Can Love conquer all for Ryan Moore?
The leading jockey and Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has talked through his rides at Epsom today including leading fancies in both The Oaks and The Derby for Aidan O’Brien.
You can check the racecard and odds with Betfair right here.
14:25 – Oh This Is Us
He has put up two excellent performances in this race, finishing a close third in 2017 and when beaten a length by Zaaki last season. A reproduction of last year’s second would probably see him go close here and you can reasonably expect him to be sharper for his reappearance fifth over 1m at Newmarket.
Hopefully, he has been primed for this race again, and of course it helps that it has cut up to just six runners, but he has a bit to find on his recent performances, especially with the likes of Safe Voyage
15:40 – Love
I’m on the best filly going into the race – and a straightforward, uncomplicated one, too – and we have always viewed her as more of an Oaks filly, so we have to be confident. I know the placed horses in the 1000 Guineas were well beaten at Royal Ascot, but I wouldn’t get too hung up on that.
It’s not as if they were disgraced against a very good winner anyway, and the sixth-home, Under the Stars, has come out and won a good Listed race at Haydock. And I’d be focusing on the manner in which my filly won that Classic, not only scoring by a wide margin but also hitting the line hard. Of course, you can never be sure if any horse will see out an extra 4f in one fell swoop but I don’t anticipate any problems on that score myself.
The opposition may have more to say than the trip though, as Frankly Darling clearly looked a very good filly in leading home Ennistymon, Passion, who I rode, and Bharani Star in the Ribblesdale. You have to respect the Gosden filly, who did it very nicely there, but you can certainly make a case for the beaten horses getting nearer to her. In particular, Ennistymon came from a fair way back, closing down the winner, and the way in which she stepped forward so much from her maiden win to Ascot after just a week was very impressive and augurs well for her chances. She is very smart and I expect her to run a big race, but my filly sets the standard.
16:15 – Onassis
Obviously, she is the lowest rated in here by some way along with the impressive Newbury winner Love And Thunder – Classic form is represented by Cloak Of Spirits, and Fooraat looked very good at Chelmsford – but Onassis comes in here on the back of a career best and hopefully she can nick some black type.
Her soft-ground Sandringham win came off a mark only 81 though, so that tells you how much she has to be improving to even be placed here. She is a beautifully bred filly on the upgrade, mind you, so let’s see, but she is up against it on what we have seen.
16:55 – Mogul
I imagine plenty in here will be fancying their chances. We are all in limbo a bit with the 3yos this season, as they obviously haven’t had much racing, and trainers are still feeling their way in gauging whether they have milers or 1m2f or middle-distance horses on their hands. So this season is a harder puzzle to solve than most. I do think Kameko sets the form standard by a fair way though. He is a Group 1 winner at two who has won a Guineas, so there is no doubt that he is a very high class colt.
The question with him is obviously, will he stay the extra half-mile? That’s a big question for him for answer. It isn’t for English King, as we know the Camelot colt stays well after his Lingfield win, and that form has worked out well with the runner-up chasing home the subsequent Irish Derby winner Santiago in the Queen’s Vase.
He has plenty of positives but does he have the class? There is no doubting that I was disappointed with Mogul’s effort behind Pyledriver in the King Edward VII Stakes, but it was a messy little race and Aidan had made no secret of the fact that he needed the run badly, so let’s hope he steps forward as much from that first run of the season as his brother Japan did in this race last year. He is a good looker, with a good pedigree, and he has always been thought of as an Epsom horse. We will get to find out on Saturday.
Russian Emperor is a straightforward colt with the pedigree, by Galileo out of a champion Australian mare, and the form of his Hampton Court win is very solid. I was impressed with him at Ascot, as he looked better the further he went over 1m2f, and he is an exciting colt going up in trip, as is Vatican City.
He is from a successful family of top-class milers, but a very smart 1m4f winner in Taj Mahal, too. He probably has the second-best form going into the race after his second in the Irish 2000 Guineas, though once again the key to his chance is whether he fully sees out this 1m4f trip. That is pretty much the theme of this year’s race.