R a disappointing week of tipping last week, I am deliberately not going to start chasing short-priced horses in a desperate attempt to claw my way back into the winners’ enclosure. It’s Breeders’ Cup weekend and the European trio of Midday, Workforce and Goldikova will all be sent off at skinny odds in pursuit of victory at Churchill Downs. All three are wonderful animals in their own right, but there may be value in looking elsewhere.
Let’s start with Workforce in tomorrow’s Breeders’ Cup Turf where Sir Michael Stoute’s Derby and Arc hero is as short as 5/4 with Paddy Power. However, Arc winners have a terrible zero from nine record in this race and as the ground is plenty quick enough for him, he cannot be supported at that price. His King George flop is still fresh in my mind and I’ve a sneaky feeling he is at his best with plenty of cover in a decent sized field. Therefore, I’ll be supporting French raider BEHKABAD to make up for his disappointing fourth place in the Arc and over-turn the form with Workforce. I think he’ll be far better suited by the smaller field and the 3/1 available with Ladbrokes looks fair value.
It’s definitely harder to find a reason to oppose French wonder mare Goldikova in her attempt to land the Breeders’ Cup Mile for the third year running. She is currently trading at 11/10 with Paddy Power and I find it impossible to believe that she won’t trade at a far bigger price in-play on Betdaq from her poor gate draw in 10 of 11. That said, she was drawn 11 of 11 last year, but she came from a mile back that night and will probably have to do the same thing again. The bend comes up far quicker at Churchill Downs than it does at Santa Anita, meaning she is likely to get shuffled well back.
I’m interested in the American trained SIDNEY’S CANDY who absolutely bolted up on his first run on grass at Del Mar back in August. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a miler go off quicker and manage to keep up the gallop. He looks sure to be ridden the same way tomorrow night and looks a real back to lay opportunity on Betdaq. He can currently be backed at 12/1 in places in the UK and will certainly start shorter on the US tote.
Midday gets her chance to land back-to-back Filly & Mare Turf races this evening and could well be sent off odds-on. She will be very difficult to beat, but unquestionably prefers softer ground and even though she has won on a fast surface, she doesn’t look as well balanced on it. I also think that this year’s renewal is far stronger that the race she won 12 months ago and for that reason I am going to oppose her. Japanese filly RED DESIRE has plenty of form on fast ground and ran a decent prep last month at Belmont. She is a terrific each-way bet at around 6/1 as it would be a surprise if she didn’t make the frame.
Finally, if you want to beat the prices, take the 5/2 available about ZENYATTA landing the Classic. She is looking to land her 20th win from 20 races and I’m sure she’ll start closer to even money on the US tote. Finally, I’ll be backing CROWN OF THORNS to land the Dirt Mile at around 5/1. He failed by a nose to land the Sprint last year, this is more like his trip and he looks worthy of support even on his dirt debut.
RED DESIRE e/w 10.50pm Churchill Downs (Fri)
SIDNEY’S CANDY e/w 8.40pm Churchill Downs (Sat)
CROWN OF THORNS e/w 9.20pm Churchill Downs (Sat)
BEHKABAD 10.00pm Churchill Downs (Sat)
ZENYATTA 10.45pm Churchill Downs (Sat)