Ryan Moore: Exclusive views on my Saturday rides at the Curragh
Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moor offers exclusives insights on his eight booked rides on Irish 2,000 Guineas Day at the Curragh...
"She is a tremendously high-class and versatile filly, having the pace to beat Winter in a Matron Stakes over this trip and the stamina to beat Bateel on soft ground over 1m4f at Ascot. I just hope the ground isn’t too quick for her, and this is her first run of the season, too."
- Ryan Moore on Hydrangea
Nice introduction hoped for by debutant
13:50 - Just Wonderful
As usual with Aidan's 2yos that I haven't ridden before, I can't tell you a great deal. He has three in here and I ride the newcomer Just Wonderful. She has an entry in the Railway Stakes and the 6f looks a good starting point for her on pedigree, which has plenty of class and stamina in it, as you would expect.
Fair mark for handicap debut
14:25 - Dali
I won on him over 5f at Naas last season and he will appreciate the drop in grade after running in a Group 3 last time. His mark of 91 looks no more than fair from what I see, but of course he has claims on his handicap debut.
Strong O'Brien team for Marble Hill
15:00 - Van Beethoven
Aidan has three in here, too, and this looks a hot Marble Hill. I rode Land Force on his debut and he did it well here next time, coming on for the run a good deal, as so many of the stable's 2yos do. I really liked Fairyland as well when I won on her at Naas.
But I ride Van Beethoven, who won on the same Naas card, and I think he beat a decent set of newcomers there, and impressively, as well. He looked a good horse. However, it wouldn't surprise me if any of our three won, and I am sure a few of the others will be fancying their chances, too.
Ex Aussie horse has tough introduction for yard
15:35 - Merchant Navy
He won the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington in November, and is obviously an exciting recruit from Australia. Whether he will be cherry ripe here, I don't know - he was racing down there as recently as March - and he also carries a 3lb Group 1 penalty for that win in November. Furthermore, he meets some high-class horses like Brando and Tasleet here, who aren't penalised. It's a tough introduction for him, but obviously he was high-class in Australia hopefully this will give us something to build on.
Chances in an open Guineas
16:10 - US Navy Flag
I thought he ran okay in France last time. He was drawn badly and it was a messy race, and of course he slipped on the turn; it may not have looked a lot but it breaks your rhythm and that is never a good thing. Hopefully, he will get his ground here and don't lose sight of the fact that he is a dual Group 1 winner who had the best 2yo form.
He got better with his racing last season, and he will be a very interesting proposition here if he does this time around.
Gustav Klimt was a bit disappointing when sixth in the Guineas, as I expected him to do a lot better than that. He is still a very good horse though, and one we haven't seen the best of yet, and I think the Curragh will suit him.
We have a couple of others in here too, and Threeandfourpence is no forlorn hope. He wasn't far behind US Navy Flag in the Dewhurst, ran Mendelssohn to ¾ length on his return at Dundalk, and you can excuse his two subsequent runs. He clearly didn't run his race on dirt in Dubai, and hated the conditions at Kentucky last time.
Zihba is three from three, and he did well to beat the older horses at Leopardstown last month and he brings an extra dimension to the race. Landshark is unexposed, too, and of course so is Elarqam. He finished fourth in a good Guineas and, like Gustav Klimt, you get the impression they were expecting a lot more from him there.
High class filly has just a few negatives
16:45 - Hydrangea
She has a 3lb penalty but she has obvious claims of getting her season off to a winning start. It could be that she is meeting fitter and straighter opposition here - and ideally she would want more dig in the ground - but she is a league apart in terms of ability on what we know.
She is a tremendously high-class and versatile filly, having the pace to beat Winter in a Matron Stakes over this trip and the stamina to beat Bateel on soft ground over 1m4f at Ascot. I just hope the ground isn't too quick for her, and this is her first run of the season, too.
Step back up in trip set to suit
17:20 - Hence
She ran well for me when not beaten far behind a decent filly at Naas and then she bumped into a stablemate, Most Gifted, who is also very talented and takes her chance in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. She has prospects off this mark, although it isn't generous, and the step back up to a mile will suit her.
Workable mark form improved colt
17:55 - Bond Street
I rode him a couple of times last year but he seems to have improved this season, following up his Dundalk win with a fair second over course and distance last time. That came on heavy but I don't think the better ground here will be any issue at all, and I think his mark is workable.