Tag Archives: Breeders Cup Classic

Breeders Cup Night Preview


Breeders Cup Juvenile: US Navy Flag 9/1 win

Breeders Cup Turf: Decorated Knight 9/1 ew 

Breeders Cup Classic: War Decree 40/1 ew

Churchill returns after The Irish Champion Stakes

The Classic is the richest race on the card and it is one in which Aidan O’Brien hopes to create a surprise to cap on his monumental season.

He runs two, War Decree and Churchill.

Churchill is on somewhat of a retrieval mission having been champion two year old and a dual Guineas winner however the latter part of the season has gone somewhat downhill. Aidan has said the run in the Champion Stakes has given him the encouragement to come here and have a crack on dirt against America’s best. In his trainers mind he retains all the ability he sees at home.

War Decree’s road to Del Mar has been very different. As a two-year old he beat Thunder Snow in the G2 Vintage Stakes and a lot was expected of him at the start of his three-year old season. He began it in April going off favourite for the Craven Stakes but he didn’t fire and was well beaten.

He then went to Chantilly for the French Derby where again he got beat when fifth behind Brametot. Ryan Moore described it as a much better effort than it seemed to the eye. He didn’t get a clear run and never got a chance to impose himself on the race but Ryan was satisfied the engine was there. Aidan has since said that is when the plan for Del Mar was hatched.

He was put away until the Diamond Stakes at Dundalk in late September. It’s a race Aidan has identified as good preparation for his aspiring Breeders Cup candidates whom he thinks will like a dirt surface. His past winners include Mastercraftsman in 2009 and Declaration Of War in 2012. The latter went on to contest this race in 2013 just getting beaten in a three-way finish.

The Classic is a race that has eluded Ballydoyle, War Decree and Churchill will try to put that right. Churchill has been on the go throughout a long season, it’s the fresh War Decree who could spring the surprise and outrun his odds.

He might just land it.

Decorated Knight has a look round after winning the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown

In the Breeders Cup Turf unfortunately Ulysses is declared a non runner on veterinary advise and Highland Reel is now a short price to defend his crown. Like last year you expect him to be ridden prominently and to boss the race. He might find Roger Charlton’s Decorated Knight coming late to pip him on the line just as he did to Poets Word in the Irish Champion Stakes.

US Navy Flag on Debut at Naas

US Navy Flag has come a long way since making his debut at Naas on the 1st of May. He runs here in the Breeders Cup Juvenile on dirt. He won his maiden at the fifth attempt but has since won the G1 Middle Park Stakes and G1 Dewhurst Stakes where he beat Mendelssohn comfortably . The Dewhurst form was given a considerable boost last night with Mendelssohn’s win in the Juvenile Turf. He’s got to have a great chance here if he handles the dirt.


Breeders Cup Classic (Grade 1)

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Not quite a match but it really should be.

American Pharoah and Gleneagles have been stand out three-year olds in America and Europe this year.

Their meeting here in the biggest race of the year hasn’t caught the public imagination. Bored with the will he won’t he run, the public has lost faith in Gleneagles especially after being beaten at Ascot in the QE11. Bubble burst.

In the States the opposite has happened. American Phar Continue reading

The Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes (G1)

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Will he won’t he?

It’s been the story for the second half of the season for Gleneagles. Bad ground at Goodwood, York, Deauville and Leopardstown have meant he hasn’t seen a racecourse since Royal Ascot when he won the St James’s Palace Stakes.

The one Aidan described as the best miler he’s ever trained has been the subject of much frustration for the racing public. Prior to Ascot wins in the Guineas and Irish Guineas, which preceded a top class two-year old campaign, stamped him king miler of his generation. Yet for all his promise he has been denied the chance to measure himself against the older generation. For connections that’s a commercial opportunity missed for his stud value.

Ballydoyle have been nothing but consistent about him. Aidan O’Brien has declared him for The International Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes only to walk the course on both occasions before pulling him out. They won’t risk their prize asset on anything but good ground. The likelihood for Ascot on Saturday is good to soft. That’s short on what is required. Aidan will again walk the course tomorrow afternoon before making a final decision.

Do you compromise? The ground won’t be fast. The temptation to run produces a dilemma. If he runs and wins that place at stud is guaranteed at top dollar. He’ll have beaten the year older Solow, a top drawer performer at the top of his game.

Should he lose the cost in stud reputation mightn’t be too high. After all he’s a fast ground horse who’ll rely on his class to get him through. There’ll be no real knock to reputation in getting beaten.

There is another choice, the last chance saloon, the Breeders Cup Classic at Keenland on dirt in two weeks time where he’d take on the best of the Americans including American Pharoah. He’s available now at 14/1 to achieve that. That’s reflective of the doubt of his participation given the uncertainty about where or if he’ll run. More of the will he or won’t he but reality is options are fast running out.

He might be retired without another run or we might see Gleneagles race at four.

Today there’s still the possibility of him doing the double proving Aidan’s assertion, “he’s the best miler I’ve  ever had” but with the upgrade to “he’s the best I’ve ever had”.


Recommendation: With A Run – Gleneagles Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes (2/1)

Small Double : Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes (2/1) & Breeders Cup Classic (14/1)