THEY put it up to Coolmore at Royal Ascot, tasted success on Arc day and now the boys in blue, Godolphin, look ready to do battle at Del Mar.
The Breeders’ Cup action kicks off from the coastal course at 6.25pm tonight, but I’m keeping my powder dry until the Juvenile Turf (10.55pm).
Aidan O’Brien fields Mendelssohn in this year’s renewal and he’ll have his followers at around the 5/1 mark.
Second to US Navy Flag in the seven-furlong Dewhurst Stakes, the son of Scat Daddy, himself fourth in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, brings Group One form to the table.
While his sire was most effective over a mile, Mendelssohn also won a maiden at this mile trip so the step up from seven furlongs shouldn’t be a problem.
The big concern is his draw in stall one.
They will shoot out of the wider stalls, which often leaves stall one shuffled back to the rear of the pack.
Bursting out of stall six in the blue silks of Godolphin will be MASAR.
He’ll be Charlie Appleby’s first runner at the Breeders’ Cup since Outstrip landed this very race back in 2013.
Touted as the stable’s top two-year-old for much of the season, Masar shed his maiden tag at Goodwood in May.
He was still learning his trade when third in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and got back to winning ways at Sandown in promising fashion.
Soft ground and a slow early pace didn’t help him settle in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere last time out and he did well to finish third.
It’s safe to say they’ll go off quick tonight and he looks a worthy 9/2 favourite to land his first top-level contest.
On Saturday everything builds up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (12.35am).
I’d love to tip the winner of this great race, but it looks very tricky.
Last year’s winner Arrogate has a horror draw in one, whilst race favourite Gun Runner is far too short at 7/4 in a race full of potential.
Instead, my money heads for another Godolphin hope in the shape of WUHEIDA. She’s 9/1 with 188BET to land tomorrow’s Filly & Mare Turf (9.00pm) – some price when you think she was 6/1 second favourite for the 1,000 Guineas in the spring.
A stress fracture meant she didn’t see a track as a three-year-old until mid-July, but her reappearance when second to Roly Poly in the Falmouth Stakes was very promising.
She’s been highly tried since, finishing fourth in strong renewals of the Matron Stakes and Prix de l'Opera, and looks like finishing in the money here.
Tomorrow’s Grade One action starts with a bang in the Turf Sprint (7.37pm).
Having played out one of the finishes of the season in the Nunthorpe at York, Marsha and LADY AURELIA lock horns again.
The former prevailed by a nose last time but I’m confident Wesley Ward’s lightning sprinter will get her own back.
She blitzed the field in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last year by a staggering seven lengths and was equally impressive when winning the Kings’ Stand this year.
Softer ground at York blunted her electric turn of foot and saw her go down by a nose.
Back on home turf, where she is unbeaten in two runs, Ward’s runner looks a good thing at 11/10.
Masar 10.55pm Del Mar
Lady Aurelia 7.37pm Del Mar
Wuheida e/w 9.00pm Del Mar