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.”