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The Breeders Cup: Who to look out for on Saturday

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Filly and Mare Sprint

After future stars yesterday, today it's the turn of the big beasts at Keeneland. Favourites in our third race include Chad Brown's Goodnight Olive, who'll be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Together, Brown and Ortiz are America's power duo. But their competition comes from almost unbeaten Echo Zulu, trained by North America's leading trainer by wins, Steve Asmussen.

Turf Sprint

This is set to be a real clash of the continents. Wesley Ward's Golden Pal didn't like his trips to England (notably finishing last at Royal Ascot this year), but they were blips in two steadily victorious American campaigns. Representing the UK, Charlie Appleby trains both Naval Crown and Creative Force. Creative Force was third in the Champions Sprint at Ascot (the race he won last year), after finishing fourth in the July Cup (losing to his stablemate, the aforementioned Naval Crown, both in that and the Platinum Jubilee Stakes). Elsewhere, Kevin Ryan trains last year's Haydock Sprint Cup winner, Emaraaty Ana. Hollie Doyle, meanwhile, is on Flotus, who was disappointing at Longchamp last month, losing to Doyle's mount that day, the Platinum Queen. Flotus is still one to keep an eye on, though. And also watch out for Highfield Princess: her wins have come thick and fast.

Dirt Mile

Simplification is a name that rolls easily from the tongues of American 'callers'. Trained by Antonio Sano, he finished fourth in this year's Kentucky Derby, during which he was ridden by Jose Ortiz. Luis Saez takes the mount today, and he'll be on the lookout both for Saratoga-specialist Pipeline and Cyberknife, who finished third in the Pennsylvania Derby. Meanwhile, Laurel River, trained by Bob Baffert, lacks the same top-level experience as other hopefuls, but is two from two this year, and therefore shouldn't be ruled out.

Filly and Mares Turf

Brits will be cheering on the epic partnership of Nashwa and Hollie Doyle. After victory in the Prix de Diane, they enjoyed success in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. Disappointment came when they were pipped in the Prix de l'Opéra at Longchamp last month, but odds show they're sure to pick things back up. Even if they don't manage it, a win for another trans-Atlantic raider – Oaks heroine Tuesday – would be something to savour.

Breeders Cup Sprint

Jackie's Warrior won well for Steve Asmussen on Kentucky Derby day, and he remains favourite in this more American dominated sprint today. Jackie's Warrior sits just ahead of Wesley Ward's Kimari in the betting, though Elite Power also looks promising, running for Bill Mott in the hands of Irad Ortiz Jr. Elite Power managed third at Churchill Downs in his first outing this year, but he's stayed unbeaten in four attempts since.

Breeders Cup Mile

Modern Games is back at the event that brought him to fame. This time last year, he was the up-and-coming two-year-old, victorious in the Juvenile Turf. Since then, he's added a French Guineas to his name, along with a third in the French Derby... not to mention a second to Baaeed in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. North America seems his preferred testing ground, though, and he won again at Woodbine in September. Elsewhere, look out for our ambassador, Frankie Dettori, who's back on Kinross, the horse we last saw winning Ascot's Champions Sprint in October. Other raiders include Ed Walker's Dreamloper and Aidan O'Brien's Order of Australia: certainly one not to dismiss in the placings.

Breeders Cup Distaff

Nest is the favourite here, running for Todd Pletcher. Her only real competition seems to come from stablemate Malathaat, though Flavien Prat on Search Results could shake things up. Search Results was Malathaat's second at Saratoga, then scored on his own in New Jersey.

Breeders Cup Turf

In a perfect prequel to the meeting's culmination, European raiders come out in force. For the UK, Charlie Appleby has Nations Pride and Rebel's Romance, while John and Thady Gosden throw in their old hero, Mishriff. Representing Ireland, Aidan O'Brien sends Broome and Stone Age, who was a strong contender in the Epsom Derby. Could Mishriff's old magic (it saw him win a Saudi Cup, Sheema Classic and Juddmonte International) return at last? Or will it be Rebel's Romance, who did so well in Germany? Could it even, perhaps, be the promising Highland Chief, one of the USA's only hopefuls?

Breeders Cup Classic

This is the race we've all been waiting for. Flightline, now the world's best rated racehorse, takes on Kentucky Derby winning Rich Strike, Epicenter (second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes) and Dubai World Cup runner up Hot Rod Charlie. Then there's Happy Saver, Olympiad and Pennsylvania Derby-winning Taiba. Virtually unbeaten Life Is Good completes the line up, running for Todd Pletcher and joining so many of his old sparring partners... What a contest we have in store!


For 2023


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