RYAN Moore believes Coral-Eclipse Stakes hero Notnowcato has earned the right to be called the best mile-and-a-quarter horse in the country.
Sir Michael Stoute's charge won his third Group 1 race when inflicting defeat upon Vodafone Derby hero Authorized in Saturday's feature event at Sandown. "His form was in the book and he'd beaten Dylan Thomas this year. I think he's right up there with the best of them," Moore enthused. "He's just a horse that wants to get into a nice rhythm and he's pretty straightforward. He sees out the trip well and he's got a lot of class and a great heart."
Moore anticipates Notnowcato making a bold bid to repeat his Juddmonte International win of 2006 if he makes this year's York line-up on 21 August.
"All being well, he'll go there and follow up but you just don't know what's coming up," he said. "But I think our lad proved he is the best mile-and-a-quarter horse in this country."
While Moore was surprised nobody followed him across to the stands side at Sandown, he does not believe the move and subsequent result necessarily flattered his mount.
"You are giving away ground by going over but I just felt it was a bit quicker there," he said. "But I had the horse under me at the end of the day and everything just fell right for me."
Peter Chapple-Hyam was in philosophical mood after Authorized's surprise reverse. Chapple-Hyam was in no mood to offer excuses despite his charge 'winning' the seven-horse race on the opposite side to Notnowcato.
"I take my hat off to Notnowcato - he proved the best horse on the day," said Chapple-Hyam. "Of course, I'm bitterly disappointed for Authorized, things didn't quite work out for him, but we live to fight another day.
Authorized is rated 7-4 favourite with VC Bet for his next entry, the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on 28 July.