Ryan Moore: My verdict on the big Saturday races at Ayr and Newbury
An excellent Saturday of racing awaits with Gold Cup day at Ayr the centre of attention north of the border and Newbury the main attraction in England. Ryan Moore is back with his take on the key races from both cards...
"Wind Fire probably brings the best pieces of form into the race though. She ran well in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock in May, and she was unlucky in the Group 3 sprint at Sandown on Eclipse day. She didn't run badly in the Nunthorpe last time, and she is well up to winning a Group 3 race."
Priceless is one of the most exciting fillies here. She was really impressive in winning her maiden on her only run so far at Haydock two weeks ago. She handled the easy ground well that day.
Mustique is also one for one, she was also impressive in winning on her racecourse debut at Ripon in early August.
Whatdoiwantthatfor has had plenty of experience, she finished second to a good filly in La Rioja in at Group 3 race at Salisbury last time, while Lady Clair ran well in the Lowther Stakes last time after racing freely through the early stages of the race.
It's a good juvenile fillies' race, and I am looking forward to seeing Priceless again.
The Silver Cup is wide open. Desert Force's run to finish second in a handicap at Newmarket on Guineas weekend is one of the best pieces of form on offer. Sprint Cup winner Twilight Son won that race, while Stewards' Cup winner Magical Memory finished third.
Desert Force has been a little disappointing since, but he ran well at Ascot on his penultimate run, and he is now back to the same mark as his Newmarket mark. If he can get close to his Newmarket run here, he should go well.
George Bowen won well at The Curragh last weekend, while Eccleston won a big Thirsk handicap last time, and the form of the race is working out well. On his previous run, Eccleston did best of those who raced on the far side in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon. Tatlisu would also come into it if he could bounce back to his best. It's very competitive.
This is a good race for a Listed race. If Eagle Top runs here instead of at Newbury, he will be difficult to beat.
Top Notch Tonto ran well to finish second to Custom Cut in the Group 2 mile race at Leopardstown last Saturday. He will appreciate any more rain that they have.
Mutakayyef was only just beaten by Mondialiste in the Strensall Stakes at York's Ebor meeting, when he had Top Notch Tonto back in fourth, and Mondialiste has since won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile. That was Mutakayyef's seasonal debut, and he should come on for it.
Flaming Spear has always been highly regarded, he won on his only start at two last year, and he was considered a Guineas horse for this year. He has been well beaten in both his runs this season to date, but he obviously has lots of ability.
If Eagle Top runs, he will take all the beating. If he doesn't, Mutakayyef could be the one.
The Gold Cup is no easier than the Silver Cup. Don't Touch is unbeaten in four runs, he has done nothing wrong, and he is the right favourite.
Heaven's Guest is a high-class handicapper and so too is Rene Mathis. Richard Fahey has a strong hand.
Golden Steps was good in winning the consolation race for the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood last time, and he should have the race run to suit. Sound Advice has won his last two at Chester, and he won a handicap at Ayr over a mile last season.
Jack Dexter would appreciate any rain, Highland Acclaim ran well in the Portland last time, and Hoof It won well at Doncaster last Friday. It is very difficult, but Fahey could hold the key.
This is a good Dubai Duty Free. It can sometimes be a weak enough race, but all six horses here are decent horses, they are all interesting.
Eagle Top is short, but that is understandable, he ran a very good race in the King George, only just giving best to Postponed, and a mile and three furlongs on soft ground is a good distance for him. The only worry with him is that he hasn't run since the King George and he might be getting ready for targets at the end of the season, possibly the Champion Stakes back at Ascot. Even so, he should be good enough.
Sky Hunter is coming back from a long break, he hasn't run since he ran at Dubai in early March, but he was very good there, he won a Group 2 race on his only run at the Carnival. Also, he had looked good in winning the St Simon Stakes on soft ground at Newbury last October. He has the makings of a Group 1 horse if things go the right way for him now.
I obviously know Hillstar well. He won this race last year and then went on and won the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine. He just hasn't been in the same form this season, but he has his conditions and he could bounce back. He is a classy horse.
The Corsican was a fast-finishing fourth in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, and he was a little unlucky at Goodwood behind Dubday. He is a good horse and he still has potential to progress further, but I just worry about him on soft ground.
I rode Ooty Hill in a conditions race at Newbury in April, and he ran well to finish second to Star Of Seville, and she won the Musidora on her next run and won the French Oaks two runs later. I thought Ooty Hill was going to run in the Dante after that. Of course, this is a big step up for him, he has only won a maiden, but he is a nice horse.
This could be between the two colts who finished second and third in the Gimcrack behind Ajaya, Ribchester and Raucous.
They didn't help each other by bumping at the start, but, while it never really looked like either of them was going to catch the winner, they both ran good races to chase him home.
Ribchester was a 25/1 shot for that race, and he was racing for just the second time, so he could come on a lot for it. He has since been bought by Godolphin.
Raucous should come on for the run as well, it was his third run but he still left the impression that he would come on for it. It should be a good race between the pair of them.
Log Out Island would come into it if he could bounce back to his early season form. He had been disappointing, but his run last time in the Flying Childers was much more like it.
This is usually a good competitive handicap, and that seems to be the case again here this year. This is a race in which Luca Cumani tends to do well, and he runs Laurence, who won well at Beverley last time and who is 2lb well in under his 5lb penalty.
I have always thought that Top Tug could be competitive off this type of mark. He is 4lb higher than for his latest run at York, but he ran well that day to finish third behind dead-heaters Memorial Day and Libran. The 10-furlong trip may be on the sharp side for him, but the rain will help.
Mange All was disappointing at York last time, but that was his first run since the Lincoln, and he looked like a good horse when he won at Ascot last year on King George weekend.
What About Carlo will like the ground too and he has a chance. It's a hard race, but it's an interesting race.
There are a lot of handicappers here trying their luck in a Group 3 race.
This will be Steps' third run in 10 days, but he was good in the Portland at Doncaster last Saturday, he won it well, and he deserves another shot at a Group race. He is the highest rated horse in the race by 5lb.
Wind Fire probably brings the best pieces of form into the race though. She ran well in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock in May, and she was unlucky in the Group 3 sprint at Sandown on Eclipse day. She didn't run badly in the Nunthorpe last time, and she is well up to winning a Group 3 race.
Kingsgate Native is 10 now, but he has been running well, and he is more than capable at this level.
Ryan's fellow horse racing Ambassador Paul Nicholls revealed his team for 2015/16 in our series of exclusive videos this week.