Breeders’ Cup 2021 – Should We Back or Lay the Favourites on Saturday?

Golden Pal: One of the big favourites at Del Mar. But are our editors with or against him?Golden Pal: One of the big favourites at Del Mar. But are our editors with or against him?

Which Favourites Should We Back at the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday

The Breeders’ Cup is finally upon us. For Saturday’s races, our editors have delved into the key races to help guide you as to those you should place your faith in, and those you’re best to avoid.

GOLDEN PAL (Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, Saturday, 7.40pm)

He may have taken the American sprinting scene by storm, but GOLDEN PAL has a lot to prove against the British and Irish opposition on Saturday. His victory in last year’s Juvenile Turf Sprint owed to his extraordinary speed out the gate, but as seen in the Nunthorpe in August, that can be difficult to maintain against a higher quality field. Wesley Ward talks this horse up regally and is very bullish about his chances. However, he is yet to win a Group 1 and has nearly four lengths to find on second favourite Emaraaty Ana.

Verdict: Lay

LIFE IS GOOD (Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Saturday, 8.19pm)

In four career starts, LIFE IS GOOD has found only Breeders’ Cup Sprint favourite, Jackie’s Warrior, too strong. That was by only a neck and while that’s his only venture into Group 1 company so far, it’s only a matter of time before he strikes. This doesn’t look a particularly deep renewal of this contest and Todd Pletcher’s three-year-old can lead them a merry dance from the front.

Verdict: Back

JACKIE’S WARRIOR (Breeders’ Cup Sprint, Saturday, 9.38pm)

JACKIE’S WARRIOR may have lost his unbeaten record at last year’s Breeders’ Cup, but that may have helped Steven Asmussen find his best trip. Since dropping below a mile, Jackie’s Warrior has won three of four starts. Indeed, the two races over the Sprint trip of six furlongs were won by an aggregate of 14 lengths. Second favourite Dr Schivel is on an excellent run, but his form is not of the same standard.

Verdict: Back

Is Space Blues a favourite worth backing in the Breeders' Cup Mile?

Is Space Blues a favourite worth backing in the Breeders’ Cup Mile?

SPACE BLUES (Breeders’ Cup Mile, Saturday, 10.20pm)

There is no doubting that SPACE BLUES is in cracking form. He is also a terrific traveller and an admirable servant for connections. However, his price for the Breeders’ Cup Mile is far too short given he steps up to a mile for the first time since his career was in its infancy. Back then, he was beaten in novice events over this trip and while a tighter circuit may help, there’s strong opposition at more tempting prices in Mother Earth and In Love.

Verdict: Lay

TARNAWA (Breeders’ Cup Turf, Saturday, 11.40pm)

It’s reasonable to be hesitant about TARNAWA’s draw in stall 11, but she overcame it last year and the field looks decidedly weaker this time around. Last year, Magical and Lord North were in opposition; there’s no horse of that calibre in this renewal. Her season has involved two near misses in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc, but if she runs her race here, she should find a way to win.

Verdict: Back

KNICKS GO (Breeders’ Cup Classic, Sunday, 12:40am)

KNICKS GO’s chance will rest on the break. If he gets out quickly, it may not matter that he’s stepping up to the Classic trip for the first time: he could be away and gone. His last three starts have been won by a total of 19 lengths, but before that, he finished fourth in two races in which he failed to secure an early lead. His win in the Dirt Mile a year ago demonstrated everything that makes Knicks Go tick, but with Essential Quality a very strong opponent, he may prove fallible.

Verdict: Lay