British and Irish Runners to watch out for at the Breeders’ Cup 2020

Enable after winning the Breeders' Cup Turf

There is no better way to cap off the global Flat season than with the Breeders’ Cup 2020. Inaugurated way back in 1984, it has expanded to a two-day event featuring a staggering thirteen Grade One races. The event will be hosted by Keeneland Race Course this year in Lexington, Kentucky.

UK and Irish contenders landed three of the races in 2018 but just one in 2019. That winner was Iridessa, trained by Joseph O’Brien. Below, we will take a look at the main UK and Ireland raiders this year.

It’s a bumper weekend of racing over in the US and at home. There will be a feast of action on ITV on Saturday, where we will provide our usual tips and analysis. Be sure to check out our American Racing Tips for our Breeders’ Cup selections.


Friday

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

Aidan O’Brien has trained 12 winners at the Breeders Cup and will be hopeful that Lipizzaner can make it number 13. He will be making his third start in four weeks so will certainly be race-fit. By Uncle Mo, it is very possible that he will put in a career-best performance in the States. Uncle Mo was a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner himself. He has to improve dramatically on his recent Listed victory to win this but his pedigree suggests he will love this track.

Archie Watson is no stranger to this race and Mighty Gurkha will be his third runner in it in three years. The colt was a disappointment when sent off favourite at Newmarket last time. However, he won a Group 3 prior to that over 6f. This is his first run over 5.5f so he might just find it too much on the sharp side.

Ubettabelieveit will travel to the USA in terrific form for trainer Nigel Tinkler. He won the Flying Childers Stakes over 5f on rattling ground when last seen, seeing off a good horse in Sacred. The slight concern for him is he looks an out-and-out speedball so the step up in trip by half a furlong might be a stretch too far.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

Battleground is sired by War Front and has a favourites chance in the race for Aidan O’Brien. A War Front colt by the name of Hit It A Bomb won the race at this course in 2015. His dam is the magnificent Found, who won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf against the boys here in 2015. Battleground hasn’t seen the racecourse since July because he needs quick ground. He arrives here two wins from three, winning the Group 2 Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at Goodwood when last seen. He is a strong travelling powerful animal and could be a star in the making.

It could be a tip in itself that Jessica Harrington is making just her second trip to the Breeders’ Cup from Ireland. Albinga, who was very well fancied by connections could only finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last year. She runs the very talented Cadillac in this. A nine length winner on debut, he was just touched off by subsequent Vertem Futurity winner Mac Swiney at the Curragh. He saw off Van Gogh comfortably next start at Leopardstown and that runner has since bolted up in a Group 1 in France. The form is rock solid and he is a big player.

The other horse in the race worth a mention is Ralph Beckett’s New Mandate. The gelding arrives here off the back of a Group 2 victory in late September. He has won his last three in a row, will have no problem with the trip and aims to give Ralph his first Breeders’ Cup victory since Muhannak’s success in the Marathon in 2008.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf

Miss Amulet was last seen finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. Ken Condon’s filly will be stretching from 6f up to a mile for the first time so it is a big ask. The other Irish runner in the race could be Aidan O’Brien’s hit or miss filly Mother Earth. She arguably ran a career-best when beaten just a length into third in the Group 1 Bet365 Fillies Mile. This distance might be the making of her and a big run could be on the cards.


Saturday

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

Glass Slippers comes into her own at this time of year. As a matter of fact, she is four wins from six in the last two autumn terms. She bounced back to form in September to win the Group 1 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh. Prior to that she finished second behind the world’s best sprinter Battaash and when last seen was just touched off in the Prix de L’Abbaye. She has a chance in this but ideally would enjoy some cut in the ground.

Equilateral is another currently entered in the Turf Sprint. This 5-year-old gelding is no spring chicken with 22 starts under his belt, resulting in 10 places. He is a difficult horse to gauge, undoubtedly talented but you never know which horse is going to show up. He has mixed it with the very best sprinters in Europe and if he does run, he is without doubt an each way player.

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf

James Fanshawe’s Audarya won a Newcastle handicap in August before going to to land a shock victory in a Group 1 at Deauville. She proved that was no fluke last time out when third in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera. She is best on rain-sodden ground, so the ground at Keeneland might be against her this week.

Jessica Harrington sends three runners across the Atlantic this year and her second runner of the week is Cayenne Pepper. When last seen, she won the Group 2 Moyglare Jewels Blandford Stakes in September, winning by four lengths. She has faced tough opposition this year and was runner-up behind Breeders’ Cup Turf hopeful Magical in the Pretty Polly Stakes. The trip won’t be an issue and she is progressive.

Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Peaceful has only had one start at further than a mile. That was a third place finish in the Group 1 Prix de Diane, beaten by just a neck in a three-way photo finish. The filly arrives here after a shocker of a run in the Sun Chariot when tailed off last so a lot will have to be taken on trust. Aidan O’Brien blamed the ground on that occasion but it will take a lot to draw a line under the effort nonetheless.

Terebellum is looking to go out on a high as this will be her final career start for trainer John Gosden. She is a very consistent filly and is unfortunate not to have a Group 1 medal to her name after an agonising head defeat to Circus Maximus at Royal Ascot. She might fall just short again in this field but she won’t be too far away.

Breeders’ Cup Mile

Circus Maximus finished fourth behind Uni last year in the Mile, and with US experience under his belt may improve on that this year. He won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot which was his third career Group 1 victory. The good thing t know for backers is he has only been campaigned at a mile this year so a lot of work has gone into him over this particular trip. This has been the target all year and he will give it a proper go.

If Kameko could win this race, it would be the story of the week. The colt was born at Calumet Farm, right next door to Keeneland. He sold at Keeneland in 2018 for $80,000, winning the first Group 1 to be held on synthetics as a two-year-old last November at Newcastle. Then he went on to land the 2,000 Guineas and will forever go down as a Classic winner. He hasn’t been in the same form since but this son of Kitten’s Joy should relish this track and may well win before he retires.

Other raiders worth noting are One Master, a three-time winner of the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret. She is more comfortable as a sprinter so could be out of her depth in this, but she does stay a mile. John Quinn trained his 1,000th career winner with Safe Voyage this year, who will be the trainers’ first Breeders’ Cup runner. He beat One Master over this distance in the past but it will be a surprise if he is good enough to win this race. Ger Lyons’ Siskin is looking to get back on track and will retire to stud in Japan after this race. He was supreme when winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas but has largely struggled since.

Breeders’ Cup Turf

This race has been a very popular and successful one for European trainer over the past 10 years with seven victories going back across the Atlantic in that time. Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last 10 renewals and Magical will take all the beating in 2020. She was runner-up in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf behind Enable but has no horse of that calibre to worry about this year. Posting a remarkable three Group 1 victories in 2020, she is the class act in the race.

John Gosden won this race with Enable in 2018 and is bidding to repeat the feat with Lord North. A winner of the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes earlier in the season, he ran third behind Magical in the Group 1 Juddmonte International. He ran a stinker when 10th in the Champion Stakes what last seen but the ground was bottomless. He is not one to write off.

Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa is hugely progressive this year, most recently winning the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera in France. The Shamardal filly won a Group 3 in August and absolutely bolted up in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Vermeille in September, both races run over 1m4f. She is another with an outside chance but might struggle to live with Magical.


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