Horses to follow at the Breeders’ Cup 2017

Del Mar

DEL Mar is known as the track where the “surf meets the turf.” The California city gets this due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which is less than a mile away. Surprisingly, this weekend is its Breeders’ Cup debut and it has attracted a record number of European challengers, 35 in fact. The draw could be crucial. Del Mar is an extremely tight track and those drawn wide may be disadvantaged. Here are some of the main European raiders…

Friday

James Garfield Juvenile Turf Mile: Very consistent and has been unlucky in some of his races. He has been well supported all week in the Breeders’ Cup market and confidence is growing that he could give George Scott a famous victory. Aidan O’Brien’s Mendelssohn is among his chief rivals. Best price 6/1

September Juvenile Fillies’ Turf: Ran a blinder behind Laurens in the Fillies’ Mile and conditions should suit. Hopefully stall 10 won’t invonvenience her too much. 5/1

Saturday

Marsha (Turf Sprint): Sir Mark Prescott will be making his first ever visit to a US racetrack to watch his flying filly try to do what she did in the Nunthorpe. But she may struggle to reel in Lady Aurelia on this occasion. 11/2

Ribchester (Mile): A final race for Richard Fahey’s admirable miler. He would be a hugely popular winner and let’s hope he can find one more big performance after what has been a tough old season. He is drawn 10 while big rival Roly Poly has fared even worse in 12. 7/2

US Navy Flag (Juvenile dirt): Victory would crown a remarkable season for a horse who did the Middle Park/Dewhurst double. He is drawn one and should be able to get a good position. Will be a tough nut to crack. 7/1

Ulysses (BC Turf): Highland Reel will be a warm order to repeat last year’s Santa Anita victory. But Ulysses, with Frankie Dettori on board, has had a terrific season and is marginally preferred. Don’t rule out Decorated Knight, who will be in the shake-up if he produces his best form. 5/2

Churchill (BC Classic): If the remarkable Aidan O’Brien can produce Churchill to outgun Arrogate and Gun Runner to win the Classic, then it will go down as one of his finest achievements. Ryan Moore loves this horse and said he was a bit unlucky at Ascot. 14/1

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