Ryan Moore upbeat on Mendelssohn’s Kentucky Derby chances

Aidan O’Brien’s colt looking to become the first horse from outside America to win the race

Mendelssohn trots on the track on Thursday during morning workouts for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs  in Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph:  Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Mendelssohn trots on the track on Thursday during morning workouts for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

 

Ryan Moore believes Mendelssohn has plenty in his favour as the colt bids for a ground-breaking win in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

No horse from outside America has ever won the Churchill Downs Classic, but Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old has stronger credentials than many of the previous challengers.

The Scat Daddy colt already has a victory in America to his name, albeit on turf at last year’s Breeders’ Cup meeting, but he proved his effectiveness on dirt when an 18-length winner of the UAE Derby.

Mendelssohn enjoyed his first spin at the Louisville track on Thursday and his big-race pilot is under no illusions about the task he faces on Saturday.

“Mendelssohn certainly has the talent to run a big race in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby,” Moore told his Betfair blog.

“He is a Grade One winner in America, he comes here on the back of a runaway Grade Two win on dirt at Meydan in a track-record time, he has plenty of experience and tactical speed, he has the pedigree being a Scat Daddy half-brother to Beholder, and he has been trained specifically for the race.

“Will that be good enough? I don’t know is the honest answer, and not for one moment do we think this is going to be straightforward, though that is stating the obvious.”

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