Ryan Moore eyes Ascot prizes with Kyprios and Opera Singer

Ryan Moore has picked out leading Gold Cup contender Kyprios and Group 1-winner Opera Singer as two of his best chances at Royal Ascot next week.

Moore has a typically strong book of rides, including Kyprios, who is odds-on favourite to regain the Gold Cup on Thursday, which he won during an unbeaten season in 2022, while Opera Singer is favourite for the Coronation Stakes on Friday after finishing third behind Fallen Angel in the Irish 1,000 Guineas last month. Fallen Angel was not among 11 fillies confirmed on Saturday for the Coronation.

The Ascot Racecourse Supports programme has announced it will donate £5,000 to Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) for every winner the top jockey rides at the royal meeting, and pinpointing the horses who could earn the charity a sizeable windfall, Moore said: "I’m very much looking forward to riding Kyprios in the Gold Cup again. He’s won his two starts this year. The Gold Cup is always a tough race and one of the biggest races of the week, but we're hoping for a very big run from him.

“Opera Singer was the leading two-year-old filly last year and was impressive when she won the Boussac. She was slightly in need of her comeback race in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. We're looking forward to getting her to Ascot, hopefully on some nicer ground. It’s a very deep Coronation, but we think she has a big chance."

Moore, who got off the mark at Royal Ascot in 2008 aboard Colony for Sir Michael Stoute, is just two behind Frankie Dettori on the list for all-time winningmost jockey at the royal meeting. He also highlighted some Ballydoyle two-year-olds he was looking forward to riding, including Camille Pissarro, who is 5-1 generally for the Coventry Stakes on Tuesday.

"We have a good team of two-year-olds going into this year," said Moore. "On the first day we have a lovely son of Wootton Bassett, Camille Pissarro. He was beaten on his last start, but we expect him to come on for that. 

"We also have Whistlejacket in the Norfolk. He's Little Big Bear’s brother and is an exciting colt. He won a Listed race at the Curragh last time and we expect him to be very competitive.

“I’m also looking forward to riding Fairy Godmother in the Albany Stakes. She won a trial at Naas a couple of weeks ago and we expect the Albany to suit her. 

"We have a lovely Churchill filly, Heavens Gate, who won at the Curragh. We're looking forward to a big run from her in the Queen Mary Stakes."

Moore has been leading rider at Royal Ascot ten times and has partnered 79 winners at the meeting, including six in 2023 and seven the previous year. He is 1-2 with Coral to be crowned top jockey next week, ahead of 11-4 shot James Doyle, while Aidan O'Brien is 1-4 to be top trainer ahead of Charlie Appleby at 7-1.

"Royal Ascot is the highlight of the British racing season and it's probably the best meeting in the world," said Moore. "There's five days of very competitive races and it's hard to win there. 

"I look forward to it every year – I would say it's my favourite meeting and I’ve been very fortunate to have been part of it for so long.

"It took me a few attempts to ride my first winner there and I've been lucky to ride for some of the biggest trainers in Britain and Ireland. I'm fortunate to have ridden a lot of winners there now and I'm just looking forward to the next one. You don't know if it's definitely going to come so we just try to keep ticking them off."

On the partnership between Ascot Racecourse Supports and the RoR, Nick Smith, Ascot's director of racing and public affairs, said: "We've worked with them on a lot of initiatives in the past, but this is going to be our flagship initiative and we're just hoping that Ryan rides loads of winners for them.”

That was echoed by the RoR's director of fundraising, marketing and communications Vicky Vine, who said: "The donation is incredibly important to us and we'll be backing Ryan all the way."