Spotlight on the Breeders’ Cup 2016
The Breeders’ Cup has established a reputation for showcasing thoroughbred racing at the highest level of international competition.
On Saturday evening we will be able to watch the drama unfold from Santa Anita and hopefully be able to cheer home some successes from some of or our best UK and Ireland talents.
Here is a race-by-race form summary for the feature races on Saturday evening:
19.05 Juvenile Fillies (Dirt)
Noted And Quoted was no match for Union Strike in Debutante but improved to win the Chandelier and is a worthy favourite. Union Strike has a solid chance based on the Debutante win, but missed a two-turn prep run and has switched stables since. American Gal won her first two starts impressively but against inferior opposition- her draw is worry. With Honors was a close second in Chandelier after winning her first two on turf. Yellow Agate got up to win the Frizette and she is expected to progress from that run. Valadorna ran well in her debut at Churchill Downs in September finishing second to Sweet Bernardina. She was sent off at 4-5 favourite at Keeneland next time where she won easily by six-and-a-quarter lengths.
19.43 Filly and Mares Turf
Lady Eli has remarkable form figures and her Flower Bowl victory makes her the one they all have to beat. Seventh Heaven was below par last time out but two runs ago she was out beating BC Turf and Arc winner Found at York. Sea Calisi could not live with Lady Eli when finishing third in the Flower Bowl, but was a game effort coming off a two-month layoff. Sentiero Italia was second to Lady Eli in the Flower Bowl and was up with the pace most of the way. Queen’s Trust has been a model of consistency this season for Sir Michael Stoute picking up Group One places in her last three runs. Al’s Gal has been on the upgrade all season and may not have stopped improving just yet.
20.21 Sprint (Dirt)
Bob Baffert’s Lord Nelson comes here on the back of three straight Grade One wins. The last one was not the fastest which gives the others some hope. Masochistic is a speedball who may not be for catching if he gets away early. A.P Indian has won his last five runs, the latest being the Phoenix which he won in gutsy fashion. Drefong is a 3-y-o doing all the right things for Bob Baffert- his younger legs may prove key. Delta Bluesman was easily beaten by A.P Indian and looks slightly short of this grade.
21.05 Sprint Turf
Pure Sensation has been lightly raced with this feature in mind, winning the prep race for this at Belmont after a three month off – respected. A Lot will be suited by this step down in trip and has a good chance based on his Fourstardave run. Celestine won the Just a Game race for Bill Mott who expects another big run here. Obviously is probably better suited to a mile but has the speed to contest this. Om has run two seconds recently but they were over a mile. Suedois has been a consistent sort in the UK and France this season, finishing fourth or better in six of his last seven runs. Ambitious Brew is somewhat of a downhill performer and Santa Anita is exactly that. Washington D.C has finished second three times in his last four races beating a lot of other horses home however in the process.
21.43 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Dirt)
Not This Time has finished powerfully in his last two races for trainer Dale Romans. Gormley comprehensively thrashed Klimt in the FrontRunner and could easily do so again. Klimt was well off the pace early in the FrontRunner but was in great form before that run – he could easily bounce back. Classic Empire was impressive in the Breeders’ Futurity which is often a good pointer to this race. Practical Joke won the Champagne and the Hopeful with authority but is yet to encounter a two-turn race.
22.22 Breeders’ Cup Turf
Flintshire has been somewhat of a big fish in a small pond in the States this season and this race is a different proposition. He was a surprise loser in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Found won this race last year and comes here now as an Arc winner too. She has had a busy season but she is all heart and a big run is expected. Ectot beat Flintshire in the Joe Hirsch mainly down to the ground conditions the pundits have been saying – so probably one to be wary of. Globetrotting Highland Reel can be given a chance based on his second to Found in the Arc. Mondialiste has had a successful U.S season but this is a step up in distance now which makes him rather vulnerable. Sir Michael Stoute’s Ulysses probably needs to step up in class again to take this.
23.01 Filly and Mares Sprint
Haveyougoneaway won the Ballerina and beat several of the runners in here in the process. It was her third win on the spin and she looks a formidable opponent. By The Moon was only narrowly beaten in the Ballerina and looks the chief threat to the favourite. Tara’s Tango is always there or thereabouts and she is no stranger to Santa Anita. Carina Mia was third in the Ballerina and will need to improve a good few pounds. Paulassilverlining won the Gallant Bloom which gives her a squeak in this.
23.40 Breeders’ Cup Mile
Tepin is the defending mile champion but she has run two fairly tepid races since getting back to the U.S and it may pay to look elsewhere. Aidan O’Brien’s Alice Springs is facing older horses and males here but the three-year-old comes into the race on the back of two impressive Group One wins. Midnight Storm is a course and distance winner and bids for his fourth straight win. Whether he is as good away from home remains to be seen. Limato is well known to the British racing public for his exploits this summer. His Prix De La Foret victory was pretty special – can he show something similar here on US soil?
00.35 Breeders’ Cup Classic
“Chrome if you want to, Chrome around the world”- California Chrome is ranked the highest rated horse in the world at the moment and it will take a herculean effort by one of the others to lower his flag on Saturday. Arrogate is the young pretender and if any horse can upset the favourite then it is this one. His Travers win was something to behold and Bob Baffert will have him trained to his peak for this. Frosted for the Godolphin ownership will be hoping to shakeup the big two and come with a withering late run should they get caught up in a long protracted battle down the straight.
19.05: Valadorna 19.43: Lady Eli 20.21: A.P Indian 21.05: A Lot 21.43: Klimt 22.22: Found 23.01: Haveyougoneaway 23.40 Alice Springs 00.35: California Chrome.