Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Newsletter - October 14
Advisory: This is the eighth of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at Keeneland. For more information, please visit www.breederscup.com. The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live on NBC and NBCSN. You can follow all the contenders’ activity leading up to the Breeders’ Cup with Equibase’s free “Road to the Breeders’ Cup” Virtual Stable notification service.
Ascot’s Champions Day Could Have Direct Breeders’ Cup Impact
Saturday’s QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in Berkshire, England, which will have a quartet of Group 1 stakes, could go a long way in defining several key Breeders’ Cup contenders from Europe. The day is highlighted by the Champions Stakes, which could send a key starter or two to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), while the Queen Elizabeth II, Champions Fillies & Mares and Champions Sprint could all send leading contenders to Keeneland for the 37th Breeders’ Cup.
The $1.807 million QIPCO Champion Stakes, at about 1 ¼ miles, will be led by the Coolmore conglomerate of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Mrs. John Magnier’s defending champion MAGICAL (IRE), a superstar 5-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) who should be well known to Americans off her close second to the supermare Enable (GB) in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in 2018. Magical, who is 15-8 in the ante-post betting, qualified for the Turf when she won Leopardstown’s “Win and You’re In” Irish Champion (G1) in her last start Sept. 12 for trainer Aidan O’Brien. All told, Magical is 12-for-25 lifetime, which includes seven Group 1 wins.
Magical (IRE) winning the Irish Champion Stakes
Photo courtesy of Leopardstown Racecourse
Prince A A Faisal’s MISHRIFF (IRE) is a strong second choice at 5-2 for trainer John Gosden, as the 3-year-old son of Make Believe (GB) has won three straight, including the Prix du Jockey Club (G1) two races back in July at Chantilly. His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed Racing’s LORD NORTH (IRE), who qualified for the Longines Turf when he won Royal Ascot’s “Win and You’re In” Prince of Wales’s (G1) in June for Gosden, is also expected for the Champions Stakes, as are major group stakes winners ADDEYBB (IRE), JAPAN (GB), MOGUL (GB), PYLEDRIVER (GB), SERPENTINE (IRE), and SKALLETI (FR), who are all trading at 10-1 or under in a field that could have 16 runners.
Queen Elizabeth a Worthy Co-Feature at Ascot
Ascot’s $1.463 million Queen Elizabeth II Sponsored by QIPCO (G1) hardly takes a backseat on Champions Day, and the 1-mile test figures to have the biggest favorite on the card, as Sheikh Hamdan al bin Mohammad Al Maktoum’s PALACE PIER (GB) is 8-11 in the early betting off a 5-for-5 record for trainer John Gosden. The 3-year-old son of Kingman (GB) earned an automatic starting berth into the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF when he won Deauville’s “Win and You’re In” Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) in his last start Aug. 16.
Palace Pier, who also won the St James’s Palace (G1) at the Royal Meeting in June, could see as many as 16 opponents in the Queen Elizabeth II, including Flaxman Stables and Coolmore’s CIRCUS MAXIMUS (IRE), who earned a Mile bid when he won the “Win and You’re In” Queen Anne (G1) at the Royal Meeting in June for trainer Aidan O’Brien, as well as THE REVENANT (GB), BENBATL (GB), and NAZEEF (GB), who are all 10-1 or less in ante-post betting.
The $731,500 QIPCO Fillies & Mares (G1), at about 1 ½ miles, is shaping up as the most competitive race of the four Group 1 stakes on the card, as the top five contenders are trading at 6-1 or less among European punters, with Anthony Oppenheimer’s DAME MALLIOT (GB) a tepid 9-2 favorite. The 4-year-old daughter of Champs Elysees (GB) is 4-for-8 lifetime for trainer Ed Vaughan, including the Tattersalls (G2) at Newmarket in July.
Mrs. John Magnier and Mrs. Paul Shanahan’s EVEN SO (IRE), who won the Juddmonte Irish Oaks (G1) at The Curragh in July for O’Brien, ALPINISTA (GB), ANTONIA DE VEGA (IRE), and WONDERFUL TONIGHT (FR), are all being well-backed in a Fillies & Mares field that could reach 13.
The $731,500 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (G1), at 6 furlongs, has a strong 3-2 favorite in Saeed Suhail’s DREAM OF DREAMS (IRE), a 6-year-old son of Dream Ahead who is 7-for-28 lifetime and has won two straight for Sir Michael Stoute, including the Sprint Cup (G1) at Haydock Sept. 5. Lael Stable’s ONE MASTER (GB), who won Longchamp’s Oct. 4 Prix de la Foret (G1) for trainer William Haggas, is 9-2, while ART POWER (IRE), GLEN SHIEL (GB), MAKE A CHALLENGE (IRE), OXTED (GB), and STARMAN (GB) are all 10-1 or less in a field that could swell to 19.
- January 21, 2021
The $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) is set to take place Saturday at Gulfstream Park, with a field of 12 entered to run the nine-furlong race.
- January 21, 2021
The $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday drew a field of 12, with trainers Shug McGaughey, Mike Maker, and Todd Pletcher each entering more than one horse.
- January 14, 2021
The 2021 California Cup races have been drawn for the January 16 card at Santa Anita Park. There are five stakes races for California-breds scheduled on a 10-race card, with the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic Stakes topping the action as Race 9.