Ryan rides Arc second favourite Winter at Chantilly on Sunday as well as a host of other top-class horses on the card. Get his exclusive thoughts on his rides here...
"Winter's class will take her a very long way into this race and I think she has every chancing of lasting home around here. Her distaff side is all about speed, but a look at the sire tells you everything you need to know."
Polydream could be the filly to beat in here. Her defeat of Laurens at Deauville was underlined by the runner-up winning at Doncaster and she looks a very good prospect. But she doesn't have much, if anything, in hand of this field as it stands form-wise and my filly has a Group 2 win and a short-head second in a Moyglare to her name, and clearly the ground is no worry for her. This is no two-horse race though, as you'd expect for a Group 1.
She is one of a number of high-class fillies we have, so it will be interesting to see how she fares getting 4lb from the colts. I think she will do pretty well, and I think she has a pretty big chance. There doesn't look to be a stand-out among the colts, probably Solario winner Masar - I rode in that Sandown race and he did it well and should be suited by the mile - and my filly should also appreciate the step up a furlong after her Group 1 win in the Moyglare last time. That's probably the best form on offer going into the race.
Clearly, the number one question everyone has about Winter is the trip and the simple fact of the matter is that no-one truly knows. It would be naïve of anyone to say differently. But, yes, her class will take her a very long way into this race and I think she has every chancing of lasting home around here. Her distaff side is all about speed, but a look at the sire tells you everything you need to know.
Although it was disappointing that she was beaten in the Matron Stakes last time, it was well documented that she wasn't 100 per cent fit going into the race after a brief spell on the easy-list, and it proved that way when she went to put the race to bed. She stayed 1m2f in soft ground fine in the Nassau and, although this is a different test altogether, that gives you some idea of her adaptability given she won a Guineas on fast ground. Her midfield draw is okay but she does need to improve for the step up in trip if the favourite turns up.
I would have happily sat on Order Of St George and Capri, though. You could easily argue that Order Of St George comes here in better form than when third in this race last season - he was good in the Irish St Leger last time, and is rock-solid - and Capri is an Irish Derby winner who won one of the better St Legers a fortnight ago. I wouldn't be in a rush to underestimate either, and if it turns out soft it will suit them both fine.
And I would also put in a good word for Idaho at a big price. I hear they are happy with him at home and it could be that he is a better horse going right-handed these days; he has place claims on his King George third, for sure.
Of course, this race revolves around Enable and perhaps we are all clutching at draws looking at ways she may underperform. A long season, possible trouble from stall two, and a bigger field than she has been running in this season have all been given as possible reasons as to why she may not show up in peak form. Of course, she will be very hard to beat on that King George win - if she runs to that form, she wins, end of story - but if the ground is nearer good to soft then soft then I wouldn't rule out Ulysses getting a lot closer to her than he did in the King George. The way he travelled into the race and won at York tells you that he is probably still improving, and in terms of class he isn't that far shy of the filly.
I'll be surprised if something wins the race that I haven't mentioned, though that is stating the obvious, I guess. The French lack a top-class prospect this year it seems and while Satono Diamond is a very good horse in Japan they rarely get to run on ground worse than good to firm over there, so that's a big concern for him.
This looks a tough race to call but I think Hydrangea probably has as good a chance as any in a deep race. You don't need me to tell you how good her defeat of Winter was in the Matron Stakes last time, and I wouldn't make the mistake of simply saying the runner-up was below-par that day. There were a whole host of Group 1 winners behind her there.. I thought she had earlier run a good race when fourth over 1m2f in the soft in the Nassau, and she has solid claims in an open Group 1.
She has run two excellent races against Group 1 winners on her last two starts, and makes a quick reappearance after chasing home a back-to-form Quiet Reflection at Naas last Sunday. She is well worth her place in the line-up on those efforts, but of course she needs to improve the best part of a stone to trouble the form horses Marsha, Battaash and Signs Of Blessing. She is a filly going forwards, though, and there could well be more to come from her.