Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore provides the inside track on all of his big race rides at Leopardstown for the first day of Irish Champions Weekend...
15:25 Leopardstown - Bye Bye Baby
She looks to have been finding her way nicely in her two starts to date and hopefully this Galileo filly can continue to step forward here. But it's a big field and there is no shortage of opposition.
16:00 Leopardstown - Delano Roosevelt
I didn't ride him when he won over course and distance on his debut but I was on the runner-up and Delano Roosevelt looked a very useful prospect there. He is a nice, big, scopey Galileo, and you would hope there is plenty more to come from him.
There will need to be though, as the likes of Theobald and Camelback are pretty useful. Aidan has three decent prospects here though; Kew Gardens looks a similar type to my mount after his Killarney win last time and Nelson also looked a nice colt when winning here last time.
17:05 Leopardstown - Spanish Steps
I was pretty impressed with him when he beat me over course and distance last month. Johannes Vermeer is a decent horse but Spanish Steps kept finding there after helping to set a strong gallop, and you have to give him a fair chance if reproducing that run here.
He probably found the ground too slow in the Voltigeur last time and that could be an issue if the ground rides on the soft side, as it was good when he won here last month. He is by Galileo but the dam side of his pedigree is American. But the recent reports suggest it is drying out, at the moment at least.
17:35 Leopardstown - Winter
This looks some race and I don't think you should make the mistake of thinking Aidan's fillies will dominate here. Qemah and Persuasive were placed behind Alice Springs in this race last season and I thought both ran well behind Roly Poly in the Rothschild last time.
Qemah didn't get the run of the race there and her earlier Ascot defeat of Aljazzi and Usherette reads very well, while I thought Persuasive shaped pretty encouragingly on her reappearance at Deauville. But Winter sets the form standard in here and everyone knows how highly I rate her; she is ground-versatile and hopefully she can record her fifth Group 1 in a row.
Roly Poly is going for her third top-level win in succession and the recent improvement she has made has been little short of staggering. She would probably prefer it faster, though. We will never know what would have happened had Rhododendron got a clear run at Newmarket but what we do know is that she bumped in two outstanding fillies in the 1,000 Guineas and in the Oaks. She had a bad, and rare, bleed in France last time but all is well now and you can't rule her out, that's for sure. She is a high-class filly who doesn't lack pace.
18:10 Leopardstown - Sir John Lavery
He didn't fire when I rode him in the Lingfield Derby Trial or the King Edward VII Stakes but it looks like a mile is more his trip on the evidence of his win at Cork last time. Any rain won't harm his chances at all and I'd be pretty hopeful of a big run here. He has plenty of scope for improvement now we look to have found his right trip.
18:45 Leopardstown - Churchill
I think you just have to admit that he was beaten by a very good, and improving, horse in Ulysses in the Juddmonte last time. The winner really did look top-class that day. But my horse ran a really good race in defeat - he saw off Barney Roy for second place - and I think he will improve for the race. You have to remember that was his first run since Ascot in June, so I reckon he may just have needed it at York.
Regardless of whether he did or not though, he comes here as the form horse and the one to beat, and any rain wouldn't particularly bother me. It may help others though, I suppose. Eminent impressed me when winning in France last time but he steps back up in class here and he may not get such an easy time of it up front as at Deauville with the likes of Success Days and Taj Mahal in here.
Poet's Word is a horse that I have a lot of time for. I have always rated him and he did it really well for me at Goodwood. I think he should handle the step down in trip okay but this is his stiffest task to date and I suppose this distance could be just short of his best. Zhukova is a mare that I have always liked too, and the softer the better for her. She is very good indeed when getting her ground, and I think Cliffs Of Moher is a fair bit better than he showed at York last time. It's a good race, but let's just say that I am looking forward to riding Churchill again.