Moore looking to hit the ground running as Buck faces Dubai heroine Vivlos
Kyoto, Sunday (6.40am)
Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Grade 1) | 3yo+ fillies and mares | 1m3f, turf
This weekend Ryan Moore begins a two-and-a-half-month stint in Japan, a country that is fast becoming his second home outside of the core European season.
After getting his eye in with six rides at Tokyo on Saturday – three of which are for Noriyuki Hori, who he rides for regularly – Moore will be in Kyoto on Sunday for one of the highlights of the year.
Moore already has two wins in this race, thanks to the back-to-back victories of Snow Fairy in 2010 and 2011, and takes over on Rouge Buck, who in September ended an 11-month winless streak in the Grade 2 All Comers Stakes at Nakayama.
Trainer Masahiro Otake said of the five-year-old: "In the All Comers the pace was slow but the jockey [Hiroshi Kitamura] got her into a good early position and it all went well from there. She hadn’t won for a while, so I think it was a big win."
Rouge Buck is drawn wide in stall 17 of 18 but at least Moore will be able to keep a close eye on Christophe Lemaire and Dubai Turf winner Vivlos, who breaks from 16 and who ran an eye-catching comeback when second on her first start since Meydan in a Tokyo Grade 2 last month.
"She was coming off a layoff but I think with that race under her, she’ll be fine."
Last year's winner Queens Ring was back in fourth and is expected to step up on that run under regular rider Mirco Demuro, while Andrea Atzeni – who joins Moore on a short-term contract with the Japan Racing Association – partners Tosen Victory.
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