Bill Esdaile previews the Breeders’ Cup and the best of the jumps action
THE BREEDERS’ Cup has had its fair share of criticism recently, but there is still some top class racing to enjoy tonight and tomorrow evening.
I’m going to leave the Classic alone as it’s a very difficult race to get a handle on and will instead head straight to the Mile (11.40pm) for the bet of the meeting.
WISE DAN, the 2012 American Horse of the Year, is the most popular racehorse in training across the pond and I fully expect him to record back-to-back wins in the Mile.
He has won 17 of his 24 career starts and his defeat last time out at Keeneland was his first since June 2012. I wouldn’t read too much into that performance as it was on dirt and he has won his last nine starts on turf. He broke the track record in this race last year and I don’t think Santa Anita will suit Olympic Glory, who had a hard race at Ascot two weeks ago. A bigger threat may come from No Jet Lag and he could be the one for the exacta.
William Buick was distraught after he was outfoxed by the US jockeys in the Filly and Mare Turf last November. THE FUGUE should have won, simple as that, but the Norwegian-born rider gets the chance to make amends in the Turf tomorrow evening (10.22pm).
The Fugue has notched two straight Group One victories in the Yorkshire Oaks and Irish Champion Stakes and conditions should be absolutely perfect for her in California.
Point Of Entry and Magician look her main dangers, but as long as Buick can stay out of trouble she is undoubtedly the one they all have to beat. Take the 9/4 still available with a few firms.
Dank will be fancied by many over here to kick off the first leg of a big Grade One British fillies double in the Filly and Mare Turf (7.43pm). Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old should be hard to beat, but stall one could be tricky for Ryan Moore and she is short enough now at 7/4 with Coral.
Instead, I’m going to have an each-way poke on the formerly French-trained ALTERITE at a massive 14/1 with Coral. She had some excellent form in France as a two-year-old and really should be two from two in top company since moving to Chad Brown’s yard.
Although the biggest races are tomorrow, one of the most attractive betting contests is the meeting’s opener, the Marathon, at 8.45pm this evening.
There are only 10 horses set to face the starter and the majority look unlikely to stay the 1m 6f trip. Ever Rider has a good chance with multiple Breeders’ Cup winning jockey Gary Stevens in the saddle, but I prefer the chances of INDIAN JONES.
The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (10.05pm) looks wide-open on paper but Todd Pletcher’s VERRAZANO makes plenty of appeal dropped back to this trip.
The three-year-old has only been beaten twice in his career and those were on the two occasions connections opted to campaign him over 10 furlongs. He will surely take some catching if on his a game.
I also can’t let MY CONQUESTADORY go unbacked at 6/1 with Coral in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (10.50pm), despite her poor draw in stall 14.
She is a seriously talented filly and I reckon she has the class to go very close. She beat the boys at the first time of asking at Woodbine and then won a Grade One on Polytrack on her latest outing. Let’s hope she can weave her way through and put her nose in front on the line.
INDIAN JONES e/w 8.45pm Santa Anita (today)
VERRAZANO 10.05pm Santa Anta (today)
MY CONQUESTADORY e/w 10.50pm Santa Anita (today)
ALTERITE e/w 7.43pm Santa Anita (tomorrow)
THE FUGUE 10.22pm Santa Anita (tomorrow)
WISE DAN 11.40pm Santa Anita (tomorrow)