He certainly splits opinion, but no matter how you view him, Ryan Moore is one of the world’s best jockeys. Retained by the Ballydoyle juggernaut, he has top-class ammunition wherever he goes and Royal Ascot will be no different.
He has a full book of rides on Tuesday and six of them are 13-2 or shorter in their respective races. It could be a remarkable start to the meeting for Moore and an accumulator of his best chances could pay 803-1! Find out all the details below.
4.20 Ascot – St James’s Palace Stakes
Highly progressive as a juvenile, Battleground won the Vintage at Glorious Goodwood before a luckless second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He made his return in the 2000 Guineas, where he was reportedly unsuited by the undulations of Newmarket.
Subject of an enormous gamble that day, connections clearly think the best is yet to come from this scopey son of War Front. He’s fitted with the tongue-tie today and if that has the desired effect, he’s unlikely to be far away.
5.00 Ascot – Ascot Stakes
Willie Mullins has an exceptional record in this race, winning it four times. On three occasions, Moore has ridden the winner and M C Muldoon gives him another excellent chance in the staying contest. He was smart on the flat for Peter Chapple-Hyam, rated 100 at his peak before joining Mullins last winter.
Winning a Fairyhouse maiden on his second hurdling start, he was then subsequently placed at Grade 2 level. Stamina should be no problem on his return to the level and he certainly has the class to be heavily involved. The small concern would be the ground, but if he handles the surface, he’ll be right on the premises.
5.35 Ascot – Wolfterton Stakes
Very smart in handicaps last season, Solid Stone has taken the leap into pattern company in 2021 with plenty of verve. Fifth on return over course and distance in Listed company, he showed the benefit of that run by scoring effortlessly at Windsor in the same grade last time.
Given an enterprising ride by Moore on that occasion, this race should play out perfectly for him. He’ll get a strong pace to aim at and should have first crack at the leaders, as he likes to race close to the pace. He handles rattling fast ground and back at a venue where he’s enjoyed success, another big effort should be in the offing.
6.10 Ascot – Copper Horse Stakes
The final race of the day is a staying handicap and unsurprisingly, Willie Mullins has the favourite with Saldier. A Grade 1 winning hurdler, he’s a very classy horse at his peak and although he was poor over jumps last season, a return to the flat prompted a strong performance at Listowel.
Winning by seven lengths, he showed plenty of gears and looks the ideal sort of horse for this contest. Given Mullins’ record in the Ascot Stakes, you can expect this seven-year-old to be primed and ready for this assignment. The fact that Moore rides is likely telling and stepped up slightly in distance, he should be in the thick of things late on.