Ryan Moore may well be the man of the moment with his return to race riding taking all the headlines, but he will want to make sure his first Saturday back in action is an improvement on recent years.
The 32-year-old may have bagged five winners on Cambridgeshire Day at Newmarket in the past but with none of those successes coming in the afternoon’s biggest races he will be keen to right that wrong at HQ.
He has yet to taste victory in the Royal Lodge Stakes, the Middle Park Stakes, the Cheveley Park Stakes or the Cambridgeshire itself, but 2015 could be where some of those droughts end.
After two-and-a-half months off with a neck injury Moore returns to weekend action with a strong book of rides.
He bids to provide Aidan O’Brien with a sixth success in the Royal Lodge Stakes on board the unbeaten Deauville.
The son of Galileo was last seen landing the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown. Behind him that day was subsequent Group 3 winner Sanus Per Aquam, so the form of his victory looks pretty solid.
The race could turn into a match between Moore’s mount and dual Haydock scorer Foundation with the rest scrapping it out for the smaller prize money.
Next up is a ride on Alice Springs after an interesting decision to drop her down to six furlongs for the Cheveley Park Stakes.
The last three winners of the contest, Tiggy Wiggy, Vorda and Rosdhu Queen, have all come from sprinting backgrounds and make the step up in trip, whereas Moore’s ride does the opposite.
She was far from disgraced in the Moyglare Stakes last time out, though she looked as if a step up wouldn’t go amiss rather than the drop back in distance.
The presence of Besharah, Illuminate and Lumiere makes the race a hot one and it could be another 12 months before the jockey, and handler O’Brien secure their maiden win in the race.
Godolphin’s dominance of the field in the Middle Park Stakes stretches as far as owning four of the seven runners, with Moore taking the mount on Rouleau.
On paper, he and the rest of the field have it all to do if they are to stop the exciting Shalaa, but this could be just the race to do it.
In the last four years we have seen a 22/1 and a 25/1 winner in the race, so surprises can happen.
However, this Group 3 winner, on lateral form through Richard Hannon’s King of Rooks has it all to do to beat some of the others here.
Moore’s final opportunity to break his big race ducks comes on board Abseil in the eponymous race of the fixture.
Finding the winner in a 35-runner Cambridgeshire Handicap is a big ask, but the Juddmonte-owned five-year-old looks a real dark horse for the contest.
After winning at Epsom last year, he was sent off at silly prices for a couple of subsequent contests when disappointing, but looks a revitalised sort this time round.
He has run just two times in 2015, finishing third on both occasions, firstly in the Hambleton Handicap at York before placing in the Investec Mile on Oaks Day.
He’s only gone up a pound in the weights for that, and with another break under his belt can go well at a more suitable price of circa 12/1.
Ryan Moore’s trips to Newmarket on Cambridgeshire Day may have proved relatively fruitless in recent years, but with this book of rides the best in the business could be out to bag a few firsts on the Rowley Mile.
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