Jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Paul Nicholls will be hoping for respective successes on the course as Saturday’s racing action gets underway.
Moore, 39, has six rides at Ascot, including Jackie Oh, Paddington and Sonny Liston, whilst trainer Nicholls, 61, has half a dozen contenders at Newton Abbot and one – Hurricane Danny – at Stratford.
Here, Betfair ambassadors Moore and Nicholls outline their opportunities throughout the day.
Jockey Ryan Moore has six rides at Ascot on Saturday, including Kyprios in the 13:15
13:15 – Kyprios
I know he started at odds-on but it was always going to be a tough ask for him to win on his return at the Curragh last month, and we pretty much said as much beforehand. With that in mind, we were very satisfied with his second to a horse who had his optimum conditions on the day and we hope and expect that would have brought him on a good deal.
On his form last season, when he won a series of Group 1s from fast to heavy, then he is definitely the one to beat, but of course the likes of Trueshan, who has owned this race in recent years, present a significant challenge. At the time of doing this, we don’t know what track we will be racing on, which is also true of the Fillies and Mares and the Champion Stakes, but I don’t think that should be a major issue given his versatility. The better the ground, the better Broome’s chance.
13:50 – Rohaan
Obviously, he has an excellent record at the track and he was back to winning form here last time, albeit off a mark of just 102 in handicap company. He was rated a lot higher last year, including when winning the Wokingham for me here, and he also ran an excellent fourth in this race last year, when drawn away from Kinross and the main action. Kinross looks the one to beat again, and mudlarks like Vadream have to be respected, but I’d say he has a fair each way chance as he handles this kind of ground well enough and goes so well here.
14:25 – Jackie Oh
There is little between many of these but Jackie Oh comes in here at the top of her game and one of the highest-rated fillies in the line-up following her narrow second in the Prix de l’Opera last time. She will handle the ground and it is just a matter of whether she stays 1m4f well enough. That’s an unknown and something we will only find out about on the day, but you have to love her progressive profile and she is a Galileo too, as regards the trip. This looks a winnable race. Above The Curve is another filly I know well and this Group One winner obviously has the form to figure too. Red Riding Hood is in good form, but she needs to improve again for the step back up to 1m4f.
15:05 – Paddington
We obviously gave him a break after he didn’t quite fire as expected in the Juddmonte and this has been the plan ever since. We all know what a hugely progressive horse he was before York, and that he toughed it out superbly on bad ground at Goodwood, and he looks the form horse and the one to beat here at his Ascot and Sandown best. But it certainly won’t be easy with this level of opposition, as there are a whole host of Group 1 winners ranged against him, with Tahiyra, Big Rock and Nashwa obvious dangers. The biggest danger could be the French horse.
15:45 – Point Lonsdale
He has a fair bit to find on the book but very testing ground could just bring him into the equation if we stick to the main round track. Of course, he still may not be anywhere good enough given the level of opposition but he ran very well in the Irish Champion, not beaten far at all, and the expected deeper ground possibly makes him a lively outsider. But it’s a very tough ask for him, for all the race lacks a stand-out.
16:25 – Sonny Liston
He has gone back up to a career-high mark of 106 after his excellent effort at Doncaster last time, but it is fully deserved and I actually think he should have won there. He handles testing ground and ran a great race for me here in the Hunt Cup, so he has his chance in what is very a hugely competitive handicap. He deserves to be among the market leaders, and I like his chance.
Paul Nicholls talks about his horses at Newton Abbot on Saturday, as well as a Stratford entry
13:05 – Farnoge
He won his bumper on very testing ground at Uttoxeter in March and the form of that race has worked out well. He has done plenty of schooling and should handle the ground fine.
13:40 – Complete Unknown
This Intermediate Chase is the ideal prep for Complete Unknown ahead of a tilt at the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury. He was progressive over fences last season, had a wind op over the summer and will not mind the conditions however soft it gets. He looked good when winning a £60,000 handicap by sixteen lengths at Kempton in testing ground in the Spring before finishing an excellent second to Gerri Colombe in a Grade 1 at Aintree. I like to think he is still improving.
14:15 – Iceo
A very smart hurdler last season, he won the Imperial Cup at Sandown in great style and made a pleasing winning debut over fences at this track at the start of October. Iceo was subsequently raised 7lbs and is back for more experience in this limited handicap for novices. The plan is to then take him back to Sandown for the Henry V111 Chase. He loves soft ground.
14:55 – Take Your Time
He was quite useful over hurdles over longer distances before becoming disappointing last season in three races last winter when he seemed to lose his way. He needs to show something and we are hoping that fences can spark a revival.
16:15 – Individualiste
He looked very promising when he won a novice hurdle at Taunton in March last year. A minor injury has kept him off the track since then so he might just need the run after an absence of 597 days. Although he enjoys heavy ground I’d expect him to improve for the outing.
17:00 – Hinari Pompadour Aa
He’s a nice type, a half brother to six winners and is by Jeu St Eloi, a sire I really like. He was with us in the Spring, came back into training early in July and has had exactly the same preparation as all our four year old bumper horses including Kap Boy who won at Chepstow last Saturday.
14:35 – Hurricane Danny
He was big and backward last season, needed time and wasn’t really ready for a run in a bumper at that stage. He’s done his share of schooling and this long distance novice hurdle looks an ideal race for him to make his debut. He is a work in progress and one for the future.
Iceo – 14.15, Newton Abbot
He has solid claims of winning again over fences at this track.