Royal Ascot Jockeys In Focus – Ryan Moore
After a trademark success in the Oaks aboard Tuesday, Ryan Moore will be seeking more glory at Royal Ascot next week. We have picked out five horses who may give him his best chances at the royal meeting below.
Bay Bridge (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes)
The first of Moore’s particularly well-fancied chances could also be snatched away from him should any battalions from Ballydoyle be declared here.
Currently, Mother Earth, Broome and Order Of Australia all hold entries for Aidan O’Brien in this contest, but all are outside chances. That cannot be said of the progressive BAY BRIDGE, who looked an enormous talent when making his return at Sandown in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
He may have been unbeaten in 2021, but the son of French Derby winner New Bay had recorded most of his successes at a lower level. A Newcastle novice victory came first, before handicap wins at Newbury and York saw him go up 21lb in the handicap to a mark of 111. Such a rating would only prove fit for Pattern company.
He concluded last term with a narrow success in a Listed contest at Newmarket, but even that could not prepare viewers for what was to come at Sandown. In what looked a decent renewal of the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard, Moore and Bay Bridge simply sauntered clear in the closing stages to win by five lengths. He proved a superb starting dish for Sir Michael Stoute ahead of Desert Crown’s Derby victory.
Two Group 1 winners finished well behind him that day and with few established superstars at this trip, he could easily claim this particular middle distance throne before other prizes are sought later in the summer.
Astro King (Royal Hunt Cup)
Another for Sir Michael Stoute and this time there are no O’Brien entries to worry about.
The Royal Hunt Cup is one of the two biggest handicaps at Royal Ascot, but Stoute, Moore and recent Derby-winning owner Saeed Suhail do not need to worry about making the cut with ASTRO KING. His mark of 102 is comfortably enough to see him into the race and given the improvement his trainer has found with some big names already in 2022, he could easily challenge.
The five-year-old only won one of his six starts last term, but was placed in three other big handicaps. Two of those came in the Thirsk Hunt Cup and a heritage race at York, while the other was a fine runner-up effort in this race a year ago when beaten only by subsequent Group 2 winner Real World.
That horse was in receipt of 4lb from Astro King last term and has since chased Baaeed home in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes. This son of Kingman may have been below par on his last two starts, but has already gone close to victory on this rating. A little leap forward is well within range.
Kyprios (Gold Cup)
The rising star of this division, KYPRIOS still boasts the benefit of being completely unexposed ahead of a tilt at the Gold Cup.
A full brother to two other staying stars in dual Irish St Leger heroine Search For A Song and former Chester Cup winner Falcon Eight, Kyprios has had only six career starts. Intriguingly, he is unbeaten in Ireland, winning all four races from his debut in a 1m½f maiden at Galway, to the 1m6f Group 3 Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes most recently.
He defeated his sister after a 350-day break to open this season at Navan. That authoritative victory ensured he was a 1/10 favourite when stepping up to Group 3 company last time out.
Ultimately, despite winning by 14 lengths, that taught us very little. What may put off some punters is that Aidan O’Brien has sent him over to England twice and both times he has been comfortably beaten.
Nevertheless, there is real optimism about his chances stepping up to 2m4f. With Stradivarius in the twilight of his career and Trueshan in need of cut in the ground, he could prove the most exciting and reliable of the favourites.
Tenebrism (Commonwealth Cup)
In hindsight, TENEBRISM looked a very foolish favourite for the 1000 Guineas. However, sprinting may well be her game based on her two-year-old form.
She won a Naas maiden by the best part of four lengths on her debut last March. That was over 5f, while she then endured nearly six months on the sidelines. That only served to make what she did next look even more impressive.
Aidan O’Brien pitched her in the deep end in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes over 6f and Ryan Moore rode her for the first time. Despite seemingly taking an age to kick into overdrive, she came with a withering late burst to ultimately win comfortably. It was a charge that her sire, Caravaggio, would have been proud of.
1m proved too far in the first fillies’ Classic, but the drop back to 6f looks to be well in her favour. A strong pace could play right into her hands and her turn-of-foot may make her a lethal each-way play.
Broome (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes/Gold Cup/Hardwicke Stakes)
BROOME has become a very admirable servant for connections, but is still rocking on at the age of six.
He gained a long-awaited, if slightly surprising, Group 1 success in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud last term. That came over 1m4f and that was to be the trip over which he excelled for the rest of the season.
Ironically, that top tier success was the first race in which Moore had not ridden him for five starts. Since that win, he has had jockeys from all over the world in Irad Ortix, who rode him to second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, almost causing a big shock, and Yutaka Take, who take the mount in the Arc.
Broome reappeared in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh and though not disgraced, connections will hope he needed the run. He currently has three options at Royal Ascot, with the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes, where he finished as runner-up a year ago, looks his most likely destination.