Champion trainer John Size missed out in the Classic Mile with Western Express but at least didn’t have to send Ryan Moore back halfway around the world without a winner.
Size had imported Moore from England to pilot Western Express in the first four-year-old feature of the season and the post-race assessment was that the handsome gelding wasn’t yet ready for that level, but at least the Longines World’s Best Jockey titleholder didn’t go home empty-handed.
Moore was part of a Size treble, landing the middle pin on the debutant Nothingilikemore, while Joao Moreira chipped in either side with Right Call and fringe Derby hopeful Dinozzo.
“Nothingilikemore had to be ready to win the way he was forced to do it – the hot pace up front helped him running on from the back but I think he had to do a good job to win the way he did,” Size said. “Most of his seven trials had been pretty good and he took that to the races, which not all young horses do.”
But Dinozzo was the real eye-catcher of the three victories, sitting wide throughout before coming clear to win in Class Two over 1,800m and neither Size nor Moreira was talking down the prospect of the Derby.
“He’s a Derby runner, I’m convinced of that, and a horse on an upward trajectory – if he keeps going, he could even be right there for a race like that,” Moreira said.
Size will take the Irish-bred four-year-old to the Classic Cup now to challenge the big guns of his age and gauge where he fits in.
“He had a light weight, sure, but he did it tough today sitting wide, he was never looking comfortable in the run and Joao had to ask him before the turn,” Size said.
“He kept running and was strong at the finish when they came at him. That will lift his rating and I don’t know if he will get his number up to where he can get a Derby run. But he’s only had five runs here and one overseas and is still learning and improving. We’ll throw him in the deep end and we’ll see.”
Right Call’s win didn’t carry any portent of big assignments ahead but the honest gelding just happened to “fall into the right race” according to Size.
“Nothing upset him in the lead, Joao was able to go the speed he wanted and dictate,” Size said. “And he needed all that to win but he got it and took his opportunity.”