Moore flying in for Recital ride
Aidan O'Brien's stated policy of employing the best available riders in the big races this summer takes an interesting twist at Leopardstown tomorrow, when Ryan Moore travels over from England to ride the stable's leading Epsom Derby hope Recital.
The Ballydoyle handler's pursuit of the three-time champion jockey has been an open secret for a long time, with Moore believed to have turned down the No 1 job at the Co Tipperary establishment at least once over the past 12 months.
Clearly, though, O'Brien remains determined to use Moore when he can, having also employed him on Master Of Hounds in Dubai a fortnight ago. Tomorrow's booking on Recital is very significant, given the high regard in which the Montjeu colt is held. A Navan maiden winner on his debut in October, Recital went on to sluice up in the Group One Criterium at Saint-Cloud.
It remains to be seen if he is as good as he looked on that occasion, but he will be long odds-on to maintain his unbeaten record in tomorrow's PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes. A total of six oppose Recital, which is as low as 8/1 behind Frankel in the betting for Epsom, though none are likely to trouble him under his new rider.
O'Brien has a strong hand across the Leopardstown card. He and Moore can get the day off to the best possible start with Raphael Santi in the opening juvenile maiden, while the trainer's son Joseph may be on the right one in the three-year-old handicap.
Moore partners President Lincoln in this one-mile event, but Flavia Tatiana is marginally more appealing. Second to runaway winner Haziyna on her reappearance over 10 furlongs, she can improve for the return to this distance.
In the previous Listed race, Famous Name faces little worthwhile opposition as he gets his fifth season up and running. Although Dermot Weld's charge must concede 5lb to his three rivals, he is rated at least a stone better than each of them.
A competitive maiden follows the Ballysax, with Claiomh Solais and Quest For Peace the principal contenders based on their efforts at The Curragh three weeks ago.
On that occasion, Claiomh Solais held on for second from Quest For Peace, no small feat given that the latter had the experience of a run last term.
Today's race represents a two-furlong step up in trip to a mile and a quarter, and it's significant that Claiomh Solais is now 5lb better off with Quest For Peace. With that amount of pull, the Galileo full sister to Gile Na Greine and Cuis Ghaire is nap material.