Arizona, the 15/8 favourite trained by Aidan O'Brien, provided Moore with victory in the £150,000 G2 Coventry Stakes over six furlongs for two-year-olds at Royal Ascot on Tuesday. The jockey had to push his young partner along from soon after leaving the stalls, but the son of stallion No Nay Never finished impressively and was pulling away from his rivals as he hit the line. Threat (4/1) and Guildsman (6/1) took the next two places, beaten half a length and a neck.
Arizona flies up late to claim the Coventry Stakes, photo Liesl King
The No Nay Never juvenile scored by half a length from Threat under Ryan Moore. He was the 15/8 favourite.
O'Brien said: "I'm delighted with him and Ryan gave him a great ride. He was very green first time out, and then won very easily next time, but probably didn't learn a lot because of that, so this is the first day that he has had to learn. He was a little bit slow away and a little bit lost through the race, but came home really well.
"Obviously, he has loads of speed, or he wouldn't be able to win like that, but we always thought he would be a horse who would have no problem getting seven furlongs. He could sharpen up a lot from that, but even if he does, seven furlongs should be fine. He's a fine, big horse and we'll look forward to next year.
"You'd imagine he will be a miler next year. He's probably quicker than he lets on, because he's still a baby, but you'd always think he'd have no problem getting seven. After he won at the Curragh, if he was eligible for the Chesham Stakes [over seven furlongs] we'd have had no problem running him in it. Often that type of horse can get quicker when they learn; he was very babyish today and still came home so well."
It did not take Ryan Moore long to ride his first winner at this year's Royal Ascot, his initial success coming in the second race on day one.
Ryan Moore returns on Arizona, photo Liesl King
Moore, who has been QIPCO Royal Ascot Top Jockey in each of the past five years, and nine in total, said: "Arizona has impressed me on all his starts. I think he is a high-class colt.
"He has a super attitude, but is not fully switched on yet and will probably benefit when he steps up in trip.
"He has come out of a maiden, so this was a different tempo, and you would have to be pleased with what he has done today."
Richard Hannon was magnanimous in defeat following Threat's (4/1) second-placed finish to 15/8 favourite Arizona in the G2 Coventry Stakes.
Threat, ridden by Tom Marquand, ran on strongly in the closing stages of the six-furlong event, finishing a half-length behind the winner.
Hannon commented: "We came here today to learn if he was a very good horse and that is exactly what we learned.
"He is a good colt and we can't wait for the rest of the year with Threat. He saw the trip out well.
"Threat is the sort of horse who will come out of the race fine. He is strong and mature.
"Hopefully, we can win a G1 with him at some stage this season."
Marquand reported: "Threat has run a great race. He has proven he is the horse we thought he was at home.
"It's a delight to see how good he is. We've got plenty of battles to fight yet and we're looking forward to the next day with him already."
The Archie Watson-trained Guildsman (6/1) was a further neck behind in third and the Lambourn handler said: "I was delighted with Guildsman.
"They have probably gone very quick in front and they have set the race up for the closers. I thought Threat's run in second was full of merit on the other side of the track, but I couldn't be happier with my lad.
"There is a very defined path for horses like him. He is a ready-made two-year-old and we will be looking for races like the July Stakes and the Richmond with him - I don't need to be very clever with him."
Oisin Murphy, rider of Guildsman, said: "It was a super run and I had a great run through. Everything happened the way I wanted it to, but he was just unfortunately not quite good enough."
Arizona gets a pat from Aidan O'Brien, photo Liesl King
3.05pm Coventry Stakes (Group 2), 6f
1 Arizona (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith) Aidan O'Brien IRE 2-9-01 Ryan Moore 15/8 fav
2 Threat (Cheveley Park Stud) Richard Hannon 2-9-01 Tom Marquand 4/1
3 Guildsman (Qatar Racing Limited) Archie Watson 2-9-01 Oisin Murphy 6/1
Time: 1m 13.02s
Distances: ½, nk
Tote Win: £2.20 Places: £1.30, £1.95, £2.60 Exacta: £13.40
Breeding: b c No Nay Never (USA) - Lady Ederle (USA) (English Channel (USA))
Breeder: Stephen Sullivan
Aidan O'Brien - 66th Royal Ascot winner
Ryan Moore - 54th Royal Ascot winner