My 2017 Breeders Cup Preview is here and it’s a little earlier in the week than you normal see my weekend previews up due to me being abroad at the weekend, so make sure you punt with firms that are Non Runner No Bet if you are doing any Ante Post betting before the weekend because half of this lot could turn up anywhere.
The 2016 Breeders Cup threw up some cracking races but I don’t think i’ll ever be able to get over that Breeders Cup Classic. Sitting in my ex’s toilet at around half 11 shouting ‘Just go Victor, Stop looking around!’ Fair play to Arrogate that day and take nothing away from his performance but I think Espinoza may of done things a little differently on California Chrome given the chance again. (Just for clarification, I didn’t just let myself into my ex’s house and randomly watch the Breeders Cup Classic in her toilet, she was my missus at the time, just in case that didn’t read perfectly).
Moving on from last year’s ordeal, I’ll preview several of the big affairs and hopefully none of you will be left shouting in a toilet. Fantastic.
Breeders Cup Mile
The Breeders Cup Mile this year certainly isn’t the strongest of renewals and to be honest I’ve got question marks over whether half of these will show up in this race. The strongest of the home challenges comes in the form of World Approval on the back of his impressive Woodbine Mile win.
I’m going to take a chance on a couple of our challengers here firstly the most obvious of the two is RIBCHESTER on his final run of his career following the news of him not staying in training next year. He’s best priced of around 7/2 to go out in style on his swansong and albeit him having a tough year he’s still better than most of these on his day.
The other one I like here as an each way alternative is SUEDOIS for David O’Meara. He’s best priced of around 12/1 and he’s in a great form at the minute. Winning a Group 2 in Ireland & following up with a win also in America, a Group 1 contest at Keeneland.
RIBCHESTER – 7/2
SUEDOIS – 12/1 (E/W)
Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (Friday)
Staying on Friday’s action the next contest i’m looking at is the Juvenile Turf contest and this one has a strong challenge from the UK & Ireland. The likes of US Navy Flag, Masar, James Garfield & Nelson are at the top of the market and all hold obvious chances.
The one I quite fancy here as an each way shout is MENDELSSOHN for Aiden O’Brien. Hes best priced of around 12/1 for this at the minute which I think is a great price. He has currently been entered in other races but if he goes here I think he stands a huge chance. He cost a load of money this one did and I don’t think we’ve seen nowhere near the best of him yet.
He showed he’s got a lot of ability when second in the Dewhurst behind stablemate US Navy Flag and I think it will suit him a lot better over here.
MENDELSSOHN – 12/1 (E/W)
Breeders Cup Turf Sprint
Moving onto Saturday’ action and onto the contest i’m possibly most looking forward too and its the Turf Sprint and the rematch between LADY AURELIA & Marsha. I spoke about the harrowing California Chrome experience at the beginning and the Lady Aurelia ordeal at York was up there with it.
She is one of my favourite flat horses in training and i’m backing her to bounce back from her extremely narrow defeat by Marsha at York in the Nunthorpe and get her nose back in front on home soil. Trainer Wesley Ward has said the track will play more into Marsha’s favour but i’m convinced if Lady Aurelia is on her A game she’ll be extremely hard to peg back here. Hopefully i’ll be cheering her home whilst in Germany.
LADY AURELIA – 6/5 (NAP)
Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf
The Filly & Mare Turf this year has a strong hold on it by Ballydoyle at the top of the market with Rhododendron and Roly Poly both sitting at the top. There’s no doubt that they both deserve there place there after there exploits this year and they obviously have every chance of both being involved again here.
I’m going to side with a home challenger though here and that comes in the form of LADY ELI for Chad Brown. Now I don’t follow American racing religiously but i’ve backed this horse several times in big races over here and she’s a serious performer at this level. She’s got several Group 1 victories to her name and i’m convinced she’ll run another big one here and can be found at best priced 10/3, which I personally think is a great price for a proven top performer at this level.
LADY ELI – 10/3 (NB)
Breeders Cup Turf
Onto the Breeders Cup Turf now and another race that has a strong UK & Ireland challenge in the market at the moment as it’s currently headed by the impressive Ulysses for Sir Michael Stoute. This horse has danced every dance this season and has taken everything that has come before him and if he isn’t feeling the effects of long season he’ll take some beating here.
I am going to try and take Ulysses on though and i’m going to do that with the war horse that is HIGHLAND REEL for Aiden O’Brien. He won this race last year in impressive style and I think his run in third at Champions Day at Ascot was a perfect prep run for him. He was on ground he wouldn’t of preferred that day but he should get his ideal conditions here and if repeating the same kind of performance that won him this contest last year he’ll take the world of beating. He’s best priced of 5/2 which is more than generous enough price for a proven worldwide Group 1 performer.
HIGHLAND REEL – 5/2
Breeders Cup Classic
Finally we come to this year’s Classic and the race most look forward too and it see’s Arrogate and Gun Runner go head to head at the top of the market. I don’t know whether it’s just me being a little bit bitter towards Arrogate but i’ve always had my reservations on his label as the so called ‘best in the world’ since his win in this last year and he has duly been found out on his last two starts beaten both times at massively odds on.
Therefore i’m going to side with GUN RUNNER. He’s a horse that comes into this in the form of his life and looks like he’s going to royally serve it up to Arrogate in an attempt to reverse the form with him from their previous meetings. He’s best priced of around 2/1 at the moment.
One I quite like away from the big two as an each way alternative is KEEN ICE. He famously beat American Pharaoh a couple of years ago and has ran respectable races in this race for the past couple of years. He’s an experienced performer at the top level over here and is a best priced of massive 25/1.
GUN RUNNER – 2/1
KEEN ICE – 25/1 (E/W)