Breeders’ Cup Tips

2018 Breeders’ Cup Preview

The highlight of the American racing calendar is almost upon us, as Churchill Downs gears up to stage the 35th Breeders’ Cup. Over the two days, 14 Grade Ones will be up for grabs on both dirt and turf and the successful horses will win themselves a share of the massive, $30m Breeders’ Cup prize pot.

Juveniles take centre-stage on day one, in what Breeders’ Cup organisers are dubbing Future Stars Friday, with Soldier’s Call and Anthony Van Dyck heading out to Kentucky to try and beat their American counterparts.Classic Saturday features no less than nine Grade Ones and all eyes will be on John Gosden, as Roaring Lion and Enable look to claim victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Turf respectively.

Breeders’ Cup Betting Tips

Four Grade One winners will lock horns in this contest, with Bellafina’s Chandelier Stakes victory looking like the best piece of form in the race. Serengeti Empress romped to a 20 length victory in the Grade Two Pocahontas Stakes here at Churchill Downs and looks open to further progression, but it’s another course winner who gets my vote.

After securing a lengthy victory in a six furlong Listed race on this dirt track, RESTLESS RIDER entered Grade One company for the first time in the Spinaway Stakes. Kenneth McPeek’s filly ran well from a wide draw in stall eleven, but couldn’t match Sippican Harbour for pace in the closing stages of that seven furlong contest.

Stepping up to eight-and-a-half furlongs worked a treat for Brian Hernandez’s mount at Keeneland, as Restless Rider tackled Breeders’ Cup rival, Reflect in the Grade One Darley Alcibiades Stakes. This time, McPeek’s charge was handed a kind inside draw and she made the most of it, hitting the front rounding the turn and Hernandez could afford to ease his mount down in the final 100 yards and still win by a comfortable margin.

Restless Rider has landed a nice draw in stall four. Serengeti Empress, who’s drawn one from the rail, could give the selection a lovely toe into the race and Hernandez could find himself in the perfect position as the field turn to face the winning post.

Day Two – Saturday 3rd November

Many of the names in this Grade One will be familiar to British fans, with Freddie Head’s Polydream leading the betting ahead of the likes of Expert Eye, Gustav Klimt and One Master. None of the raiders at the head of the field, however, are proven over a mile and – while I’m finding it hard to get the image of I Can Fly powering home to almost snatch the QEII away from Roaring Lion out of my head – I fancy OSCAR PERFORMANCE will outshine his European adversaries.

Bryan Lynch’s charge is the highest-rated horse in the field and has claimed four Grade Ones on home soil. His most recent top-level success came at Woodbine in September, where he comfortably saw off a field containing 166-rated Lord Glitters to claim the $282k first prize.

At last year’s Breeders’ Cup, Oscar Performance finished well down the field in the mile-and-a-half Turf. Dropping down in trip has clearly done the trick for Lynch’s classy four-year-old and I fancy he will teach his European counterparts a lesson.

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships

The Breeders’ Cup was first held in 1984 as a one-day meeting full of lucrative races, hosted at the now defunct Hollywood Park Racecourse in California. The meeting has since been expanded to two days, and is usually held at a different racetrack each year, although from 2008 until 2016 it was mostly held at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Several top-class events are held over the Breeder’s Cup meeting, with the minimum prize fund for each race being $1 million.

Where is this year’s Breeders’ Cup?

This year’s Breeder’s Cup will take place at Churchill Downs for the first time since 2011. The event has also been held in recent years at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Keeneland, Santa Anita Park and Monmouth Park.

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs is a highly-renowned thoroughbred racetrack at which the Kentucky Derby is held each year, and has been since the race’s first running in 1875. It also hosts the Kentucky Oaks, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the Stephen Foster Handicap and the Clark Handicap.

It is one of the largest-capacity racecourses in the world, with room for around 170,000 eager punters.

Notable Breeders’ Cup Winners

The Breeders’ Club Classic is one of the most notable races held at the event, and has only been won once by the same horse twice – Tiznow in 2000 and 2001. Only two non-North American horses have ever won this race – Invasor (Argentina) in 2006, and Black Tie Affair (Ireland) in 1991.

The second-most prestigious race run during the two days is the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Famed Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien had an amazing run of winners in this event, winning with High Chaparral in 2002 and 2003, St Nicholas Abbey in 2011, Magician in 2013, Found in 2015 and Highland Reel in 2016.

What are the next racing events?

November is packed with festivals and we’ve got a whole host of free tips for you. You can also see all of our racing tips for today.