Aidan O’Brien Has Possible One-Two Punch for Longines Turf
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Legendary European trainer Aidan O’Brien has pre-entered three horses for the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), to take place at Santa Anita on November 2. His 2019 Epsom Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck could go against stablemate Magical, who was second last year behind Enable (Magical is cross-entered in the Filly and Mare Turf). O’Brien’s third pre-entry is Mount Everest, whose dam is 2003 Breeders’ Cup Mile heroine Six Perfections.
The Irish-based conditioner has won the Turf a record six times, starting with High Chaparral in 2002. High Chaparral came back to successfully defend his title while finishing in a dead heat with Johar in 2003. Since then, O’Brien has added wins with St Nicholas Abbey in 2011, Magician in 2013, Found in 2015, and Highland Reel in 2016. Three of his six wins have come over the Santa Anita turf course.
He is not the only European-based trainer to do well in the Turf. Foreign invaders have won the race 22 times in 35 years, starting with Lashkari defeating All Along in 1984. The fillies Pebbles and Miss Alleged won in 1985 and 1991, and American rider Gary Stevens piloted the French-based In the Wings to victory in 1990.
More recently, Turf champions have included two-time Arc de Triomphe winner Enable, the popular white-faced Talismanic, two-time winner Conduit, and globe-trotting Shirocco.
Leading European jockey Frankie Dettori commands the riders’ race with five wins, including victories aboard Red Rocks in 2006, Dangerous Midge in 2010, and Enable last year. Before them, he rode seven-time grade 1 winner Daylami to win at Gulfstream Park in 1999, and $8.4 million earner Fantastic Light at Belmont Park in 2001.
Although not as frequently, American-based interests have made their presence known in the Turf as well. Main Sequence was the most recent winner for Graham Motion under John Velazquez, who also piloted English Channel to score in 2007. Motion conditioned upset winner Better Talk Now to outrun favored Kitten’s Joy in 2004 at Lone Star Park.
Canada has had their day in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, such as in 1997 when the brilliant chestnut Chief Bearhart defeated the German filly Borgia in a dramatic stretch battle.
Who will win the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf? Find out November 2 and make sure to wager on the race with TVG.
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