Saturday night’s Breeders Cup selections from Simon Clare
7.05pm The Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies
The only conclusion to be drawn from the dirt races at Santa Anita on Friday is that this track is riding fast and is heavily favouring front end speed. The victory of Goldencents was nothing short of extraordinary as he went hard, fast and just kept on going all the way to the line, and the races on the Breeders Cup undercard were all won by horses up front, with nothing coming from off the pace. With that in mind, this race represents a cracking bet in the shape of confirmed speedster She’s That Tiger who ran a blinder in defeat in the Chandelier at Santa Anita. She is going to go hard from the outside post under Gary Stevens and on this track can build up a huge lead and hold on. I have plenty of respect for Sweet Reason and Artemis Agrotera, the 1-2 finishers in the Frizette stakes, but Belmont is a world away from this lightning fast Santa Anita surface and the Californian She’s That Tiger is the one to be on.
Selection: She’s That Tiger to win
7.43pm The Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf
In last year’s renewal the race developed into a sprint up the straight and favourite The Fugue had a disastrous trip, being continually blocked off, and it cost her the race. Ryan Moore will need to be very alive to the way this year’s race pans out as the potential for another tactical affair is quite high. Dank was very impressive beating a weak field in the Beverly D and she clearly appreciates this fast ground, and doesn’t face the strongest field of fillies and mares. She has looked brilliant in the mornings and all being well she must go close. Romantica is a fascinating contender as she is the daughter of the brilliant Banks Hill, represents a trainer who has a great Breeders Cup record, and has bits of form that give her a major chance. That said she needs to improve for the move to fast ground and a tighter turf track and that takes a degree of faith in the connections decision to run. The American challenge doesn’t seem particularly strong with the consistent Marketing Mix heading the home team. She will run her race but it will be disappointing if Dank, and perhaps Romantica, aren’t good enough to take this home to Europe.
Selection: Dank to win and Romantica each way
8.21pm The Breeders Cup Dirt Mile
Groupie Doll was one of the bankers of the meeting last year and obliged in style and is back to try and retain her crown. This time she comes into the race in nowhere near the same form and is a much more backable price as a result. She may still be good enough to repeat. With the dirt track playing so fast and speed favouring the two fillies to focus on here are Teddy’s Promise and Sweet Lulu. There has been a big word around the track in the mornings this week for Teddy’s Promise who loves it here at Santa Anita, ran a blinder last time out, and will be sitting on the shoulders of the pace setters from her outside draw. Sweet Lulu may well be that pacesetter as in her short career so far she has shown bags of pace and plenty of quality with a win in the Grade 1 Test stakes on just her fourth career start proof of her class and potential. She will be very hard to peg back.
Selections: Sweet Lulu to win and Teddy’s Promise each way
9.05pm The Breeders Cup Turf Sprint
The sprint course at Santa Anita is unique and spectacular as they run downhill for the first three furlongs, dash round a bend, over the dirt track, and then hair up the straight. Previous experience over the course is therefore vital and on that basis it pays to oppose the likes of Havelock, Capo Bastone, Jeranimo and Dimension. Mizdirection must have a great chance of following up last year’s success under the in-form Mike Smith and has drawn well in 12. Unbridled’s Note is the main danger as she proved last year and is also drawn very well. In such a tight and trappy affair it always pays to back something at a big price each way and I can see Rock Me Baby going close at a huge price. He was very unlucky in his prep race over course and distance and may well have won, and has decent form over this course. His draw is not ideal but Talamo is a good jockey tactically so throw a few quid on him each way.
Selection: Mizdirection to win and Rock Me Baby each way
9.43pm The Breeders Cup Juvenile
This is one of the most wide open Breeders Cup Juveniles I can remember. Havana is going to try and go from the front which is clearly an asset from his wide draw but he may not get the lead. Diamond Bachelor is a fascinating contender having run three times on turf but switched to dirt here. He is a fast horse and Leparoux will be looking to take advantage of the huge pace bias and run the legs out of his opposition. He is a decent price. The Front Runner is the key Santa Anita trial won by Bond Holder but it was an ordinary race with the horses finishing in a heap in an ordinary time and I doubt the winner will emerge from there, with the third placed Tamarando bombing horribly on the undercard yesterday.
Selection: Diamond Bachelor each way
10.22pm The Breeders Cup Turf
The Fugue should have won at last year’s Breeders Cup and will win at this year’s Breeders Cup. Her form at 10f and 12f in Europe is simply top notch and the decision to run over this longer trip against the males is a race-winning one. She will prove far too good. Magician is capable of running well if he can run to his Irish 2000 Guineas running form, and he has looked well in the mornings and Aidan O’Brien seemed quietly positive in his chance, but I doubt even that best will be good enough to beat The Fugue. He can be placed. The biggest danger, or the horse I think will come second, is Point Of Entry. He is the best US turf stayer and was unlucky last year when losing ground and failing to get a run at a vital stage. He can chase The Fugue home.
Selection: The Fugue to win (straight forecast The Fugue to beat Point Of Entry)
11.01pm The Breeders Cup Sprint
This is a thrilling renewal of the Sprint, with the track riding so fast, and with six confirmed front runners in the race. The battle for the lead will be explosive and I expect Sum Of The Parts and Bahamian Squall to win that battle. With so much speed in the race it may pay to side with two fast sprinters that will be happy to rate just behind the pace and make their move off the bend. Secret Circle looks the ideal type for this running style from a wide draw and ran a sensational prep over course and distance. Gentlemen’s Bet is the other I like as he can sit behind the pace on the inside and can take over the lead around the final bend. You can make a case for nearly every runner in the field but Private Zone is too short a price, Fast Bullet may not get to the head of affairs from the gate and Justin Phillip has an awful draw.
Selection: Secret Circle to win and Gentlemen’s Bet each way
11.40pm The Breeders Cup Mile
It was great to see Richard Hughes ride his first Breeders Cup winner yesterday and it was a masterful performance but to win he needed a horse that was suited to the ground and style of racing at Santa Anita. Olympic Glory is a top class European miler and that would usually be good enough to win this race so long as they are capable of running to their best here. Therein lies the rub. Is Olympic Glory going to like the fast ground and more importantly the lightening quick pace of this race (think Bobby’s Kitten yesterday). I fear he will not. He also meets one of the best turf milers from America in two decades in Wise Dan. The reigning champion was beaten last time out but that was on a synthetic surface and he has won his last ten starts on turf. He is miles superior to the local horses and should be long odds-on so rates the best bet of the day at around even money.
Selection: NAP Wise Dan to win
00.35am The Breeders Cup Classic
This is one of the best renewals of the Classic I can remember. Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man fought out last year’s finish and come here once again in good form. They must run well again. Game On Dude has been in sensational form but has come up short in the last two renewals of this race and on that basis I am happy to oppose him. There are some talented three year olds that might pop a surprise, like Palace Malice. Moreno and Will take Charge but I am going to let my heart rule my head to some degree and side with Declaration Of War to become the first European horse to win a dirt Classic since Arcangues. I have followed this horse’s career with interest since last summer and connections seriously considered running him in this race last year. They wisely elected to wait for twelve months and have enjoyed a brilliant summer with his successes in the Queen Anne and the Juddmonte obvious highlights. It is however entirely conceivable that he could be even better suited to dirt as he is bred beautifully for this surface and has the running style and the courage that is ideal for this race. The one concern is his speed from the gates as this has been an issue for O’Brien horses in the past, but if he can get a prominent pitch early I am convinced that he will travel supremely well and stay on to make history up the straight.
Selection: Declaration Of War to win