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2018 Breeders’ Cup tips - Through the card tips on Future Stars Friday

A view of the 2010 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs.

Our expert takes a look through the card on Future Stars Friday and provides readers with his tips for all the major races at Churchill Downs.

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”. We’ve taken a look through the major races on the card and provided our betting selections.

2018 Breeders’ Cup Day One Tips

7:21pm Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (Grade 1) 5½f 



Soldier’s Call has won four of his six starts this season, claiming impressive victories in the Windsor Castle Stakes, the Prix D’Arenberg and the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster. Watson’s colt was bumped right at the start of the Molecomb Stakes and recovered well to finish third at Goodwood, after-which Watson ambitiously pitched his juvenile in with the likes of Battaash in the Abbaye, where he was relegated to a narrow third in the closing stages.

A turning track may be new to Soldier’s Call and an inside draw wasn’t favourable when the Breeders’ Cup was staged here at Churchill Downs in ’10 and ’11. However, Soldier’s Call is a very fast starter, so he should be able to grab a prominent position from stall two and I highly doubt whether the extra half-furlong will cause any undue problems. Soldier’s Call has been brilliant consistent all season and will be much more comfortable back in his own age group.

Soldier's Call (right) streaks clear to win the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.

8:00pm Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1) 1m



Irad Ortiz and Chad Brown teamed up to win this race with Lady Eli four years ago and their filly, Newspaperofrecord had been backed into short-priced favouritism for Friday’s renewal. The daughter of Lope De Vega has destroyed decent fields by six lengths on both her career starts to date and she could be hard to beat, but only one favourite has managed to get the job done in the history of this race and I fancy LA PELOSA to cause a mini-upset.

Charlie Appleby’s filly has enjoyed a successful juvenile campaign, placing in the Albany and the Sweet Solera Stakes. Her only poor result came when finishing sixth at the July Meeting, but she was heavily bumped by the wayward Angel’s Hideaway that day and that clearly put her off her game.

The Godolphin flag-bearer was then sent to American for the first time, where she took down favourite My Gal Betty to win a maiden Grade One prize. Catch A Glimpse did the Natalma Stakes, Breeders’ Cup double in 2015. This year’s Natalma queen, La Pelosa has landed a nice draw and proved she could handle a mile on fast ground the last day. 10/1 looks a huge price!

8:40pm Tito's Handmade Vodka Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1) (Dirt) 1m½f



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.



9:22pm Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade 1) 1m



European sprinters have ruled the roost in this contest down the years, winning seven of the eleven editions, so it’s no surprise to see the betting dominated by some familiar names. While there a couple in here who hold appeal, ANTHONY VAN DYCK is by far the classiest horse in the field and stepping back up to a mile should help the favourite return to winning ways.

The only previous occasion Aiden O’Brien’s colt tackled eight furlongs, the favourite destroyed a field containing three subsequent winners by eight lengths. Anthony Van Dyck has had to settle for a spot in the places in two Group One appearances since, losing out to Quorto in a fierce battle for the National Stakes, before struggling for finishing pace as Too Darn Hot scorched to Dewhurst glory.

After being placed in the widest stall of all, the favourite's odds have drifted to an appealing mark. Pluck was drawn in stall 12 when he claimed this prize here at Churchill Downs in 2010 and Ryan Moore knows exactly how to ride this race, having guided four horses into the winners’ enclosure for Aidan O’Brien. 11/4 is too appealing to turn down.

10:05pm Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade 1) (Dirt) 1m½f



Code Of Honour stumbled upon leaving the stalls in the Champagne Stakes, but ate up the dirt to finish a three-length second behind Complexity. The two rivals meet again here at Churchill Downs and Code Of Honour has been heavily backed, but I was so impressed with GAME WINNER’S victory at Santa Anita last month, I think Bob Baffert’s favourite will be very hard to beat.

The son of Candy Ride – the sire responsible for spawning former stablemate Gun Runner – carried a Grade One victory in the Del Mar Futurity Stakes into the American Pharaoh Stakes, where Game Winner went off as the odds-on favourite. Joel Rosario’s mount moved up to eyeball the leader entering the final bend and Game Winner responded brilliantly when Rosario drew for the whip, comfortably pulling clear to extend his unbeaten record.

Favourites have an excellent record in this race, finishing outside the top two places once in the past decade. Complexity looks the big danger and he set a much faster time in the Champagne Stakes than Game Winner managed when winning at Santa Anita. Yet, I think Bob Baffert’s colt will rise to the challenge and further bolster his Classic credentials.


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2018 Breeders’ Cup tips - Through the card tips on Future Stars Friday

Our expert takes a look through the card on Future Stars Friday and provides readers with his tips for all the major races at Churchill Downs on Friday 2nd November.

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