Ryan Moore: The views on my day two rides at York’s Dante Festival
York 14:20 – Queen's Trust
My filly developed into a high-class performer last year, rounding off the season with her win in the Breeders' Cup, and she is ready to start here, having been pleasing us at home. She has course form and I think she will handle the ground well enough, as it was pretty soft when she met a lot trouble when fourth in the Ribblesdale, but this is very competitive and she carries a 3lb penalty for that win in the States.
Smart Call is another smart filly of ours, having joined us from South Africa. Again, she has been going well but she also carries a 3lb penalty for her Group 1 win and she has been off for well over a year, so she will come forward a lot for the run and soft ground would be an unknown. I liked Chain Of Daisies last season, The Black Princess won well in France last month for all that she got the run of the race, and then you have So Mi Dar who won the Musidora here last season, wasn't beaten far in the Prix de L'Opera and gets 3lb from Queen's Trust.
I genuinely think there are five possible winners in here.
York 15:30 – Exemplar
I think this is a very good Dante and it will be a very interesting race to watch and learn from rather than bet in – am I allowed to say that? – as I don't think anyone will be going into the race overly-confident. My colt will like the conditions and on official marks is right up there. Certainly, the form of his Beresford Stakes third to Capri and Yucatan has worked out well this season, and this trip will certainly suit him on pedigree.
But there are dangers everywhere you look. Cracksman's Epsom defeat of Permian is working out well – I rode Permian to win at Newmarket last time and was impressed – but I think he has to step up again to be winning this, though clearly any amount of potential is there.
Crystal Ocean certainly does need to step up, and then some, on his Nottingham maiden win last month. But he looks smart we have always liked him, and Michael has been down this road many times in the past, as Tartan Bearer and Carlton House won this race straight after taking their maidens, and Workforce came here on his reappearance after winning at Goodwood at two. And I am sure you can keep on going, back to the likes of North Light and beyond.
This is a big ask for Crystal Ocean but he is a lovely horse, albeit one who will continue to improve as the season progresses. I sat on him on Saturday morning and he seemed in really good order to me. I also rode him on his debut at Newbury when there was give in the ground, and I think he will handle it okay. But, as I said, this race has plenty of depth.
I think Joseph's Rekindling has to be respected, as his Ballysax defeat of the first three home in the Derrinstown is clearly very smart form. I wouldn't underestimate him.
Wolf Country won well at Saint-Cloud earlier in the month and I know they think a fair bit of him, and he is big at 16/1, while I also think the first two home at Newcastle, Forest Ranger and the Acomb winner Syphax, are decent sorts. too. And, of the others, I actually sat on Swiss Storm before his debut and I think 1m2f will suit him. If you asked me who is the likeliest winner, I honestly couldn't tell you. I think it is that open.
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York 16:05 – Keystroke
He probably ran as well as could be expected from his wide draw at Lingfield last time. He had earlier been in really good form on other all-weather tracks and if he can translate that level of form to turf – and he did win in the soft at Doncaster a couple of seasons ago – then he has chances off 103. But it's a 20-runner handicap.
York 16:35 – Afandem
He would clearly have a leading chance on his best juvenile form – when he ran really well in Group 2 and 3 company here, as well as winning a couple in France and just being touched off in the Roses Stakes at this track – even though he carries a 5lb penalty for his Chantilly win.
He obviously needs to bounce back from what looked a modest run in France last week, but hopefully that will have at least sharpened him up and I see he is running in first-time cheekpieces here, too. But this could be tough for him, as Ardad is a very smart sprinter on his day – he ran away with the Windsor Castle on soft ground – and you have up-and-comers like Brian The Snail in here as well.
York 17:05 – Taifbalady
Usual comments apply to my rides of unraced 2yos, I am afraid. I haven't sat on him and all I know is what you do, and that is he is a 185,000gns yearling by Dark Angel out of a good mare who was a winning juvenile and who handled cut.
York 17:35 – Paris Protocol
He had some good 1m/1m2f form a while ago but he shaped as though this 2m trip would suit when I rode him to finish third over 1m6f at Salisbury on his reappearance. He has form with some cut in the ground, and he has another each-way chance.
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