tough, I do think a mark of 104 is fair on what she has achieved. I rode her to finish fourth in the Fred Darling, in which she stuck on in a manner which suggested the step up to 1m should suit.
And it did just that in the French 1,000 Guineas last time, in which she again made good late progress to finish fifth, beaten only 4 lengths.
Being a Galileo, she could easily get further in time, and that stamina element should stand her in good stead in what is sure to be a strongly-run mile here. I can see her going well despite the big weight.