Circus Maximus Heads International Hopes in Mile
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Last year, Circus Maximus came to the Breeders’ Cup as a closely matched third choice and finished fourth. Now the son of Galileo (Ire) will look to improve on that as he returns for the 2020 edition of the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Trainer Adian O’Brien has won 12 Breeders’ Cup races, but has never won the Mile. He has three entered in this year’s race, with Circus Maximus drawing the rail. A Group 1 runner as a juvenile, he won the prestigious St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) at three. This year, he added a win in the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot, but has been frustrating since. He ran second, third, third, and then tenth in various major races, but the latter was over very soft ground not to his liking. With a return to firm ground, Circus Maximus can prove dangerous in this spot under Ryan Moore.
Another of O’Brien’s runners is the hard luck Lope Y Fernandez. He picks up Frankie Dettori and gets two turns - rather than a straight mile - here at Keeneland. He has been sprinting of late but his last race over eight furlongs saw him run a very good third in the Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) behind today’s rival Siskin, who drew alongside.
At one time, Siskin was considered the best sophomore in the United Kingdom. He was unbeaten in five straight races, including a pair of Group 1 events, but then ran third as the favorite at Goodwood in July and was fourth behind tough older horses, including Circus Maximus, last out. He tends to break badly, and will retire after this race to stand at stud in Japan. Ger Lyons trains the son of First Defence.
Kameko’s win in the 2000 Guineas (G1) in early June was the fastest in the race’s history. He lost three in a row after that, but twice he went too far, and was unlucky in the Group 1 Sussex when beind Circus Maximus and Siskin. He got a nice confidence boosting score September 25 at Newmarket in Group 2 company for trainer Andrew Balding, and will be ridden again by Oisin Murphy.
At the age of seven, Mile runner Safe Voyage has had his best season yet. He has yet to win a Group 1 race, but the gelded son of Fast Company (Ire) was third, beaten just a neck, in the Prix de la Foret (G1) last out. The winner of that race was One Master, a six-year-old mare who stayed in training this year and typical runs between six and seven furlongs, but in 2019 se missed by a neck in Group 1 company at Newmarket over a mile. William Haggas trains the mare who was only beaten a length when fifth in this race two years ago.
If you want to learn more about him and the 2020 Breeders’ Cup contenders, visit TVG.com and sign up today, as new players can bet the Breeders’ Cup with an extra $250 in their bankroll!
- October 22, 2021
For good reason, much of the attention on the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) will be on the international runners who come to Del Mar for the 12-furlong contest. In the last decade, just three winners have hailed from the United States, with the other seven coming from Europe. Since 2000, that split is 16 Europe, six for America.
- October 21, 2021
This is the last of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- October 20, 2021
A superb edition of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is on tap November 6, and the prospective field is a list of one sparkling star after the other.