Tomorrow it starts. The last big meeting, the final hurrah for 2022. The Breeders Cup gets underway on Friday, ends on Saturday and sandwiches The Doncaster finale. Somewhere we also have the Haldon Chase and the beginning of the 2 year-recession possibly accompanied by some nuclear hot kimchi and some glowing Ukrainian wheat.
For one chum, his season was bought to a premature halt by the news this week that his entry in a Fantasy Stable competition, far from netting him the Grand Prix, with a silver trophy, huge kudos, and a shed-load of much-needed cash in these straitened times, was in fact a loser. He had led for the last two months, but the organisers finally figured out that one of his entries wasn’t Champion The Wonder Horse but Muffin The Mule. I weep for him. That is no way to end a season. I suspect the Stewards were saving up the news until the Champagne had been ordered, and the dancing girls from The Tiranian Jigajig Piano Bar had received their instructions to sing a selection of songs from Les Miz for the old chap at the end of the bar.
Poor form, I thought. I am reminded of Formula 1, a sport so well organised that the World Championship was won this year in mid-interview. This only happens when there is an R in the month, or Red Bull has overspent their development budget at the same rate as the NHS spends on Rubber plants and PR people. That in turn means less time in a wind tunnel and frightfully angry multi-millionaires aged 14 refusing to talk to TV stations because they weren’t obsequious enough. You only have one job – so why not get on with it properly? Jesus, Harry and Joseph, what is the matter with people?
Talking of Prince Meltdown and The Duchess of Malfoy, I was startled to discover we had a test to live here in Blighty, other than the ability to swim that is. The Trial by Common Sense inevitably turned out to be too hard to do, despite being multi-choice and aimed at people who aren’t as especially gifted as whatshername obviously believes she is.
Talking of multi-choice answers, which are all too easy to get wrong, here are my thoughts on The Breeders Cup and some of today’s races.
SHIROCCOS DREAM 3 pts e/w
14:05 Down Royal
PIED PIPER 4 pts Win
ST ERNEY 2 pts e/w (4 places Bet365)
HALDON GOLD CUP 3:35 Exeter
THIRD TIME LUCKI 5 pts Win
KEENELAND FRIDAY 4th November
- You can bet with Betfair into the US Pool system. Go to Betfair Exchange. Click on Horseracing on the left-hand column. Then click on USA – then at the bottom of the list, click on Tote USA. You will be charged in dollars – at an exchange rate you have no control over – but you do get a pretty fair range of exotics.
- Remember if you bet WPS with Betfair it is 3 times your stake. If the horse wins you get three dividends (WPS) – if your horse is 2nd you get two (WP) and if your horse is 3rd… you get the picture.
- Dividends are declared to a $2 stake and the return includes your stake – obs.
- Failing all that, stick with your favourite bookie, where the lesser-known US horses might be of better value here.
7.00pm GMT: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (5f, Turf)
The youngest of the Breeders’ Cup races and this it’s fifth renewal. PRIVATE CREED has been the king of Kentucky, winning key preps at Keeneland and Kentucky Downs. The filly LOVE REIGNS bypassed the local tune-up to come in fresh; it’s hard to doubt anything Wesley Ward does in this division. SPEED BOAT BEACH may be California’s best chance yet in the JTS. The Europeans are looking for a breakthrough here and have the favourite in the international betting markets with THE PLATINUM QUEEN, who beat older horses last time out. However, she has never run a bend has a dreadful draw and has more air miles than Donald Trump. TYLERS TRIBE is untried on Turf but has good dirt speed ratings- but a draw in Auchtermuchty.
Win-Place-Show: LOVE REIGNS – MISCHIEF MAGIC – OXYMORE
7.40pm GMT: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (1m½f, Dirt)
The form here should start with the Frizette, and this year’s winner CHOCOLATE GELATO beat YOU’RE MY GIRL and LEAVE NO TRACE. will vie for favouritism with local Keeneland prep heroine WONDER WHEEL, but I wonder if she flatters to deceive. AND TELL ME NOLIES is a west coaster and won California’s pair of top preps by less than a combined length. She will need to get a wiggle on, because her speed figures don’t compare with the east side.
Win-Place-Show: CHOP CHOP – ATOMICALLY – CHOCOLATE GELATO
8.20 pm GMT: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (1m, Turf)
This will all depend on how quickly the Europeans break. DELIGHT crushed Keeneland’s Jessamine by 5 lengths as the favourite and stamped herself a force. The historically relevant Miss Grillo was won by PLEASANT PASSAGE in a wire-to-wire upset that may force some bettors to want further validation. Trainer Chad Brown is America’s preeminent player with fillies and mares on the grass, but his 2-year-old crop this year has yet to come to hand. Irish filly MEDITATE has a huge amount going for her, but I am caught by Natalma Stakes’ form for this race. In 2015, at Keeneland, Catch A Glimpse followed up a win in the Natalma Stakes with victory in the JFT and, this year, LAST CALL bids to do the same. However LAST CALL had a great ride, while G LAURIE was trapped and jammed more than once – once she get free she closed well into third, less than two lengths off the leader. Last year, Pizza Bianca backed up an unlucky in running second in the Natalma with a win in the JFT
Win-Place-Show: G LAURIE – LAST CALL – MEDITATE
9.00 pm GMT: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (1m ½f, Dirt)
CAVE ROCK is the fourth odd-on favourite in the past 6 years and with reason. California’s main contender hasn’t found an equal on the west coast, and it’s up to FORTE, a major prep winner at Saratoga and Keeneland, to provide a counter. Note: the only odds-on winner of the Juvenile came all the way back in the 1984 inaugural via Chief’s Crown.
Win-Place-Show: CAVE ROCK – FORTE BLAZING SEVENS
9.40 pm GMT: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (1m, Turf)
SILVER KNOTT’s Autumn Stakes victory at Newmarket was taking because he came from behind and because he has shown himself unafraid of going for a gap and because trainer Charlie Appleby has won this three times in the past nine years and twice in the past four years. MAJOR DUDE won the historical tell-tale US prep in the Pilgrim for Todd Pletcher, 1 of only 5 US-based trainers to win this race. ANDTHEWINNERIS and PACKS A WAHLOP both delivered as favourites in KY and CA final preps with an impressive turn of foot late. VICTORIA ROAD took a while to come to hand but has now gone on to win in Listed and Group 3 events in France. In the Listed race win, he had Blue Rose Cen, subsequent winner of the G1 Marcel Boussac, is a short neck behind.
Win-Place-Show: SILVER KNOT – PACKS A WAHLOP – VICTORIA ROAD