OAKS heroine Tuesday and one time Derby favourite Stone Age will spearhead a classic Aidan O’Brien Breeders’ Cup raiding party.
And with the champion of Ireland being joined by Britain’s top gun Charlie Appleby in a strong challenge, the message is loud and clear to the Americans that the best of Europe is on its way to the World Thoroughbred Championships at Keeneland which get under way a week on Friday.
Regular readers will know I love the Breeders’ Cup, even at Keeneland which can signal snow and rain as well as sunshine, and I can’t wait to bring you all the build up on Sky Sports Racing/Attheraces.
O’Brien has banged in 13 Breeders’ Cup races and has recorded no less than six victories in the Turf, thanks to High Chaparral (twice, including a dead-heat), the incredible St Nicholas Abbey under his son Joseph, Magician, Found (beat Arc hero Golden Horn) and Highland Reel.
O’Brien told me that he expected Stone Age to be joined by Royal Ascot winner Broome in the Turf this time, with the former far from disgraced in both the Irish Champion Stakes and Ascot’s equivalent just the other day.
Tuesday is expected to represent Ballydoyle in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, in which she is set to renew her rivalry with her Oaks victim Nashwa.
Since Epsom Nashwa has been in cracking form, and had Tuesday behind when second in the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp last time.
Both fillies will have to cope with a mile and one and half furlongs at Keeneland which is a little shorter than they have been going recently.
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It’s not impossible Tuesday will be joined by Toy, who took a Listed event at Naas on October 16.
O’Brien said that Order Of Australia will return to the scene of his greatest triumph in a bid to land a second Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The son of Australia bagged the big one in 2020 at odds of 40-1, and was back at the track on October 8 when a far from disgraced third to Annapolis in the Grade 1 Coolmore Turf Mile.
Crack juvenile Blackbeard is all set for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, having strolled to success in the Group 1 Middle Park at Newmarket, while classy filly Meditate is a possible for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ on turf.
Another contender for that race could be the Marcel Boussac third Never Ending Story.
Cairo enters the mix for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on the back of his impressive victory in the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes.
Appleby has already declared his interest in sending a powerful team, having banged in three Breeders’ Cup victories in 2021 thanks to Modern Games, Yibir and Space Blues.
Modern Games goes once again in the Mile, while Rebel’s Romance and Nations Pride will tackle Stone Age and Broome in the Turf.
Creative Force heads for the Turf Sprint, with Silver Knott lining up for the Juvenile Turf and Mischief Magic in the Juvenile Turf Sprint.
All in all, it promises to be another awesome Breeders’ Cup.
While Baaeed has swerved the chance to show his Champion Stakes effort was all wrong, the world’s best horse Flightline is bang on target for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and there are plenty willing to take him on in an attempt to topple a beast that has looked unbeatable.
Before all that, I’ll be at Doncaster today for Britain’s final Group 1 of the season in the Vertem Futurity Trophy which often throws up a Derby contender.
O’Brien bids to take the prize for a record eleventh time, and saddles the ante-post favourite for Epsom glory in 2023 in Auguste Rodin, an impressive winner of a Group 2 on Irish Champions weekend.
Stable companion Salt Lake City also takes part, and he looked good with a facile success at Navan.
O’Brien took the prize last year with Luxembourg, which brought him level with Sir Henry Cecil as the joint-most successful trainer in the race’s history.
John and Thady Gosden are represented by the useful Epictetus who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori and finished second in the Autumn Stakes.
I have a feeling the value might rest with Holloway Boy, who never got the chance to show what he can do when constantly hampered on his latest appearance.
The shock Royal Ascot winner looks good eachway odds to hit the frame at the very least for Karl Burke and Danny Tudhope.
Some will feel the Flat season is winding down. But there’s plenty to squeeze out of it yet. Yeeehaaa!
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