Ryan Moore: Armory and Gardens have strong claims on Irish Champions Weekend

Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore has seven booked rides at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend

Irish Champions Weekend continues at the Curragh on Sunday and Ryan Moore has some big chances among his seven booked rides...

"...I'd like to think he will be straight enough, and have the class, to very nearly take care of these."

- Ryan Moore on Kew Gardens

Can take step up in grade in her stride

13:55 - Goddess

Her season has been one of progression and I was pretty taken with how she picked up for me when winning over 1m1f here last time. This extra furlong should be no problem whatsoever on what she showed there, and on pedigree too, and I think she can take the step up to Group 2 company in her stride, too. It's a competitive race, with very little between a fair few, but she has decent claims.

Conditions to her liking and this is winnable

14:25 - Fairyland

She had excuses when disappointing in the Nunthorpe but she was much more like her true self in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock last week. At one point, I thought I might get involved, but she just couldn't pick up in the ground. Conditions today should be much more to her liking and, although the step down to 5f is probably not ideal, this does look a winnable, if competitive, Group 1. And she does travel well into her races when on song, on decent ground. I'd give Houtzen a fair chance after her second to Battaash at Goodwood, though.


A close race with no stand-out

15:00 - Love

There is no stand-out in here, with maybe Daahyeh and Albigna setting the standard - and there is little between our four, as well - so hopefully Love could be on the premises. She was impressive when winning her Group 3 at Leopardstown, so I was a little disappointed with her here last time behind Alpine Star. I would hope she is better than she showed there.

Exciting prospect with potent change of gear

15:35 - Armory

I'd like to think this colt is up to Group 1 level. He was very impressive when winning his maiden here and he has made a smooth transition to Group company, winning by 5 lengths for me at Leopardstown - the first time I had ridden him - and then he did it very comfortably last time when upped in grade. A bit more comfortably than the winning margin of ½-length suggests. He put the race to bed with a good turn of foot there, and wasn't doing a lot out in front late on. He is a pretty exciting prospect, and one with a potent change of gear. I wouldn't forget Arizona on this better ground, either, but clearly Pinatubo is the stand-out going into this race on the back of that Goodwood win. If he can reproduce that form, we are all in trouble.

Hoping he's straight enough to take care of these

16:10 - Kew Gardens

Everyone saw how good he was in the St Leger last season, but things haven't gone his way this season. The ground was against him at Chester and I don't think we saw the best of him when beaten by Defoe at Epsom, not that it was a bad effort at all. He has obviously been off since that run in late May, and he hasn't got the best record fresh, but I'd like to think he will be straight enough, and have the class, to very nearly take care of these. Or at least go very close to doing so, as the likes of Cross Counter, Latrobe and Master Of Reality, to name just three, are serious form rivals. And actually I'd chuck in Salouen too, stepping up to 1m6f for the first time; he wasn't beaten far when sixth in the Arc last season and is a very good horse on his day.

Kew Gardens 1280.jpg

Solid claims in an open race

17:25 - Hamish Macbeth

This will be the first time I have ridden him but he looks to hold solid enough claims in a wide-open race, as he defied a penalty in good style at Salisbury last time. The runner-up won a big-field novice at Ascot next time too, which is another good indicator to his chance.

Could be ready to return to form

18:00 - Antilles

His best run to date probably came at Chelmsford in April and he hasn't reproduced that form since. Saying that, he didn't run too badly at Leopardstown last time and he has come down the weights a fair bit. And the blinkers he wore when winning at Naas last season are back on here, so he could be ready to return to form, though the draw could have been a lot better.

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