Big-race Verdict: Matt Newman fancies a 25-1 shot for the Breeders’ Cup Classic

Belmont Park, Breeders Cup Day

‘Produced a career best Beyer figure over this course and distance’

It’s all speed early on in the Classic. Anything going quicker than Knicks Go in the early stages is going too fast but he has to prove he stays this trip. Hot Rod Charlie, Art Collector and Medina Spirit have won their Grade 1’s making every yard of the running so this could easily be set up for a closer. Tripoli is a big price but he produced a career best Beyer figure over this course and distance when winning the Pacific Classic in August.  There’s little between he and Knicks Go at the weights on a line through Independence Hall so he could be the each way angle to pick up the pieces. – Matt Newman


‘He can cap off the year as a champion’

A four-time Grade 1 winner, Essential Quality suffered his sole defeat when fourth in the Kentucky Derby earlier this year. There was no disgrace in that defeat and he’s quickly made amends since, winning the Belmont, Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes. His winning margins are perhaps not impressive, but he only does just enough and that usually plays into his hands. He’s thoroughly versatile, which gives Luis Saez plenty of options, and he can cap off the year as a champion. – Owen Goulding


‘He should get the job done’

Brad Cox has a stranglehold on the Classic this year being the trainer of both the favourite and the second favourite. Knicks Go will go off like the clappers and looks sure to set it up for the patiently ridden Essential Quality. Sporting the famous colours of Godolphin who have a very strong team at Del Mar this weekend, Essential Quality has won eight times from nine starts. He took down the Juvenile last year and won the Belmont and Travers this year. A very workmanlike horse, he should get the job done. – Adrian Wall


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