Jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Paul Nicholls give insight into their horses competing at Ascot, Santa Anita and Wetherby on Saturday

  • Jockey Ryan Moore reveals insight into his four horses racing at Santa Anita 
  • Paul Nicholls has six horses at Ascot and Wetherby, including Cap du Mathan

Jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Paul Nicholls will be hoping for success across the board as Saturday’s racing action gets underway at Santa Anita, and Wetherby. 

Moore, 39, has four rides at Santa Anita, including Warm Heart, Astronomer, and Aesop’s Fables. Nicholls, 61, has half a dozen contenders at Ascot and Wetherby.

Here, Betfair ambassadors Moore and Nicholls outline their opportunities throughout the day.

Jockey Ryan Moore has four rides at Santa Anita on Saturday, including Aesop's Fables

Jockey Ryan Moore has four rides at Santa Anita on Saturday, including Aesop’s Fables

Santa Anita

19:10 – Warm Heart

You’d have to say Inspiral is the one to beat after what she did in the Sun Chariot last time , especially as it isn’t exactly hard to see stepping up to 1m2f for the first time on quick ground around here really suiting her. But we know Warm Heart is a guaranteed stayer and the level of form she has shown in winning Group 1s over 1m4f on her last two starts isn’t that far behind what Inspiral has done. She has plenty of pace, so I am not worried about the step back to 1m2f, and I’d say we will be disappointed if she isn’t at least in the first three. Winning is a realistic goal, too. I like her.

20:30 – Astronomer 

He was an outsider when I won on him on the Del Mar undercard last season and he has run well enough on his last two starts, including when just touched off here last time. That level of form clearly needs improving on a good deal for him to be competitive here, hence he is one of the outsiders, but you never know. He was a similar price at Del Mar last year. I think Songline is the one to beat in here.

21:50 – Auguste Rodin 

Mostahdaf brings the best level of form to the table on his Prince Of Wales’s and Juddmonte wins, but not my much, and several have a winning shot at this. I certainly wouldn’t rule out Bolshoi Ballet after what he did in the Sword Dancer last time and we know Broome’s pedigree in this race, but Auguste Rodin is clearly our number one hope. Question his Guineas and King George runs all you like, but you are dealing with a dual Derby winner who showed he had Group 1 1m2f pace when winning the Irish Champion Stakes last time. He has all you look for in a Turf winner, but it is obvious that this is a pretty deep race this year.

23:25 – Aesop’s Fables

I have half a feeling he could go well here. Prior to his run in the Abbaye last run you wouldn’t have realistically given him much chance at all here, but he took a big step forward when third there in first-time blinkers and they could have been what he has been needing. Certainly, his half-brother Washington DC ran his best races in that headgear and Aesop’s Fables may be a fair price at around 12/1, though he needs to progress again to trouble the likes of Bradsell and others and luck in running from his midfield draw is obviously needed.


Paul Nicholls talks about his horses at Ascot and Wetherby on Saturday

Paul Nicholls talks about his horses at Ascot and Wetherby on Saturday


14:21 – Red Risk

While he doesn’t show you much at home I’ve learned that he is best fresh and he seems in good order ahead of his first start of the season. He surprised me when he won at Newbury late last November and also when he came within a short head of pulling off a shock at 25-1 in the Lanzarote Hurdle. Only four of the twenty starters finished that day so he should handle the ground however soft it gets. He has a small each way chance. 

15:00 – Bravemansgame

He enjoyed an amazing time last season and I couldn’t be happier with him as he bids to win the Charlie Hall for the second year running. I was leaning towards taking him to Haydock in three weeks time for his seasonal debut in the Betfair Chase but changed my mind after all the rain we’ve had. The way things are at the moment conditions could be bottomless at Haydock by the end of the month which would be far from ideal for Bravemansgame over almost three and a quarter miles first time out. It makes sense to go for the Charlie Hall with only three opponents declared against him. He won this race easily a year ago and the race comes at the right time for him ahead of the King George V1 Chase at Kempton.



14:05 – Cap du Mathan

He was largely consistent in his first season over fences, winning twice and finishing in the money several times and was probably over the top when he was below par on the final day of the season. I’m hoping he can progress now in handicaps although I can’t be sure he will like the ground as testing as it is likely to be at Ascot.

14:05 – Quel Destin

Both Cap Du Mathan and Quel Destin are big, strong horses that usually come on for the run. The softer the ground the more it will suit Quel Destin who is a proper mudlark and had his palate cauterised in the summer. He is tough and got off the mark over fences when we dropped him back to two miles on testing ground at Lingfield in January. He’s a sound jumper, ran with credit on all three subsequent starts and will relish conditions at Ascot but he will come on for the run.

15:15 – Rare Middleton

A lightly raced type he has thrived since his summer holiday and is another who has had wind surgery. There is room for improvement in his jumping from last season and we have been working hard on his schooling at home. Rare Middleton has plenty of potential and his mark of 117 gets him in here off a nice, light racing weight. He enjoyed a timely pipe opener last Sunday when winning a charity race at Wincanton ridden by Chloe Humphries. 

16:15 – Dino Magic

He’s an interesting prospect by Doctor Dino who goes nicely at home, has done plenty and is ready for his racecourse debut. It’s hard to know if he wants ground as deep as he is likely to find at Ascot and like all our young bumper horses he will improve for the experience. 

Best chance

Bravemansgame – 15.00, Wetherby

He is doing everything right ahead of his seasonal debut.

Source link