Ryan Moore passed the 2,000 career wins mark earlier this week and on Saturday he looks to add to that tally with five booked rides at Sandown, including one on the favourite in the big race of the day, the Eclipse...
"Cliffs Of Moher doesn't lack pace and I think the step back in trip will suit him. This is only the fourth run of his life, so he is open to improvement..."
- Ryan Moore on Cliffs Of Moher
14:25 - El Hayem
He clearly didn't run up to his best on soft ground at Newbury last time, and it is probably best to just ignore that run. The handicapper certainly has, as he has left his mark unchanged. If the ground remains on the fast side that will suit him well, as all his best form has come on a quick surface.
He doesn't look to have too many secrets to reveal but he is a lightly-raced colt who has good course form, if not an ideal draw in 10, so hopefully he has improvement in him and can be competitive.
I was on board Greenside when he won over course and distance last time and I like him. Off just a 5lb higher mark, I definitely think he is the one we all have to beat, though George William could be dangerous, too.
15:00 - Standing Rock
She obviously has a lot to find on form but, then again, she hasn't had the opportunities of the others to show what she is capable of. She could do no more than win well on her debut at Newbury - I rode the fifth in the race - and the placed horses have run well in defeat since.
Obviously, black type is very important and hopefully we can secure a place at least. She does have a lot to find with the likes of Sandringham third Paco's Angel, though, I accept that.
15:35 - Cliffs Of Moher
He obviously ran a big race in the Derby, and looked the winner a furlong out before being caught close home. And, clearly, the Epsom form is working out well. Capri, Cracksman and Wings Of Eagles franked the form in the Irish Derby; the fifth Benbatl won the Hampton Court Stakes; and Permian and Khalidi were the first two home in the King Edward VII Stakes.
Cliffs Of Moher doesn't lack pace and I think the step back in trip will suit him. This is only the fourth run of his life, so he is open to improvement, but he will need to progress to win this as he meets a higher-rated 3yo in Barney Roy, for starters. I think he has the two single best pieces of form coming into this race, namely his Guineas second and his St James's Palace Stakes win. Like my horse, this is only the fourth start of his career, and I wouldn't be worried about him stepping up in trip myself. His run-style suggests it will suit and he is out of a Galileo mare, after all. He sets a good standard with the prospect of more to come.
This trip could suit Eminent ideally, too, and he wasn't far behind Cliffs Of Moher at Epsom despite not getting a lot of room close home. He will get the chance to show how good he is here.
Of the other 3yos, Salouen has plenty to prove, for all he didn't get the breaks at Epsom, but don't underestimate Taj Mahal. He is a very good horse, as he showed when fourth in the French Derby. He should be respected, for all he is one of the outsiders.
Desert Encounter is a horse I have a lot of time for but I'm a little bit surprised to see him in here, and maybe the same comment applies to Lightning Spear. The step up in trip is an obvious concern for Lightning Spear, as well as his poor run in the Queen Anne last time, but in terms of pure form and class his QEII third to Minding and Ribchester is probably as good as it gets coming into this race.
This is a competitive Eclipse, and I am certainly not in a rush to dismiss the Prince Of Wales's Stakes placed horses, either. I think Decorated Knight and Ulysses both ran career-bests behind Highland Reel there, and are two very solid older horses. Rock solid in fact - Ulysses' earlier course and distance defeat of Deauville is very strong form, too - and they will provide a test for all the field.
16:10 - High Jinx
He is the joint top-rated in here alongside Nearly Caught and he was a very good stayer a few seasons ago. In fact, I won the Cadran on him in 2014 and he ran a blinder after a long absence when third to Dartmouth in the Yorkshire Cup. If progressing from that run, and that isn't always a given in these circumstances, he should be very competitive over a longer trip that clearly suits.
He has also finished second to Brown Panther in a Henry II at this track, too.
The one obvious worry is fast ground as he likes it a lot softer - in fact, he hasn't raced on anything quicker than good ground - so any significant rain would be a big positive for him.
16:40 - Frontispiece
He is two from two, and I think he has a fair chance of keeping that unbeaten record intact here, for all that this is probably a competitive little handicap. He probably won with a bit more in hand than the winning margin suggested when landing a handicap over course and distance last month, and a 4lb rise is fair.
It is probably very fair when you consider that the runner-up, On To Victory, came out and won by 8 lengths at Salisbury next time, not that we should be taking that formline too literally, obviously, especially as that horse was also beaten, albeit narrowly, at Newbury on Thursday night.