Ryan Moore: Seven strong rides on the first day of Irish Champions weekend

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore has six rides for Aidan O'Brien at Leopardstown on Saturday
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The first day of Irish Champions weekend is packed with quality races, including two Group 1s, and Ryan Moore has a solid looking book of seven rides on the day...

"But my colt had excuses for his poor run in the King George last time, as he came back lame and sore, and you can expect a much better showing from him here."

- Ryan Moore on Japan

Step up in trip could see her in a better light

14:00 - More Beautiful

No Speak Alexander sets the form standard on her Group 2 fourth in France last time but that came in testing ground and she has it to prove on this better surface. The expected good ground will suit my filly who won on good to firm on her debut at Naas, and hopefully she can prove to be better than we saw from her in Group company at Ascot on her last two starts. Maybe the step up to 7f will see her in a better light, and it certainly shouldn't be a problem on pedigree, and she has a nice enough draw in three.

Fair mark and trip set to suit

14:35 - Persia

I rode him once last season when he was below par in the Autumn Stakes but he proved that form all wrong when going on to finish second in Group company around here and then winning a decent race at Chelmsford, beating his stablemate Cormorant, who goes in the Group 3 later on the card. He has been off since November, but his mark of 100 looks fair and his pedigree suggests this 1m5f trip could see him in even a better light, as well.

Step back to 1m no problem for dual Group 1 winner

15:10 - Fancy Blue

This is a competitive renewal of the Matron but I think my filly just about deserves to be favourite after what she has done at Chantilly and Goodwood. Those were Group 1 successes over 1m2f but she proved she had the speed for this 1m trip when second to Peaceful in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and she has improved a good deal since then, too. It's a pretty deep race, though.

Can go well with step up in trip in his favour

15:40 - Van Gogh

This is another very competitive race and my colt comes into this race on the back of a slightly disappointing effort on soft ground at the Curragh last time. I haven't ridden him before but his earlier efforts on decent ground, notably just when touched off by a stablemate in the Tyros Stakes here, suggests he certainly has a fair shout in this. The step up to a mile will suit him, and I can see him going well.

Godolphin runner will be tough to beat if at his best

16:10 - Japan

I'd have been happy to sit on either Magical or Japan here. You know Magical will run her race, although I have to admit that I expected her to get a fair bit closer to Ghaiyyath at York. The Godolphin horse is clearly the one to beat in here, and if anything he was even more impressive there than when beating Enable and Japan in the Eclipse previously.

But my colt had excuses for his poor run in the King George last time, as he came back lame and sore, and you can expect a much better showing from him here. Whether or not that will be enough to beat a peak-form Ghaiyyath, we shall see, but it probably has to entail a clear career-best. Let's be honest though, the favourite will obviously be very tough to beat if he runs up to his best, as he is a proper Group 1 horse.

Draw, ground, and recent form in his favour

16:45 - Lancaster House

Again, I would have been happy to sit on any of our three in here, but hopefully Lancaster House will put his modest showing in this race last season behind him, though he obviously did return lame there. He looks to have been in really good form leading into this, winning the Gladness Stakes and then finishing second to the dual Group 1 winner Romanised off levels in the Minstrel Stakes last time. He is a horse who likes to go forward, so his draw in two is fine, and he appreciates decent ground, too.

This is a tough race, with Century Dream probably the one to beat on form after his Goodwood win, but it is not hard to see my horse going well. He has very few miles on the clock, so there could well be improvement in him.

Irish Derby form sets the standard

17:15 - Tiger Moth

Some were talking about the St Leger for him after his narrow second to Santiago in the Irish Derby last time, but he is sticking to a trip that we know he gets well. And the form that he showed at the Curragh probably just about sets the standard here, though Joseph's pair have to be respected. But my colt won his maiden around here on decent ground, he has had just the three starts, and I think we will all be disappointed if he isn't going close here.

Ryan Moore,

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