Ryan Moore: Update on injury and thoughts on Saturday's Ascot and York races
Still in the middle of an injury layoff, Ryan Moore nonetheless gives us his thoughts on Saturday's racing from Ascot and York and keeps us updated on his recovery...
"But Golden Horn really ought to win. He has drifted from about 4/9 to about 4/6, but that is probably fair. I wouldn't really be advising people to back him at 4/6, he has a tricky enough draw in stall eight, but I still think that he will win."
Regarding my injury, I would just like to say that nothing has been decided about my return date. As I said last week, we are monitoring it day by day, week by week but, contrary to reports during the week, nothing has been determined regarding where or when I am likely to return to race riding.
Grand Inquisitor and Pick Your Choice are two nice horses here. Grand Inquisitor won well for us on easy ground at Nottingham in May, and he kept on well to win a decent handicap over seven furlongs at Sandown last time off a mark of 84. He was raised 11lb for that, but he is progressive. The step back up to a mile should be fine.
Pick Your Choice ran a nice race on his debut this season to finish third behind Western Reserve at Chelmsford, then he stepped up on that to win his maiden well back at Chelmsford last month, beating Rifle Range, who has won twice since. A handicap mark of 88 for his handicap debut is fair.
They are two nice colts who should both be worth watching.
I have won a couple of times on Heaven's Guest, and he should run well here. I won big handicaps on him in 2013 at Newmarket and at Ascot, and these big-field handicaps seem to bring out the best in him.
He has been in good form this year too. He won a listed race at Naas in June and he finished third in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket two weeks ago off a mark of 103, the same as his mark today. He goes well at Ascot and I can see him running a big race.
Speculative Bid has a nice progressive profile. He ran well to finish fifth in the Royal Hunt Cup last time when he probably didn't fully see out the mile. He won the Victoria Cup over today's course and distance in May, and he will probably be happier back at seven furlongs.
If you fancy Speculative Bid, you have to fancy Lincoln as well. He was second behind Speculative Bid in the Victoria Cup, beaten just a half a length, and he is 3lb better off. He has form on soft ground too.
Bushcraft has won his last three. He is going to have to step forward again, he is up 5lb for winning at Newcastle last time, and he is stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time, but he is progressive.
Brazos could run well at a big price. He won a handicap over the course and distance last year, and he didn't run badly in the Jersey Stakes. He ran well last time at Chester behind Newstead Abbey and Rene Mathis, who won the Bunbury Cup two weeks ago, and he goes well on soft ground.
I am sure that Golden Horn is the best horse in the King George. It's great that connections are campaigning him as they are. It's good for racing, it's great to have the Derby winner in the King George. The race deserves to have a top class Derby winner in it. Hopefully he runs now, hopefully the ground doesn't get so soft that connections decide to take him out.
The rain complicates things a little, but Golden Horn has won with cut in the ground, and I think that he will handle conditions. The ground does change things though. A lot of the main contenders' best form is on good or fast ground, a lot of them are stepping into the unknown a little on the ground.
Eagle Top might like it. He is by Pivotal, whose progeny generally tend to like easy ground, and he is a full-brother to The Lark, who went well on easy ground. Also, his dam is a half-sister to Sariska, who won the Irish Oaks on bottomless ground. Eagle Top is going to have to step forward from his Hardwicke Stakes run, but he was a good winner of the King Edward last year and he is still relatively lightly-raced.
It is not surprising that Flintshire has been taken out of the race. He is a top of the ground horse and I was giving him a chance on fast ground. Hopefully nothing else comes out now, hopefully the race doesn't cut up any more, because it is a really interesting race as it is.
Romsdal's form this year is not good enough, but he goes on soft ground and he was second in the St Leger last year. The more it rains, the more his chance increases.
Snow Sky is a very good-moving horse, we have always felt that he is at his best on fast ground. He did win his maiden on heavy ground, and he was ran well on his debut last season on easy ground, but it was fast ground when he won the Yorkshire Cup on his debut this term, and it was fast when he won the Hardwicke Stakes last time. That said, he should go on easy ground, as long as it's not sticky.
The Corsican ran well in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, he finished off his race well over 10 furlongs, but that was a messy enough race, we were all in a bit of a heap in the home straight. He is progressive, but he is going to have to step forward again.
Madame Chiang didn't run too badly in the Middleton Stakes at York on her debut this season. We know that she goes well on soft ground, she won the Musidora last year on soft ground, and she won the Group 1 fillies' race at Ascot on Champions Day in October over the King George course and distance on heavy.
But Golden Horn really ought to win. He has drifted from about 4/9 to about 4/6, but that is probably fair. I wouldn't really be advising people to back him at 4/6, he has a tricky enough draw in stall eight, but I still think that he will win. It's one of those races that you can watch and just hope that he will win.
It is interesting that Prince Gibraltar is over from France for the Sky Bet York Stakes. I thought he was going to be a good three-year-old last year, he finished third in the French Derby and was only beaten a short neck in the Grand Prix de Paris.
He has run some very good races at Group 1 level, this is a step down in grade for him, and he goes well on easy ground, so any rain at York would be a positive for him.
I rode Custom Cut at Epsom and he ran well in finishing second to Arod. You will not find a more honest horse in training than Custom Cut, and the step up from a mile to ten furlongs could bring about improvement.
Bragging wouldn't want much rain. She was disappointing at York in May, but she was running back quite quickly then having won well on her seasonal return at Newmarket. Ten furlongs at York should be okay for her.