Breeders Cup Preview

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British and Irish trained horses look sure to make an impact at this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup meeting at Del Mar, particularly those races run on grass, most significantly the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Breeders’ Cup Mile ( Turf ) and Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Betting on the last named one mile four furlong contest is totally dominated by overseas challengers with last year’s winner Highland Reel from the record-breaking Aidan O’Brien stable heading the market at a general 9-4 ahead of Eclipse and Juddmonte International winner Ulysses – a top price 11-4 with bet365 and Skybet. Decorated Knight, Cliffs Of Moher, Seventh Heaven and French raider Talismanic add further strength to the European team who should see off the main US dangers Beach Patrol and Oscar Performance.

A victory for Godolphin’s Ribchester in the Breeders’ Cup Mile would be a fitting end to the career of trainer Richard Fahey’s flagbearer but the four-year-old, a standout 7-2 with William Hill, faces a strong home challenger in 3-1 favourite World Approval who will be seeking a hat-trick of wins following  impressive victories at Saratoga and Woodbine. The latter has been handed a good draw in stall 5 while the mount of William Buick has been less fortunate in berth ten. Aidan O’Brien’s ‘ first-string ‘ Roly Poly will do well to get competitive coming out of stall twelve of fourteen.

Ballydoyle’s main hope in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Rhododendron, will need all of jockey Ryan Moore’s tactical knowhow to prove victorious from the widest stall of all ( 14 ) and a much better value bet at the 16-1 available with Betfred could be the Roger Varian runner Nezwaah. The mount of Andrea Atzeni has disappointed the last twice but there were excuses on both occasions and the daughter of Dubawi is much better judged on her easy victory in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh back in July.

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The filly showed an excellent turn of foot on the good ground, leaving some decent performers including Rain Goddess, Zhukova, Smart Call and Journey trailing in her wake and a reproduction of that form under conditions which should suit could make her the one to beat in the 1m 1f contest at Del Mar.

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