HORSE RACING nut Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) returns with his best bets for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup action from the US.
19:43 Santa Anita | At The Races
The Filly & Mares Turf over 10 furlongs is a strong looking race and sees Europe and the US battle it out as ever, and I think America will strike here.
Seventh Heaven (10/3 Betfair) has had some season winning the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks and looks the pick of the European contingent on form.
She appears to want quicker ground and this should be right up her street however the trip may be on the short side. She is a talented filly but she’s had a hard season and I’m against her.
Queens Trust (6/1 Bet365) is yet to win this season but she has run some very good races and comes here with a live chance. She finished ahead of Seventh Heaven last time out and could confirm that but her win to runs ratio puts me off and she’s require a career best to get on the scoresheet.
The one I really like is the former Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Lady Eli (3/1 Coral).
She looked a superstar early on in her career however she met with a setback in her three year-old career and wasn’t seen after that until last August when she returned with an uninspiring return.
However, last time out she was a very impressive winner of the Flower Bowl and with the promise of more to come, home advantage and the perfect trip, she looks primed to win her second Breeders’ Cup race.
21:05 Santa Anita | At The Races
The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint isn’t the highest class Group 1 race of the meeting and this looks a little below the top class sprints we have seen in Europe this season, and I expect it to be returning to our shores tonight.
Pure Sensation (10/1 BetVictor) has won his last three starts and comes in to this in top form. He still has to improve further to win here but this isn’t a vintage renewal and it’s possible he can.
However, there are too many negatives for me to get excited about his chances and I’m looking elsewhere for my selection.
It wouldn’t surprise me if one of them won, but I think they are likely to find one or two too good and though they may place, I won’t be backing either.
The one I like here is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Washington DC (6/1 William Hill). He has taken his time to become a top sprinter and seems to be improving still.
O’Brien was rather bullish about his chances in the build-up to this during the week and six furlongs on quicker ground looks like his optimum conditions. I expect him to go very close.
23:40 Santa Anita | At The Races
The Breeders’ Cup Mile is a fantastic looking race and I cannot wait to watch this.
It’s foolish to discard Group 1 horses but this looks between the front three in the market and I’m expecting the winner to come from them.
Alice Springs (4/1 Ladbrokes) has won an incredible three Group 1 races this season and this will be her ninth start of the year. She wants quick ground and this looks tailor made for her conditions-wise however I’m worried about her long campaign.
This is the toughest challenge of her career and my gut feeling is this will be a bridge too far.
Tepin (7/2 William Hill) is America’s golden girl and defends her crown. She came across to Royal Ascot in June and took the Queen Anne back to the US and is a very good mare.
However despite her winning eight of her last nine starts, she looks vulnerable and I still have a feeling she’s kind of been in the right place at the right time during her career. If she wins this then I will look silly but I think she comes up against a very, very good horse on Saturday night.
At the start of the season I had my doubts about Limato (7/2 Betfair) as he often missed the break and seemed to need lightening fast ground to be at his best.
The older he’s got the less quirky he has become and trainer Henry Candy says he is improving almost every day. His win in the Foret was impressive and I think a mile will be his optimum trip.
Limato travels, has an incredible turn of foot and is tactically versatile. He will love the ground and to me he is the one to beat here and I think he will give trainer and jockey a first Breeders’ Cup win.
19:43 Santa Anita – Lady Eli (3/1 Coral)
21:05 Santa Anita – Washington DC (6/1 William Hill)
23:40 Santa Anita – Limato (7/2 Betfair)