Breeders Cup Betting Tips – 3rd November 2018

Horses Racing on a Dirt Track

Late October/early November each year sees a real treat for racing fans as the annual Breeders’ Cup meeting takes place stateside. Held on a rotating roster of tracks, the Breeders’ Cup has no true home as such, but wherever it is staged, it is one meeting not to be missed.

Astronomical prize money, packed stands, the best of the best of the US performers locking horns with a squadron of talented overseas runners, all with a little added glitz, glamour and razzmatazz, make this one of the greatest racing shows of the season put on anywhere in the world.

The opening Friday of the meeting is known as Future Stars Day and - as you may expect - is devoted to the top juveniles in training. It is the Saturday which sees the main events taking place though, and where many of the true global superstars of the game strut their stuff.

The Europeans will always have their best chance of success in the turf contests, with the likes of Highland Reel and Ouija Board amongst those to have had their names up in lights over the years.

It all builds to a crescendo though in the final race; the Breeders’ Cup Classic itself which has been the scene of some unforgettable moments in seasons gone by; be it Ghostzapper winning on Halloween, or Raven’s Pass doing it for Dettori and Gosden; from A.P. Indy to Zenyatta, the list of winners here reads like a list of the all-time greats. With a whopping nine races on offer, be sure to tune in.

Just about all racing preferences are catered for across what is a stellar Saturday card in terms of the class of performer. All bar the opening sprint on this unbelievable day of racing are top tier Grade 1 affairs.

With trips ranging from 5½f all the way up to 1m4f, and contests run on both the turf and the dirt tracks, this meeting regularly attracts the best of the best from across the racing spectrum. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what we have in store this year.

4:00pm – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Listed), 7f

Selcourt to win at 7/2 with Coral

On the back of three easy wins since joining master trainer Bob Baffert, it’s not too hard to see why Marley’s Freedom has made her way to the head of the market for our opener. She is greatly feared here but for better or worse we will be taking her on with a filly who has mastered her in the past.

Back in March this year John Sadler’s, Selcourt gave Marley’s Freedom 2lbs and a 4½l beating at Santa Anita. That was admittedly before the latter joined her current yard and she no doubt looks an improved performer now. Going off level weights here though she will need to have improved a stone or more if she is to conquer Selcourt. Arriving here seeking a four timer, it’s the Sadler runner for us.

4:38pm – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1), 5 ½f

Vision Perfect each way at 25/1 with BetVictor

The first real European interest on the card comes in this race with both Karl Burke’s, Havana Grey, and Aidan O’Brien’s, Lost Treasure, set to go to post. Having failed to win any of the 10 editions of the race to date though, the stats would suggest the European raiders are up against it.

Disco Partner and Conquest Tsunami are two who ought to go well for the home team, but will likely need the ground to ride quick on the day. With the forecast suggesting that is far from certain at present, we will side with a more versatile sort at a much bigger price.

Jason Servis is enjoying an excellent year already and in Vision Perfect he may just have the horse to cause something of a shock here. This one certainly seems to be going in the right direction since joining the yard. Beaten 7¾l by Pure Sensation on his first start for Servis, he went down by just a neck to that same rival last time out, despite being 5lbs worse at the weights. If able to continue that sort of improvement, he may well be in the mix here at a huge price.

5:16pm – Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1), 1m

Giant Expectations each way at 40/1 with bet365

This hasn’t been the easiest race to call overall, with five of the past nine winners returning an SP of 14/1 or bigger, and only two winning favourites over this period. As much as we have been impressed with this year’s market leader Catalina Cruiser, that stat just makes us look elsewhere.

Seeking The Soul would appear to be the obvious alternative having won nicely at this track last time out, but at the prices we will take a chance on the horse who finished second to him that day, Giant Expectations.

That was a fine run considering it was the Peter Eurton runner’s first outing in over 200 days and we would expect him to take a step forward here. With a win over the current favourite for this year’s Classic on his CV, he’s a smart performer on his day and can hit the frame, again at a really big price.

6:04pm – Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1), 1m3f

Magic Wand each way at 8/1 with Ladbrokes

Traditionally a good race for the European’s – four wins in the past nine renewals – this year’s edition looks to represent the raiding party’s first big chance of success on the card, with three of the first four in the current betting market hailing from a British or Irish yard. Sistercharlie looks the best of the home team going for Chad Brown who has taken three of the past six editions of this, but for us the European form looks that bit stronger.

Eziyra shouldn’t be underestimated for Dermot Weld, but the two to concentrate on look to be Wild Illusion and Magic Wand. Magic Wand easily beat Wild Illusion over 1m4f earlier in the season, whilst Wild Illusion came out on top over 1m2f last time out.

With this coming at the intermediate trip of 1m3f, for us it looks a toss up on who will be better suited by the distance. With Magic Wand trading at much the bigger price of the duo though, the Aidan O’Brien filly looks to be the value each way call.

6:46pm – Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade 1), 6f

Promises Fulfilled to win at 11/2 with bet365

Imperial Call heads into this race seeking a fourth win on the spin and looks likely to go well. He couldn’t quite hang on in this race at Del Mar last year though, and with this track suiting finishers more, he looks worth taking on. Defending champion Roy H is the obvious alternative, but is six years old now and the past 10 winners have been five or younger.

Dale Roman’s Promises Fulfilled arrives on something of a hot-streak of his own having won each of his past three starts including one in Grade 1 company. Having also won over 7f, he should be staying on as well as anything in a race which looks to have the potential to fall apart late with plenty of pace on up front. Still only three years old, we may not have seen the best of him yet and he looks worth a punt.

7:36pm – Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade 1), 1m

Polydream to win at 11/4 with Ladbrokes

We have another strong race for the Europeans here with the likes of Expert Eye, Gustav Klimt, One Master and Happily all prominent in the betting. Of that quartet, preference would be for Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye, particularly should the ground remain on the quick side. That doesn’t seem to be likely though, and additionally his best career performances have come over 7f. We see this one going to France.

Freddy Head is no stranger to success in this race having sent out the brilliant Goldikova to win three consecutive renewals between 2008 and 2010, and he may well hold the key once again with Polydream.

Versatile regarding the ground, she won’t mind should the rain arrive and looks to possess the ideal mix of pace and stamina required for this. Hugely unlucky when enduring no sort of run in the Prix De La Foret last time out, she is fancied to gain compensation here.

8:16pm – Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade 1), 1m1f

Midnight Bisou to win at 11/2 with Coral

The front running duo of Vale Dori and Monomoy Girl make plenty of appeal on their recent efforts, but Churchill Downs can be a track which favours the closers, particularly should the rains arrive. There must also be a danger they will cut each other’s throats up front.

Midnight Bisou actually beat current favourite Monomoy Girl last time out – albeit in the steward’s room. The Steve Asmussen filly was only a neck adrift at the line though despite being hampered twice in the closing stages. In addition she came from mid pack that day and looks likely to be well placed to lay down the gauntlet to the pacesetters in the straight.

8:56pm – Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1), 1m4f

Enable to win at 4/7 with BetVictor

The day’s big turf contest has been a European benefit in the past decade, with the home team only recording two successes. The likes of Highland Reel and Found feature prominently on the roll of honour, whilst Talismanic landed the prize for Andre Fabre and France last season. We would be surprised were the winner’s trophy not be heading back to back Britain once again this year though.

Much the best horse in the field is the John Gosden wonder-filly, Enable. A winner of her past eight starts, including not one, but two, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes, she will take some stopping if anywhere near her brilliant best. She did only just cling on from Sea Of Class last time out at Longchamp, but considering that she was rated as only being 85% fit that day, that was still some performance. If anything, this field looks weaker, and we can’t oppose the mount of Frankie Dettori. The odd are short but this is just about the only banker of the day to our eyes.

9:44pm – Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1), 1m2f

Catholic Boy to win at 13/2 with bet365

And so to the big one. One of the most anticipated contests run anywhere in the world and not just because of the whopping £4million+ prize money on offer. Scene of some truly thrilling finishes over the years, the latest edition looks set to be another cracker.

We do have a dose of European interest this year, with John Gosden, Aidan O’Brien and Saeed bin Suroor all holding entries, but overall this is a race which has been farmed by the home team.

Gosden’s Roaring Lion is probably the most talented of the raiders, but will be facing dirt for the first time. O’Brien’s Mendelssohn does go on the surface but arrives on a three race losing streak and was beaten 74 lengths on his only previous start at this track. Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow does make some each way appeal but went berserk at the start here in the Kentucky Derby, which tempers enthusiasm.

Last year’s third, West Coast, ought to go well for Bob Baffert who has taken three of the past four renewals, but is held by both market leader Accelerate and Thunder Snow on recent form.

The one for us is the Jonathan Thomas runner, Catholic Boy. Twice a Grade 1 winner on turf, he looked even better when switched to dirt last time out when smashing Mendelssohn by four lengths with his head in his chest. This is undoubtedly one of the toughest races in the world to win, but this son of More Than Ready may well prove up to the job.