Tag Archives: Santa Anita

Group 1 Action This Weekend

There is Group 1 and Grade 1 action aplenty this weekend.

On Saturday Randwick in Sydney, Australia hosts three G1’s, the Flight Stakes, Metropolitan Stakes and the feature the Epsom Handicap with prize money of $1m for a race over a mile for older horses. Trainer Chris Waller is mob handed with eight of the eighteen runners and this can provide him an opportunity to close the gap on Aidan O’Brien in the PWRC 2018 Trainer standings.

On Sunday Caulfield runs the Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes with Goldophin’s Charlie Appleby running Blair House. He’ll hope he can repeat his G1 win of last weekend when Jungle Cat took top honours at G1 level at the same venue. Also on Sunday Japan resumes it’s G1 programme after a summer break with the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama where Joao Moreira will have his first top level ride since being granted a licence to ride in Japan. They’ll miss his magic in Hong Kong.

At Newmarket, England the two-year olds take centre stage with the Cheveley Park for fillies and Middle Park for colts both over 6f sharing the bill. In the former Lady Kaya caught the eye at the Curragh when second in the Moyglare and could run well stepping down in trip from 7f.

In the States the build up really begins for the Breeders Cup with Belmont in New York hosting the Vosburgh, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Jockey Club Gold Cup with the latter a Breeders Cup trial on dirt over 1m2f. Diversify will go off favourite after his win in the Whitney Invitational last time out.

European interest is piqued here with the worlds two biggest owners adding spice to the mix. Coolmore run Mendelssohn and Godolphin saddle the Dubai World Cup winner, Thunder Snow. Ryan Moore travels for the ride on Mendelssohn, he currently leads PRWC 2018 Jockey and a win can extend his slim margin over Mike Smith and Jose Ortiz. Jose will have three opportunities to bridge the gapIn the owners championship there are only 10 points between Coolmore and Godolphin (1 win) at the top of PRWC 2018 Owner.

On the west coast Santa Anita has four Grade 1’s on Saturday, the Rodeo Drive Stakes, Chandelier Stakes, American Pharoah Stakes and the feature the Awesome Again Stakes, another Breeders Cup Classic trial. Accelerate will go off a short odds on price on the back on his win in the TVG Pacific Classic and a win here could push him up to third in the PRWC 2018 Horse. On Sunday the Zenyatta Stakes is the feature race with Able Tazman likely to go off favourite.

A busy weekend of G1 action which could have a big impact on the standings of PWRC’s six category championships. It’s G1 status that binds it all together. It’s PRWC 2018 that makes the participants performances comparable.

By the time Ryan Moore flies back across the Atlantic he may well be in second place in the jockey’s championship should Jose Ortiz score well at Belmont or Mike Smith score well at Santa Anita.

Blair House’s run in Australia and Thunder Snow’s run in the USA could send Godolphin to the top of the Owners Championship or maybe Ten Sovereigns at Newmarket or Mendelssohn’s American campaign will keep Coolmore on top.

One thing for sure Aidan O’Brien will stay top of the Trainer Championship. 

Recommendation :

2.25 GMT Cheveley Park Stakes, Newmarket – Lady Kaya 8/1 win

Advertisements

Breeders Cup Turf (G1)

Found

Found on her way out to contest the Irish Champions Stakes

Found is one of those rare things in flat racing, a mare the public have fallen in love with. It’s what she gives that his created this, her all.  She’s been second eleven times in her life but each time she tried her heart out. Her last three run’s have been the best of her life. At Leopardstown over 10f, short of her best trip she was the only one who could give Almanzor a run for his money. In the Arc over 12f her best distance, none could live with her and again at Ascot in the Champion Stakes she only went down to Almanzor’s wonderful turn of foot. No wonder the public love her so much. She’s here to defend her crown against another quality field.

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Highland Reel leave the ring at Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes

Her stablemate Highland Reel presents the biggest threat. He comes here a little fresher. He was given a break since the Arc where he chased home Found and did not return to Ascot for Champions Day, the scene of his greatest triumph when he took the King George there in the summer.

They both will love the trip and ground and will produce an epic battle coming down the stretch. It will be one of head and heart with the heart to come out on top.

Recommendation : Found 3/1 win

                                         Found and Highland Reel RFC 

 

Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (G1)

Lancaster Bomber on his way out to win his maiden at Leopardstown in August

Lancaster Bomber on his way out to win his maiden at Leopardstown in August

This is the tenth running of the Juvenile Turf and Aidan O’Brien will attempt to win it for the fourth time with Lancaster Bomber and Intelligence Cross representing Ballydoyle. Ryan Moore has chosen the latter leaving Seamie Heffernan to get the leg up on Lancaster Bomber.

Intelligence Cross is the higher profile of the two and will line up to face the starter for the seventh time. All his runs to date have been over 6 f and he’s troubled the judge twice so far winning a maiden at the Curragh and returning thereafter to take the G3 Round Tower Stakes. In between he was stepped into G2 company where he ran second in the July Stakes at Newmarket to Mehmas and then third to the same colt in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. The fact that he ran in those two tells you he was held in high regard at home. He returned to Newmarket for his last run where he was again stepped up in class for the G1 Middle Park Stakes. He ran well to be fourth getting closer to Mehmas beaten a 1/2 L, with The Last Loin winning from Godolphin’s Blue Point in second.

Blue Point then contested Europe’s most important juvenile race the Dewhurst at Newmarket over 7 f. He ran third behind Churchill and the 66/1 shot, Lancaster Bomber. Going off at that price the expectation was Lancaster Bomber was there to set the fractions for his illustrious stablemate. He had been asked to play the same role in the Futurity for Churchill at the Curragh in August but wasn’t able to do so. He hung that day never acting on the yielding to soft ground falling away to finish last of four.

In the Dewhurst the price suggested a repeat the dose tactic for Lancaster Bomber, he was there to do a job for his illustrious stablemate Churchill. The expectation was he’d wind it up before folding in the final two furlongs. Once he hit the rising ground coming out of Newmarket’s famous dip he didn’t fold, he rallied and battled all the way to line only to give way to Churchill’s turn of foot.

It was the ground and step up in trip that was the key and it’s a crucial piece of form as it puts him ahead of his stablemate through the Mehmas line of form.

The further step up in trip here to a mile will certainly suit Lancaster Bomber. He has a high cruising speed and will have time to hit top gear. He’ll act on the fast surface as he did in his maiden win at Leopardstown and also in the Dewhurst. He’ll relish the chance to blow them away.

No harm doing the forecast either as Aidan O’Brien has made a bit of a habit of getting that up lately in G1 company.

 

Recommendation: Lancaster Bomber 8/1 win

                                        Lancaster Bomber and Intelligence Cross RFC

 

Santa Anita Handicap (G1)

Once the most prestigious race on the West coast memories of old will be somewhat revived at Santa Anita with todays running of the Big Cap. It’s attracted three of America’s big guns for a mouth-watering clash. It’s goes off at 11.59 GMT but it’s got a high noon feel.

A nose separated Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge here in the Breeders Cup Classic in November. The favourite that day Game On Dude, the defending champion and twice a winner of this, never got into the mix that day but in the Clark Handicap at the end of November he did when he went down a head to Will Take Charge at Churchill Downs.

Now they all meet again.

Kathy Ritvo gave Mucho Macho Man a tune up in January when at Gulfstream Park he won by 14 L. There was never a question of him fluffing his lines and that run will have tightened him up nicely for this.

D Wayne Lucas gave Will Take Charge a run at Gulfstream Park also but surprisingly he didn’t win when going down a 1 1/2 L to Lea. It wasn’t a bad run but he was always being held. Maybe the excretions of the Breeders Cup and the Clark runs just caught up.

Bob Baffert gave Game On Dude his traditional prep for this in the San Antonio Stakes. Already a winner twice of it he went off a long odds on favourite. He broke well but ended up in an early battle with Blueskiesnrainbows in the first half of the race and by the time he reached the turn the energy sap left him a spent force and he trailed in 6 L behind. The beneficary was Blingo who came with a sweet turn of foot to pick off the tiring horses coming back to him and get the better of Imperative by 1/2 L with American Blend 4 1/4 L back in third.

The current form would give Mucho Macho Man the edge not having blotted his copybook as the other two have but the San Antonio was run in a quick time and it would be foolish to ignore the claims of the winner. Blingo recorded his first pattern win at Grade 2 level and he might just step up on that here.

Recommendation : Blingo 16/1 ew