Main Sequence Breeders’ Cup Turf Temptation
Breeders' Cup Turf
Whether it is euros, sterling or dollars being punted, backers across the world will be looking to get paid out when the Breeders’ Cup gets underway this weekend in Santa Anita, California.
This two-day extravaganza gets underway on Friday, but for many the main action takes place on Saturday night when the heavyweights slug it out on the rock hard ground which awaits in the Breeders’ Cup Turf over 1m4f (10.22pm).
Among them is Sir Michael Stoute’s, Telescope (7/2), who is a proven performer on fast ground having won a Group 2 at Royal Ascot over 1m4f. While defeat was experienced on his next two outings in Group 1 company, there was no shame in losing by 3l to Taghrooda, and then 4l to Australia, and there doesn’t look to be anything of that caliber in Saturday’s line-up.
Not that the competition isn’t hot, as the likes of Andre Fabre’s, Flintshire joins Telescope at the head of the betting on 7/2.
This 4yo colt landed a Group 1 over this trip last term, and while blanking this time around, did show his very best a month ago when a creditable 2l runner-up to the mighty, Treve, in the Arc (1m4f, good). The concern is the firm surface, though, as he has yet encounter anything faster than good ground.
One who does handle this sun-baked ground is Aidan O’Brien’s, Magician (5/1), who of course won this race 12 months ago (firm), and warmed up for his defence with a 1l second in the Arlington Million (1m2f, firm). This Galileo colt has been there and done it and will be a tough nut to crack at decent odds.
That nut was cracked, however, by the American 4yo, Hardest Core (10/1), who took his record to 5-6 in landing the Arlington Million, and having won a minor event over 1m4f previously, Edward Graham’s represents excellent value, as he will be at home in the conditions and is still improving.
Another strong home contender is the former David Lanigan 5yo, Main Sequence (7/1), who has shown dramatic improvement since leaving Britain in winning three straight Grade 1’s – two over 1m4f on firm ground. Considering this gelding only won a Group 3 in 14 outings on these shores, he will be feared by ex-compatriots.
Brown Panther is also respected at 14/1, but the overall feeling is that this step back in trip over such conditions will prove too sharp, while Ballydoyle’s other runner, Chicquita (10/1), won the Irish Oaks in these conditions last year, and was beaten only 3l in the King George at Ascot last time (1m4f, heavy). Chicquita threw the race away that day having veered when in the lead, and it will be interesting if Frankie Dettori chooses to arrive late on her this time. She is certainly no 10/1 shot.
Historically a race that the Europeans have done well in, winning 12 of the last 16 renewals, but the home challenge looks strong this time around, with the likes of Main Sequence, who has looked a different horse since leaving Britain and has a trainer in H Graham Morton, who won this race back in 2004.