A STRONG team of British and Irish horses are on a transatlantic mission to plunder some of the £15.6 million up for grabs at the Breeders’ Cup this weekend. UK trainers who have had winners at previous meetings: Sir Michael Stoute, Brian Meehan, Ralph Beckett and Charlie Hills will be represented again. But they will be joined at Santa Anita in California by some of the young guns of the British training ranks in Hugo Palmer, Jamie Osborne, David Brown and Charlie Fellowes.
Hills, who won with Chriselliam last year in the Juvenile Fillies’ Turf, sends a team of three with Just The Judge, Kiyoshi and Commemorative.
Stoute, who has had six Breeders’ Cup winners, more than any other UK trainer, relies on Dank, who will bid to defend her Filly & Mare Turf crown, and the talented Telescope in the Turf.
Wet Sail (Fellowes) and Aktabantay (Palmer) represent two of the training debutants in the Juvenile Turf, run over a mile.
Toronado is the talisman for the Brits and will start favourite for the Mile on Saturday. He is said to have settled in well.
As ever, Aidan O’Brien has a strong team, headed by Magician, who will try to win the Turf for the second year running, and is expected to be joined by Chiquita.
The trainer plans to be represented in three of the juvenile races with Qualify (Fillies’ Turf), The Great War (Juvenile) and War Envoy (Juvenile Turf). The Great War will face a diminished challenge from the home team after American Pharoah, the ante-post favourite for the race at around 2-1, was ruled out due to injury.
The British and Irish challenge
Friday October 31
Juvenile Turf: Aktabantay (H Palmer); Commemorative (C Hills); Faithful Creek (B Meehan); Wet Sail (C Fellowes), War Envoy (A O’Brien).
Juvenile Fillies Turf: Prize Exhibit (J Osborne), War Alert (D Brown), Qualify (A O’Brien).
Saturday November 1
Filly & Mare Turf (1m2f): Dank (Sir M Stoute), Just The Judge (C Hills), Secret Gesture (R Beckett).
Turf Sprint: Caspar Netscher (D Simcock), Wind Fire (D Brown).
Juvenile: The Great War (A O’Brien).
Turf: Brown Panther (T Dascombe), Just The Judge, Secret Gesture, Telescope (Sir M Stoute), Magician (A O’Brien), Chiquita (A O’Brien).
Sprint: Wind Fire.
Mile: Kiyoshi (C Hills), Trade Storm (D Simcock), Toronado (R Hannon).
Classic (1m 2f): Toast Of New York (J Osborne).
Who does everybody fancy? Leave a comment below.