Past performances for Friday ... click here (PDF)
Past performances for Saturday ... click here (PDF)
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF
Arguably the race of the meeting with Enable trading as short odds-on favourite in a race that no Arc winner has won when running back to back. Couple that with the considerable issues the filly has had this year and having only just won the Arc with everything going in her favour through the race, it’s best to look elsewhere for a winner in this one. 11 of the last 21 European winners of the race, however, had run in the Arc before coming to the BC Turf so plenty of the remaining European raiders fit the bill. Magical comes into this off the back of a hampered Arc run and more recently a stormer on Champions Day just two weeks ago. The Coolmore-owned filly posted exceptional figures last time out and heads the group of European raiders outside of Enable. Talismanic also looks in with a shout at a big price - the Fabre-trained 5yo is back to defend it’s title at a similar price that it won the race at last year. The Godolphin mount clearly likes this time of year and should run a big race alongside Fabre’s more fancied French raider, Waldgeist.
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
The ultimate race of the Breeders’ Cup is shaping up to be exactly what is says on the bill; a classic. Mendelssohn, winless this season, returns to the Breeders’ Cup after winning the Turf last year and subsequently crushing the UAE Derby field by 18.5 lengths at Meydan. The latter result, however, is to be taken with a pinch of salt with Meydan often throwing up freak results. Roaring Lion certainly has the form on turf to win at the Breeders’ Cup, but cannot be helped in this one with John Gosden choosing to run him over the dirt when favouring Enable in the BC Turf - a decision that looks as though the classy trainer will likely be left winless in both races. Of the domestic horses, Yoshida is coming in hot off the back of an impressive Group 1 win in the Woodward Stakes, finishing ahead of Gunnevera and Discrete Lover. Accelerate and McKinzie set a clear standard and should be the two shooting it out for the win. Mike Smith will likely be the difference for McKinzie and should record his fifth Breeders’ Cup Classic win this Saturday.
BEST OF THE FRIDAY ACTION
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE TURF
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is undoubtedly one for the European raiders from a trend perspective; European shippers are 7-4 in the last eleven renewals. Aidan O’Brien has been a dominant force with four of the seven European wins, having most recently trained Mendelsohn to victory as only the second SP favourite to win the race. This year’s encounter looks to be shaping up in similar fashion with Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) clear favourite on form after promising wins over seven and eight furlongs in Ireland and an impressive second to Quorto in a Curragh Group 1. On the other hand, Line Of Duty (IRE) has garnered a great deal of support in the UK betting markets and now stands second favourite to Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) at 7/2. Despite not being the best 2yos in the European crop, both have come out of an exceptionally deep cohort including Calyx, Ten Sovereigns, Persian King, Quorto, and Too Darn Hot and consequently such a difference in class compared to the domestic challengers should prove the difference in this one. Of the domestic challengers, however, Current and Forty Under provide the sternest challenge to the European raiders.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF SPRINT
The Juvenile Turf Sprint kicks off the Breeders’ Cup in emphatic style with a host of European raiders challenging the domestic speedsters over five and a half furlongs. Soldier’s Call heads the market in front of Coolmore’s Sergei Prokofiev after having won at Listed, Group 3 and Group 2 level this season. The Archie Watson trained colt also comes into the race off the back of an impressive third in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (Group 1), finishing ahead of Europe’s top rated sprinter, Battaash (IRE). In addition, his young trainer, Watson, has a similar profile to his former boss William Haggas and consequently is very able to get horses prepared for the big stage - Soldier’s Call will be spot on for this big test. Interestingly, the master and the apprentice will lock horns once again this season on the world stage, with Haggas saddling Queen Of Bermuda. He will do well to beat his apprentice in this one. Of the domestic horses, Shang Shang Shang is unbeaten in two starts and is joined by Mark Casse’s Strike Silver as one of the premier domestic challengers.
JUVENILE FILLIES (DIRT)
Historically the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Dirt) is a race dominated by favourites at Churchill Down and it doesn’t look as though it will change in this renewal. Bellafina heads the market at 2-1 with Serengeti Empress and Jaywalk joint second favourite. Bellafina comes into the race off the back of an impressive performance in a good field at Santa Anita and certainly looks the one to beat in this one. Serengeti Empress, however, poses a real threat as the pace horse in the race and has been near-unstoppable front running, having won her last two by a collective 33.5 lengths. Serengeti Empress, a winner over course and distance, looks as though she fits the bill with five of the last eight winners of the race at Churchill Downs having led at the stretch call. Restless Rider, however, provides a value play at 9-2 and comes into the race off the back of a Grade 1 win. In addition, McPeek has focussed the run-in on winning this race, and considering she is two from two at Churchill Downs, Restless Rider looks the play in this one.
BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
In contrast to the colts’ Juvenile Turf, domestic horses dominate the fillies version of the race having won 8 of the last 10 renewals. Moreover, the only two European wins came when the use of Lasix was prohibited in 2yo Breeders’ Cup races. Despite the Europeans’ having only hit the frame 5 times in the history of the race, entries have increased in the event over the past two years with the 2016 and 2017 renewals attracting twice as many European raiders with 11 in total over the two years. By contrast, domestic trainer, Chad Brown, has been exceptionally successful in winning three of the last four renewals, however he only saddles one this time round in the form of Newspaperofrecord and that’s probably all he needs. The Lope De Vega (IRE) filly is two from two, including a group one and has franked favouritism in winning by at least 6 lengths on both starts of her career. This should be the crowning jewel in an impressive two year old career for the filly. There are, however, one or two ‘sleepers’ among the European raiders. One comes in the form of Kevin Ryan’s first ever Breeders Cup runner, East. By Frankel out of an Indian Ridge (IRE) black-type winning mare, East looks to fit the bill in terms of distance and class on pedigree. The filly is relatively unexposed and likely to improve for her last run, making her one to include in any exotics - considering her forecast US morning line price (20/1) - alongside the Aiden O’Brien trained Just Wonderful.