The four-day York Ebor meeting commences with a tremendous card on the Knavesmire, including the high class Group 1 Juddmonte International, and here Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore talks about his quartet of rides on the afternoon...
"I’d like to think that he brings the best form to the table courtesy of that Guineas win and his Curragh victory (again from a subsequent Group 1 winner in Thunder Snow) and, as a Galileo, you would have every right to think that the extra 2f or so won’t be an issue for him."
- Ryan Moore on Churchill
14:25 - Fleet Review
He is typical of so many of Aidan's juveniles in that he has been given time to find his feet, and now the benefits of a patient approach are being seen.
I haven't actually ridden him, so I don't have a firm opinion other than what the form tells me. But that tells me that is clearly progressive and put up his best effort yet when winning over 6f at the Curragh last time. The extra furlong shouldn't be an issue, and let's hope he can be competitive stepping into Group company for the first time. Being a War Front, he would probably prefer it if the rain stayed away.
I finished second to Dee Be Ex at Goodwood, and you obviously had to be impressed by his win there, but there are some equally promising winners in here and James Garfield is probably the solid form yardstick for us all to aim at.
15:00 - Venice Beach
Cracksman obviously sets the form standard after his Epsom and Curragh runs, but there is a fair bit of depth to this field. I have a lot of time for a few in here, and I would expect Mirage Dancer to improve for the step up in trip after his good third at Ascot. He's a good prospect going forward.
Aidan runs three and they include the Derrinstown winner Douglas Macarthur, who has shaped better than his finishing positions in Derbys suggest since that success and is tried in a hood, and the progressive Spanish Steps. You can't rule them out obviously and in fact I don't think there is anything between Aidan's three - I think Douglas Macarthur will be suited by the track and ground and Spanish Steps went a right good gallop at Leopardstown and then kept going - but I get back on board Venice Beach.
I won the Chester Vase on him and perhaps he just found the occasion a bit too much for him at Epsom as he was still a work in progress earlier in the season. But he ran a very promising third in the Grand Prix De Paris last time, and that doesn't give him that much to find with the favourite. Cracksman is the one to beat but it's not hard to envisage at least one of these improving and shaking him up a bit.
15:35 - Churchill
It's been a bit of a frustrating time since his Guineas defeat of subsequent Group 1 winners Barney Roy and Al Wukair - that race is not working out too badly now, is it, with Eminent also coming out and winning - what with his Ascot disappointment and the fact that we had to pull him out of the Sussex Stakes because of the rain. Running him in those conditions would probably not have been a wise move.
I'd like to think that he brings the best form to the table courtesy of that Guineas win and his Curragh victory (again from a subsequent Group 1 winner in Thunder Snow) and, as a Galileo, you would have every right to think that the extra 2f or so won't be an issue for him. You never know, but I'd be pretty hopeful, all right.
I think there are three of four in here that you have to respect, though.
The Eclipse 1-2 Ulysses and Barney Roy are the obvious ones - Ulysses is 3lb better off here now as well, though I think both horses will be better suited by this track - but you saw how bad a trip Cliffs Of Moher got at Sandown, and I'd say he did quite well to get fourth that day. He's a class colt but I'd like to think that Churchill is a notch above. I guess we will see here, won't we.
16:15 - Platitude
Things haven't really fallen right for him this season but he hasn't run badly in any of his three starts and he has come down 4lb in the weights, at least. I think he is well worth this first try at 2m - he stayed 1m6f well last year - and a mark of 104 is now fair enough on his 3yo form. I expect him to go well.