American Pharoah heads the Classic market: Golden Horn seeks further glory in the 2400-metre Turf
By Tom Krish
The 2015 Arc De Triomphe and Ascot’s Champions Day are in the books. We now turn our attention to the Breeders Cup races at Keeneland on October 30 and 31.
American Pharoah did an exceptional piece of work on Tuesday at Santa Anita. He timed 1 10.45 seconds over 1200 metres. The Pioneerofthenile colt won the American Triple Crown this year. He suffered a loss in Saratoga’s Travers Stakes. American Pharoah remains a firm favorite for the 2000-metre (dirt) Classic on October 31. From 5/2, American Pharoah has been bet down to 7/4 in the British market.
Bob Baffert, American Pharoah’s trainer, was thrilled. “He looked fantastic today and I really feel good about the way he is coming into this race.”
News from the Beholder camp was mixed. The daughter of Henny Hughes made mincemeat of the opposition ( a race in which Beholder opposed the boys) in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. It has been reported that Beholder had a fever on arrival at Keeneland. ‘Shipping stress’ may be the reason according to the stable staff. Preliminary tests have not revealed anything untoward. The Classic remains on the table for the multiple Group I-winning mare. Beholder has drifted to 4/1 in the wagering.
A large European contingent is expected. A total of 24 horses are coming. It is smaller in number than in 2014.
Gleneagles, a disappointment in the Q E II Cup on Champions Day, will take his chances BC Classic. It will be the first time that Gleneagles will race on the dirt.
Andre Fabre, the French training legend, sends three horses. They are Miss France, Esoterique and Make Believe. Esoterique, winner of Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes, will go in the BC Turf Mile. Make Believe, victorious in the French 2000 Guineas, regained his winning touch in the Prix de la Foret on Arc Day after doing poorly in the St James’ Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Make Believe will make trainer Fabre double-handed in the Turf Mile.
Golden Horn is an odds choice to win the BC Turf over 2400 metres. The Arc winner will be ridden by Frankie Dettori. John Gosden, champion trainer in England this year, trains Golden Horn. From 4/5, Golden Horn’s odds have dropped to 8/13.
Legatissimo, the 1000 Guineas winner, is evens for the Filly-Mare BC Turf. Found, runner-up in the Champions Stakes last Saturday, also lines up.
William Hill, a British bookmaker, is offering 6/4 for four European wins. It is 20-1 for one winner or a blank.
Coral, another British bookmaking company, gives 13/8 for three European victories. It is 9/4 for four winners. It is 11/1 for one winner.
The final Group I race in the UK will be run on Saturday at Doncaster. It is the 1600-metre Racing Post Trophy for two year-olds. Foundation, a John Gosdentrainee and unbeaten in three career starts, is the favorite and is odds on. A Zoffany colt, Foundation comes off an impressive win in Newmarket’s Grade II Royal Lodge Stakes on September 26. There are 10 runners in the Racing Post Trophy. Aidan O’Brien has five runners.
In Australia, the Group I Cox Plate will be run on Saturday. Highland Reel, winner of Arlington Park’s Secretariat Stakes in August, is the chalk. The Aidan O’Brien pupil will be ridden by Ryan Moore. In 2014, O’Brien and Moore teamed up to win with Adelaide. Highland Reel drew post four and that is an advantageous draw at Monee Valley where the turns are tight.
Keeneland is in Kentucky. It is cold in Kentucky this time of year. This is the first time that the BC races will be run at Keeneland. For a long time, Keeneland did not have a commentator. All the reports suggest that the plant is absolutely ready.
Silvestre De Sousa has arrived in New York. His book will be handled by Seth Benzel. I am making every attempt to get Silvestre to come to Chicago and ride at Hawthorne.
Quasar’s win in the St Leger at Hyderabad gives him bragging rights in the four year-old division. The Bangalore defeat, in retrospect, seems an aberration. It is a tribute to MalleshNarredu’s training skills that Quasar has maintained his form for such a long time. Yash Narredu, still going through the learning process, has been a perfect partner.
In 2016, Quasar, as a five year-old, will meet younger opponents in the Invitation Cup. I am hoping Quasar’s connections will make the trip to Chennai. A lot of work is being done at Guindy. I have seen, in my younger days, the ‘glory days’ at Guindy. A partial return to those heady days is something I am looking forward to.
Source: Racing Post
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the author's personal views.)