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Breeders’ Cup – British & Irish Runners To Watch + Tips For Saturday’s Card

Day Two of the Breeders Cup is when things get really interesting, with a plethora of Group 1 races on the agenda on Saturday at Santa Anita. The Turf Classic along with the Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt are the feature races on the day with a host of British, Irish, French and Japanese raiders laying it down to the American team on the second and last day of the 2023 edition of the Breeders’ Cup.

GG writer and contributor Dan Corbally is on hand to give his analysis and thoughts on the British & Irish runners along with a look at some of the home team representatives and provides us with his bets and his multiple for Day 2 (Saturday) of the Breeders Cup.

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Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1)

Algiers was the sole representative for the British team here but was sadly a late defection on Wednesday. That defection leaves the door firmly open for CODY’S WISH, he’s the current favourite at touch below evens across the board and although it’s hardly an inspired selection, his credentials are there for all to see. He took this contest out last year and has since added three wins and a placing this year. He rates a very solid proposition in a somewhat disappointing renewal. 

 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1)

John & Thady Gosden’s Inspiral has a somewhat in-and-out profile to contend with in recent starts, finishing second behind Triple Time at Royal Ascot, a rival who she should have had the beating of on known form, before a down the field finish in the Sussex Stakes. However she’s very much back on the up of late, having landed the Prix Jacques Le-Marois before landing the Sun Chariot. She gets her preferred good ground here which will suit but she tackles ten furlongs for the first time. She’s by Frankel so the trip could still within range but the percentage call is to leave her alone for today and let her win if she’s good enough.

A filly who has no stamina or trip concerns here is WARM HEART. Not only has she won at ten furlongs at Listed level she’s also backed that up with two Group 1 wins over 1m4f in the Prix Vermeille & the Yorkshire Oaks. She has the measure of Lumiere Rock on their Ribblesdale form in the Summer and is a very attractive proposition in here today. She’s had a busy season thus far, on the go since April but she’s been freshened up since September and from a lovely low draw she’ll take some stopping. 

Joseph O’Brien’s Lumiere Rock is another who has been kept busy this season and thrived on her racing, culminating in a Group 2 Blandford Stakes success at the Curragh before a third in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera. She needs to find a touch more to land this contest but given her improving nature she’s hard to rule out totally and could be one for the podium places.

Yet another daughter of Frankel in here is With The Moonlight who represents Charlie Appleby & William Buick, who can probably expect a quieter Breeders’ Cup than they’re enjoyed for the last few years. With The Moonlight has come up short in recent assignments, beaten by today’s rival Fev Rover in the Grade 1 E.P Taylor Stakes and behind another rival, In Italian in the Jenny Wiley Stakes back in April. That body of form leaves her plenty to find and she looks to be playing for a place at best.

Ralph Beckett’s State Occasion would probably be somewhat easily passed over had it not been for her latest run, when finishing fifth in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera. That was by far her best run of the season having previously come up short at Group level. She still has some lengths to find with the likes of Lumiere Rock but she stayed on well the last day and she could step forward again

Fev Rover was previously trained in the UK and owned by Nick Bradley Racing and having placed in the Guineas was sold to North America. She’s transferred that ability in great style landing her first Group 1 on her last start, where today’s rival With The Moonlight was behind. That would still leave her with a bit to find against the top two but she could outrun her double figure odds.

Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade 1)

This year’s 1000 Guineas winner MAWJ is unbeaten in 2023 and has been a globetrotting superstar, landing two wins in Meydan, before her Classic win before belying a 160 day break to take out the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. That was just three weeks ago but she’s more than entitled to improve for that, given the time off she had. Oisin Murphy is building up a good relationship with her and they should both take a lot of holding.

Master Of The Seas couldn’t have been any more unlucky with the draw in here. Just like her ownermate Mawj, he has Classic form having been narrowly denied in the 2000 Guineas. He was narrowly denied on his latest start in the Grade 1 Coolmore Turf Mile at Keeneland, beaten a nose. Before that he took the Woodbine Mile with great ease. While he probably needs to find a bit to beat Mawj and that task has been made tougher by the draw, he commands respect.

Japan are represented by Songline, who has really found her footing this year, landing a couple of successive Group 1 contests over the mile at Tokyo. She clearly acts very well around that track having won another Group 1 over that course and distance in 2022 and she just failed to give weight over a furlong further last time out. If she can replicate that form she could take a hand in proceedings. 

Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1)

This year’s dual Derby & Irish Champion Stakes winner, AUGUSTE RODIN, leads the market and is a standout selection here. He was very hard to get away from in Irish Champion Stakes, if you can forgive his profile which can be described as patchy, given he has shown a tendency to completely blow out, like he did in the 2000 Guineas and the King George. But if those can be forgiven he’s got a superb CV, he gets his optimum conditions here today and given his superb final two furlongs in the Derby he’ll prove very hard to beat today.

The Gosden’s Mostahdaf has proved a revelation this year, improving into one of the world’s top rated racehorses. He streaked clear on his debut this year in Riyadh before finishing fourth behind Equinox at Meydan. Since that disappointment he’s stamped his class on the ten furlong division, taking the Prince Of Wales Stakes followed by the Juddmonte International. While his class could carry him, the step back up to 1m4f poses a big question mark and he hasn’t excelled at the trip in the past.

One of the best looking horses in training, AMO Racing’s King Of Steel really does take the eye. He finally delivered a win at the top level under Frankie Dettori in the Champion Stakes at Ascot last month having gone close in the Derby, that was of course over ten furlongs but this step back up in trip holds no fears. He does have to reverse form with Auguste Rodin, who has taken his measure twice this season, but he could take another step forward and he continues to mature. 

Onesto represents team France and puts the Arc form on trial. He’d a somewhat disappointing season until the Arc, but vindicated his trainer’s faith and patience when running a super third in that race. On that evidence, the campaign makes sense as he likely trained to peak at the perfect time. This race may be somewhat of an afterthought but he clearly possesses a huge amount of talent and if his French exertions haven’t left him depleted he can’t be totally ruled out.

Another for the Ballydoyle Battalion is Bolshoi Ballet who was a Group 1 winner on these shores on his last run. Aidan O’Brien has always had a lot of faith in this horse, indeed he was sent off favourite for the Derby in his classic season. He hasn’t quite been able to deliver on his promise in Europe but has got two Grade 1 wins in the US. He’s passed over in this spot though, even on the back of his latest success, as others possess better ability and potential for more improvement than he does.

Broome is the final runner for Aidan O’Brien here and drops back to this trip for the first time since February having campaigned and staying trips from 1m6f – 2m4f. He’s seven rising eight now and hasn’t looked totally in love with the game of late, reportedly never travelling on his latest run. He did manage a Group 2 win in Dubai this year but that could be the highlight as he looks up against it here. He has carried this punter’s each-way cash on his last two goes in this race, but this looks a bridge too far! 

Japanese interest will be on their representative Shahryar. He landed the Japanese Derby before landing the Sheema Class last year and looked up there with the best in the world at that time. Sadly he’s not been able to add those wins since. His latest start was a down-the-field 11th off a 148 day break in August in his native Japan. May strip fitter and given his connections like to travel him this could have been the target but the percentage call is to oppose today.

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Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1)

Adam West’s LIVE IN THE DREAM has really lived up to that name this season, improving from all-weather handicaps to a Group 1 success in the Nunthorpe. This assignment has been on the agenda since and although it’s easy enough to call his latest run disappointing, beaten favourite, 4th of 15 in the Grade 2 Woodford Stakes over 5.5 furlongs, there many positives too. He broke in his customary bullet from a gun, a trait that will stand him in good stead over this speed favoring track and he only lost two places in the dying strides over the extended trip, carrying a penalty. If he can do what he’s been doing and get to the front here, he has a massive chance of bringing them from start to finish. 

Bradsell is another to land a domestic Group 1, vindicating his trainer’s faith send him to the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot. He clearly acts well at Ascot and distance having also landed the Coventry Stakes there as a juvenile. If anything it seems he got speedier with age as he didn’t manage to totally see out the six furlong trip on two tries this year. He was a touch disappointing on his latest effort at the Curragh but he was a good third in the Nunthorpe behind the selection Live In The Dream, last time out. Hard to really call which Bradsell we’ll get, but he’s certain shown he’s a cut above at Ascot, whether he can transfer that today’s track remains the question. 

Another Aidan O’Brien on the card is Aesop’s Fable, he was a highly promising juvenile who hadn’t really delivered, right up until what was potentially last chance saloon in the Prix de l’Abbaye where he ran a stromer, finishing like a train in third. He’ll likely be looking to repeat the dose and with a fierce pace guaranteed, he could well use that late rattle to good effect.

Caraval represents America and is the defending champion in this contest. She went into that race on the back of a win in the Grade 2 Franklin Stakes and went on to land three wins on the trot at pattern level including another Grade 1. She’s unlikely to be anywhere near the massive price (40/1) she was last year and faces stern competition to replicate those front-running tactics but no doubt she’ll be carried out on her sword trying. 

Elsewhere On The Card

Elsewhere on the card we have the two other big Dirt Races the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade 1) & Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1) take centre stage. IDIOMATIC is fancied for the former, having carried all before her in recent starts but Wet Paint shouldn’t be discarded. The Classic has cut up badly in recent days and weeks and while Arabian Knight is probably a worthy favourite, SAUDI CROWN looks a shade a value at double figure odds for each-way backers. He’s had a light career so far with just five starts, the latest of which coming in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, where he put on an exhibition in front-running and battling back to landed that win.

Recommended Bets

6:30pm Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1)  – Cody’s Wish (5/6)
7:10pm Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1) – Warm Heart (3/1 – NAP)
7:50pm  PNC Bank Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Grade 1) – Goodnight Olive (Evens)
8:30pm FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile by Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund (Grade 1) – Mawj (3/1)
9:10pm Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade 1) – Idiomatic (9/4)
9:50pm Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1) – Auguste Rodin (11/4)
10:40pm Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1) – Saudi Crown (8/1 – each-way)
11:25pm  Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1) – Live In The Dream (4/1)
11:59pm Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint – Elite Power (7/4)

£1 Lucky 15 (£15 total) – WARM HEART, MAWJ, AUGUSTE RODIN & LIVE IN THE DREAM £1 Lucky 15 – Returns £606.50 with bet365

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Frankie Dettori has plenty of big rides lined up for the Breeders’ Cup meeting, including:

  • Inspiral (Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf)
  • Starlust (Juvenile Turf Sprint)
  • Unequestionable (Juvenile Turf)
  • King Of Steel (Breeders’ Cup Turf)
  • Zandon (Breeders’ Cup Classic)

USA Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero – the original ‘flying dismount’ celebration jockey, spoke to OLBG to give his thoughts on Frankie’s impending move to the USA:

“I’m glad he is riding in the Breeders’ Cup. I wonder about the other Classics as well, winning those over here in the US. Maybe that is something he might look to go after. It’s all up to him now, and how much fire he still has and what he wants to do. It is hard to start riding all year round if he wants to find a Kentucky Derby horse. I think he still has the tools but it is up to him, he has to say yes. If he wants to continue to find a Kentucky Derby horse and he is flying here, there and everywhere, it is better for him to stay in the US after the Breeders’ Cup but he would have to ride all year around. 

“If I was him and I was healthy, with the business that he has got, I would take it easy but also stay maybe riding the big races around Europe, hang around and see if he can pick up one of those rides. There could be more options here in the US for him too, with the likes of Bob Baffert, Steve Asmussen, maybe he could target the Kentucky Derby.He is a beautiful person, he loves talking to people, he is very creative and very positive when you talk to him. He’s so funny, he never gives you any problems. You can talk to him about anything and he is always so positive. People really liked him, he has charisma, he has everything you need to become the best and that is why he is one of the best.”

“In my mind, and from watching jockeys ride all over the world, Frankie is one of the best I ever saw. I am a big fan of him, John Velazquez and Irad Oritz – they are the best riders right now. There are a lot of good riders in this era and Frankie is one of the best I have ever seen. Him and William Buick at the moment, for me, are two of the very best out there.”

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