Catching Pigeons: Moore wins

  • Last Updated: June 18 2014, 10:14 BST

Our Catching Pigeons column reports that Ryan Moore could be in for a good day at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

Ryan Moore: Rides Queensberry Rules and Pyschometry
Ryan Moore: Rides Queensberry Rules and Pyschometry

We nudged the bar a couple of times on the opening day of the meeting with Sizzler making the frame at 16/1 in the Ascot Stakes, but it wasn't really a day for those looking for meaty-priced winners.

The Royal Hunt Cup might not seem like the most obvious race in which to start trying to turn the tide, but there are also sound messages for two seasonal debutants, Queensberry Rules and Short Squeeze, and they are both worth considering.

Charlie Hills' team are running back into form after a very quiet month - his only runner on the first day of the meeting shaped very nicely at huge odds - and Passing Star is capable of running a big race on his turf debut in the Jersey Stakes.

He ran well up to home expectations during the all-weather season and it was no surprise to see him run Ertijaal so close at the Lingfield's valuable Good Friday meeting.He has come back well for his break, and there is more improvement still to come.

Muwaary rates an obvious threat. A slightly-unfortunate fourth in the French 2000 Guineas, he came back from that contest with a few bumps and bruises but delighted trainer John Gosden with a spin on Newmarket's Round Gallop under today's jockey Paul Hanagan last week.

Gosden, incidentally, threw a great party at one of the town's big hotels last week to celebrate Taghrooda's Investec Oaks victory, and is clearly a man in love with the game at present after Kingman's victory yesterday.

He saddles The Fugue against Treve in the Prince of Wales's Stakes and it wouldn't be a surprise to see her shake up the favourite. She looked absolutely magnificent in her work last week and has really filled out further in the last couple of months.

It's just possible that she might need the run as she looks to be carrying a fair amount of weight at present, but one seasoned HQ onlooker said they had simply never seen the Lloyd-Webbers' globetrotter looking quite so well.

John Quinn has never been a man to get unnecessarily carried away and it was wonderful to hear him talk about his excitement over The Wow Signal after that colt's Coventry Stakes victory - but the stable may not be done yet this week.

Quinn himself was at pains to point out that he has more than one very talented youngster in his yard this season. He was referring to Harry's Dancer, who must go well in the Queen Mary Stakes.

There was a persistent whisper for the daughter of Kodiac on her debut at Thirsk and, despite running freely, picked up really well in the closing stages to go clear. Much more will be needed for her to prevail here, but she has plenty of pace and should see out the trip well.

Finally, might the absence of Radiator from the closing Sandringham Handicap be a tip for stablemate Pyschometry. It's hard not to believe that jockey Ryan Moore could have ridden most of this line-up and yet he stays loyal to the Stoute runner despite a couple of below-par recent efforts. Connections hope this track rather than the twists and turns of Chester and Goodwood will suit better.