By Simon Jackson at Royal Ascot.
Able Friend bids to extend his superb record by winning the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday, the opening race on the first day of Royal Ascot 2015.
The five-year-old, trained by John Moore in Hong Kong, arrives in the UK in spectacular form. The son of Shamardal has won 12 of his 18 starts and has yet to finish out of the first four in a sparking career that has amassed almost £4.2 million in prize money.
Able Friend started his career in Australia where he won one of his two starts. He has since raced only at Sha Tin – one of the two racecourses in Hong Kong along with Happy Valley – and arrives in the UK unbeaten in his last six starts.
He has been ridden by Joao Moreira for those six wins and the jockey describes himself as ‘full of confidence’ in his mount’s ability as he prepares to face seven rivals in the £375,000 race at Ascot that includes France’s Solow who has also won his last six starts.
“Everyone asks me how much he [Able Friend] has left at the end of his races when he wins so easily but it’s hard to say, I haven’t fully asked him most of the time because I haven’t needed to and I hope I won’t have to,” Moreira told Racing UK.
“Obviously I respect all the other horses, but I have confidence. It’s a prestigious race, one of the most prestigious in the world, people aren’t running for fun. There are lots of other great horses, but I’m full of confidence in my boy.
“I rate Solow the main danger, his win in Dubai impressed me, as I’m sure it did everyone else.
“He won a few weeks ago in France and while he wasn’t that impressive it just looked like a run out.
“Whoever wins this will be rated one of the best horses in the world.”
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