Breeders Cup 2018 (2nd & 3rd November)
The Breeders Cup is always an extravagant event at the end of the Flat season where we see the best of Europe and the US go head to head in some of the most highly anticipated races of the season. I’ve selected a few races throughout the vast array of events to Preview that are taking place over Friday and Saturday. Enjoy!
(Juvenile Turf Sprint) (Friday 7.21)
The Juvenile Turf is where i’ll start my Breeders Cup Preview and it’s a contest ridden over a distance of five furlongs and a race which see’s a horse head affairs of whom i’ve been very vocal about my appreciation for this season and that’s Archie Watson’s Soldier’s Call (7/2). He’s a horse that i’ve thoroughly enjoyed following this term and he’s taken on board everything that’s come his way culminating in a close up third in Group 1 company the last day in France after winning well in a Group 2 the time before that at Doncaster. Oisin Murphy is back on board for this assignment and i’m hopeful of another big showing. He’s followed by another strong European contender and this comes in the form of Aidan O’Brien’s Sergei Prokofiev (4/1). He got his career back on track the last day in Group 3 company at Newmarket and will likely put on another strong performance with Ryan Moore on board.
So Perfect (13/2) also represents Aidan here and she’s a consistent performer in top grade contests placing in a couple of Group 1’s as well as winning a Group 3. Wayne Lordan takes the ride. Robert Cowell sends Pocket Dynamo (10/1) to take his place here who was slightly unlucky last time behind Sergei Prokofiev, he’s a smart performer on his day but the probability of rain may cause issues. Well Done Fox (14/1) has finished behind the market principles in Group company the last twice but has won at Listed level on two occasions. William Buick takes the ride on him for Richard Hannon. Queen Of Bermuda (16/1) will relish the rain should it come and has been an admirable performer this year for William Haggas with her best performance seemingly coming when winning in Group 3 company a couple of starts ago at Ayr. Flavien Prat looks to take the ride. Wesley Ward currently has several contenders in the field and the strongest of these looks to come in the form of Royal Ascot winner Shang Shang Shang (13/2), she hasn’t been seen since that narrow win over Pocket Dynamo in the Norfolk and the forecast for rain is surely a negative for this speedster. The second of the Ward challenges comes in the form of Chelsea Cloisters (14/1). Disappointing when favourite at Royal Ascot she’s since gone on to finish second in her last three outings with the last day effort being the closest. She could well go close again here and is the mount Tyler Gaffalione. Moonlight Romance (20/1) who was last seen when winning at Kentucky but has seemingly fell short when in top company, an obvious step up is needed but he does have the services of Jose Ortiz. Stillwater Cove (25/1) makes up the Ward four. Strike Silver (10/1) for Mark Casse won well last time but in an event some way below this and this is the same for Bulletin (10/1) of Todd Pletcher. Both come here with a lot of potential but will need to improve should they play a part.
🥇1ST: SOLDIERS CALL (7/2)
🥈2ND: SERGEI PROKOFIEV (4/1)
🥉3RD: CHELSEA CLOISTERS (14/1)
‘I love Soliders Call and if he gets out well and goes from the front I can see another bold bid being had, he’s a tough nut to crack and if given an easy time he could be hard to peg back. Sergei Prokofiev has always had bags of potential and he looked very good last time, it’s likely he’ll be the main threat. Chelsea Cloisters can be best of the rest, a decent run on Good to Soft in France could stand her in good stead’
CHELSEA CLOISTERS (14/1)
(Unlike some of home contenders she comes here having ran in several high graded contests and ran well in several of them, she’s also got a run on ground with a bit of cut in it to her name too following a placed effort on good to soft in France. Could well outrun her odds here.)
(Breeders Cup Mile) (Saturday 7.36)
The Breeders Cup Mile is set to take place on the Saturday of the two day event and it’s a Group 1 contest that see’s some of the best milers in the world take each other on. The race currently has French raider Polydream (5/2) heading affairs for Freddy Head and I was there personally to see this horse’s last run at Longchamp when he had what can only be described as a nightmare run. Seemingly travelling powerfully but simply nowhere to go. Up in trip here Maxime Guyon will be hoping to gain some redemption. Brian Lynch’s Woodbine Mile winner Oscar Performance (6/1) is set to take his place in the line up and despite an off day on his penultimate outing he’s generally a very consistent performer. If bringing the form of his Woodbine Mile victory to the table here he’s a live player. Jose Ortiz is set to take the ride. The first of the UK raiders in the betting comes in the form of the Sir Michael Stoute trained Expert Eye (13/2) who’s yet to score in Group 1 company but has three victories in Group races to his name and a couple of them came in devastating style. He’ll be looking to step up here and it would be no surprise should he gain a first Group 1 success here under Frankie Dettori. Sir Michael is also represented by the in form Mustashry (18/1) who’s the mount of Jim Crowley, the forecast of rain will be a major concern for him. Aidan O’Brien has three representatives in the field here and these come in the form of Gustav Klimt (15/2), Happily (10/1) and I Can Fly (10/1). Gustav Klimt appears to be the first string with Ryan Moore on board but there’s not all that much between the three. I Can Fly posted her best effort to date when running Roaring Lion very close on Champions Day last time out and if repeating that kind of run here she could well be a player.
William Haggas sends One Master (11/1) to take his place here after his victory in the Group 1 Prix de la Forest last time at Longchamp. He’s won four out of his eight starts now and is a smart performer, he will need to step up again here though should he play a part but he could well just do that under James Doyle. The ever present Lightning Spear (16/1) will take his chance here for David Simcock, a likeable performer over the years on the level and a smart one on his day at that. He has got a Group 1 victory to his name but on the whole he has generally found this level testing. Oisin Murphy will take the ride. John Sadler’s Catapult (16/1) comes here in great form on the back of two Group 3 victories but will need to improve again in this considerably tougher affair whereas Next Shares (18/1) comes into the racing following a shock win in the Group 1 Shadwell Turf Mile last time out. Also a Group 1 winner is Chad Brown’s Almanaar (25/1) who will be looking to bounce back following a below par run last time when having a tricky run.
🥇1ST: OSCAR PERFORMANCE (6/1)
🥈2ND: ALMANAAR (25/1)
🥉3RD: POLYDREAM (5/2)
‘I think Oscar Performance has every chance of a bold showing here and if turning up in the same form we saw him in last time he could prove to be tough to beat. Almanaar is overpriced on the back of one poor effort and could well play a part and the favourite Polydream should get in the frame but could find this tough.’
(Priced up on the back of a poor run last time but he didn’t get a good trip at all and was a very consistent player before that. If bouncing back to form there’s every chance of him out running his odds.)
(Breeders Cup Turf) (Saturday 8.56)
The Breeders Cup Turf is the penultimate race of this year’s Breeders Cup and could well be the last hurrah for one of the greatest fillies we’ll likely ever see in the form of John Gosden’s Enable (4/7). She was last seen at the beginning of last month at Longchamp when winning the Arc for a second time holding on gamely in the closing stages. She’s not had an ideal season by any stretch due to injury issues and didn’t make her seasonal appearance until September. However she’ll be primed to put on another bold show here reunited with her partner in Frankie Dettori once again. This is a race that generally see’s a strong European hand and that’s no different this time with Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist (11/2) taking his place as second favourite here. He’s a horse who has had a fine campaign winning numerous times in Group company and finished a solid fourth last time in the Arc. He’s once again the mount of Pierre Charles Boudot. Fabre is also represented in the contest by last year’s winner Talismanic (10/1), he’ll need to put a poor run in the Arc behind him but it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him go well again in this.
The Ballydoyle contenders here come in the form of Magical (6/1) and Hunting Horn (40/1). The former was last seen when winning the Group 1 Fillies & Mares race on Champions Day and if turning up in that form is a clear player under Ryan Moore. Glorious Empire (18/1) comes into the race on the back of three straight victories, one in Group 1 company and will try to attack from the front whereas Chad Brown’s Robert Bruce (22/1) is a multiple Group 1 winner in Chile. Channel Maker (14/1) looks to be the strongest of the home contenders for William Mott, he could well have more progression in him and could play some part at the business end of things.
🥇1ST: ENABLE (4/7)
🥈2ND: MAGICAL (6/1)
🥉3RD: CHANNEL MAKER (14/1)
‘It would be a shock if Enable weren’t to win this and I think she should confirm herself as one of the greatest and win well enough. It might not be straight forward though as there is some strength to this, Magical if turning up in the same form as at Ascot can give the jolly something to think about and Channel Maker can sneak a place for the home side.’
CHANNEL MAKER (14/1)
(Could well still be on the improve and if some of the European horses don’t perform he looks like he could be best of the home challenge and may well run a big one.)