Toast Of New York To Be The Toast Of California
Breeders' Cup Classic
The big question for punters eyeing up a wager in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt in California on Saturday night is whether to steam into…
…the undefeated American superstar, Shared Belief, who has won all six racecourse appearances and heads the market at 6/4.
This outstanding 3yo already has three Grade 1’s to his name, which is an amazing achievement in just six outings – the last of which was a narrow neck victory here at Santa Anita last month (1m1f, fast). Held up to come with a late run that day, Shared Belief did enough to collar Fed Biz on the line under Mike Smith, and having won previously over 1m2f, Saturday’s trip will hold no fears.
This will be the sixth time Shared Belief will start as favourite, and while he is respected, the fact he needs the breaks to arrive in coming from off the pace in a 15-runner field – the biggest he has faced – suggests there could be each-way value elsewhere.
One who will be looking to lower the favourite’s colours is fellow 3yo, Tonalist, who has a career record of 4-7, and arrives having also won a Grade 1 at Belmont last month (1m2f, fast), where V. E. Day (25/1) was over 8l back in fifth. This colt was also waited with that day, but has won when up with the pace, which he might have to do on Saturday from stall 11 if wanting to get into the race.
The fact two 3yo’s have won this race since 2007 suggests the front two in the market are capable of landing the feature race, but one who faces a stiffer task of that age-group is California Chrome (7/1), who has not been done any favours with a wide draw in stall 13. Having also been beaten 2l by Tonalist at Belmont, California Chrome has a bit to prove, unlike another the Classic generation, Bayern (8/1), who has won three of his last four.
The last of those was a Grade 2 win last month when making every post a winning one (1m1f, fast), but having won a Grade 1 in July and he will most certainly be feared if breaking well from the gates from stall 7.
Of the older performers – 4-5yo’s have won eight of the last 10 renewals of this race – respect has to go to the 5yo, Cigar Street, who may not have a Grade 1 to his name, but is an improver who won four of his last five outings and is housed comfortably on the inside (stall 2), while fellow 5yo, Zivo (16/1), was around 2l behind Tonalist at Belmont and has each-way claims.
While this event usually goes the way of the home nation, it’s worth noting that the Brits did strike in 2007 when Frankie Dettori got Raven’s Pass home, and the popular Italian could bring the house down if igniting Imperative to victory, though he has been held by Shared Belief to the tune of 5l and 6l the last twice.
Then there is Jamie Osborne’s Toast Of New York (12/1), a 3yo colt who annihilated the opposition on the Polytrack here before Grade 2 success in Meydan in March.
More improvement was shown in defeat last time though, when beaten under 3l
by Shared Belief in a Grade 1 (1m2f, fast) when hampered by the winner.
Respect goes to the home challenge which is strong, but there has to be each-way value in Toast Of New York, who may have got nearer to Shared Belief last time but for a blocked path, and will be expected to arrive late and wide under Jamie Spencer this time around. Could Toast Of New York be the ‘toast of California?’…