The sun is setting in Kentucky, it’s four minutes to post time for the Classic and Tiz The Law remains favourite at 5-2. Tom’s D’Etat is 7-2 alongside Improbable, and the latter’s stablemates Authentic and Maximum Security are 5-1 and 9-2 respectively.
But he’s had two months since the Kentucky Derby, where he didn’t seem to like the track either (his two defeats have both been at Churchill).
Tom’s D’etat is another big runner. He was only third behind Improbable in the Whitney last time, but stumbled out of the stalls and still went down by only two-and-a-half lengths.
I like Tiz The Law for this. I think he was a bit below form in the Derby, which came just a month after he won the Travers at Saratoga in fine style:
And here’s Authentic, another of the Baffert team, beating Tiz The Law – the current 5-2 favourite for the Classic – in the Kentucky Derby.
It’s a fascinating renewal this year, heavy with Bob Baffert runners but offering several fascinating alternatives too.
This is Baffert’s Improbable beating his stable companion Maximum Security in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita.
And so, with 13 races in the book after two days of memorable action at Keeneland, we come to the Classic. I love this race, as this piece on the Breeders’ Cup website explains.
Four out of four for British and Irish stables on the main card at the Breeders’ Cup – I’ll need to check, but I’m not sure that’s happened before.
When things go this well for the travellers, it feels easy, but it should never be under-estimated just how difficult it is to prepare a racehorse to run up to the kind of level required to win at the Breeders’ Cup from several thousand miles away.
So, take a bow, Kevin Ryan, James Fanshawe, Dermot Weld and Aidan O’Brien. And Fanshawe and O’Brien have also won a Champion Hurdle, which is as good a moment as any to flag up that my colleague Chris Cook was at Wincanton earlier today.
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF RESULT:
1 TARNAWA, 2. Magical, 3. Channel Maker.
Magical ran on to finish second with Channel Maker, but Tarnawa was just magnificent.
Colin Keane took over from Christophe Soumillon on Tarnawa when Soumi failed a Covid-test earlier in the week. He got it just right, only two behind him at the top of the stretch but she got there with something to spare.
here comes Tarnawa, trying to chase down Channel Maker, she’s got there, Tarnawa and Colin Keane win the Turf
Magical under a bit of a drive to keep her position, Channel Maker now two lengths clear turning in
One minute to place your bets for the Turf, I’m with Mogul while United is reckoned the best of the US contingent by the local backers.
It’s a stunning scene as the field for the Turf makes its way to the start in late-afternoon sunshine in Kentucky. Mogul and Magical in particular look to be in gleaming condition.
It’s four minutes to post time, a clean sweep for the Europeans in prospect in today’s four turf races – but which of our challengers will get it done?
Magical, according to the backers – she’s just displaced Tarnawa as favourite.
Here’s Mogul winning the Grand Prix de Paris, which seemed to set him up for the Arc, only to be denied a run by a bizarre set of circumstances involving contimated feed.
That means he’s fresh, though, and his last start was an impressive defeat of a horse who then ran second in the Arc.
The early betting can’t separate Tarnawa, the Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Opera winner, and Magical, already a seven-time Group One winner, at 3-1. Tarnawa, in fact, has just taken over as narrow favourite to give Dermot Weld a first Breeders’ Cup winner.
It’s the Turf up next, and a big chance for Europe to complete a clean sweep of today’s races on the grass.
It’s also a chance for man-of-the-moment Pierre-Charles Boudot to complete an epic treble, when he rides Mogul for Aidan O’Brien.
Ryan Moore will be doing his best to stop him on stable companion Magical, while Lord North and Tarnawa are huge players too. Mehdaayih and outsider Donjah, from Germany, complete the European challenge, while Channel Maker, an 18-1 chance, is the shortest-priced US-trained challenger.
Looking back at the replay, Swiss Skydiver stumbled slightly leaving the gate and she was never quite going as well as her big rival from that point on. She eventually finished seventh, by the way.
That was almost certainly the last start of Monomoy Girl’s career, and she goes off to the paddocks having been first past the post in 14 of her 15 starts. She was beaten a neck on her final start at two, and demoted to second after beating Midnight Bisou by a neck in a Grade One in September 2018. What. A. Record.
BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF RESULT:
1. MONOMOY GIRL, 2. Valiance, 3. Dunbar Road.
Swiss Skydiver never really threatened, but Monomoy Girl was irresistible anyway. Another great win for one of the best dirt females for many seasons.
Monomoy Girl in front in the stretch, she’s clear, the favourite wins!
Opening quarter 23.11, Monomoy Girl is goig well, Swiss Skydiver too against the rail
Lady Kate leads from Harvest Moon, Monomoy Girl is fifth, Swiss Skydiver just behind
The track coverage is calling this the “Marquee Match-Up” of the meeting, it’s seconds away ..
Off and running in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff!
The money is all for Monomoy Girl at the moment, she’s now odds-on at 4-5 with Swiss Skydiver showing at 5-2 on the tote board. She would be Ken McPeek’s first winner at the Breeders’ Cup – and a very popular one for a trainer whose 31 runners at the meeting prior to this year had produced 16 in-the-money finishes without a winner.
Swiss Skydiver took the Preakness last time, only the sixth filly to do so.
That was at the end of a three-year-old season which also included a win in the Kentucky Oaks. She subsequently missed the 2019 season due to injury, but has come back as good as ever this year with three straight wins, including the La Troienne Stakes at Churchill last time with today’s rivals Horologist and Lady Kate down the field.