The Breeders Cup Expert Tips & Picks

The Breeders’ Cup presents punters with a unique challenge. The top horses from Europe are, in most cases, clashing with their American counterparts for the first time; some may be running on a surface they have yet to experience; and the venue changes each year, providing a new set of track characteristics to consider. But with the right guidance, you can find your way to a winner or two at the Breeders’ Cup 2021. Here our experts give their Breeders’ Cup tips for each of the 14 races and offer advice on what to look out for before having a bet at the big meeting.

Breeders’ Cup Classic

Three-year-olds who were among the fancied horses in the betting have taken four of the last seven Classics. One who fits the bill is ESSENTIAL QUALITY, who is the first of our Breeders’ Cup expert tips. His only defeat in eight starts came in the Kentucky Derby, when he met traffic in the race, and he has proven himself the best among a strong crop of three-year-olds in the USA.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

This has been dominated by Europe in recent years and Charlie Appleby has a leading contender in Albahr. But it could be the turn of the Americans to take the prize with ANNAPOLIS. He has shown bags of promise in his two wins so far, the most recent in the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont. The winner of that race has gone on to take the Juvenile Turf in three of the last five years.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf

Charlie Appleby has quickly established himself as a trainer to follow at the Breeders’ Cup, with three wins and two places from his seven runners. His WILD BEAUTY has a great chance of adding to the Newmarket trainer’s tally after overcoming a messy start to run out an impressive winner of a Grade 1 at Woodbine in September.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

A race run only three times, but Wesley Ward had won two of them and holds strong claims again with Twilight Gleaming and HER WORLD. The latter signalled a big future with a spectacular six-length win on her racecourse debut at Monmouth and gets the vote. 

Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

LIFE IS GOOD has had only four starts but looks a special horse in the making and would be considered a leading contender for the Classic if he turned up there. However, the Dirt Mile is the more likely option and it could be his for the taking. He is one of our strongest Breeders’ Cup tips.

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint

GAMINE crushed her rivals in this race last year and should win again if running anywhere near her best, so has to be included in our Breeders’ Cup 2021 picks.

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

EMARAATY ANA advertised his credentials with a career-best to win the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock and can follow up for Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan, who took the 2020 Turf Sprint with Glass Slippers.

Breeders’ Cup Sprint

It’s hard to go against the favourite JACKIE’S WARRIOR in this one.  He has shown himself to be the best dirt sprinter around, with impressive victories on his last three starts, including a Saratoga defeat of Breeders’ Cup Mile favourite Life Is Good.

Breeders’ Cup Mile

PALACE PIER is the highest-rated miler in Europe and the best Britain has produced for a number of years. He joins our list of Breeders’ Cup picks for Saturday and will be hard to beat if he turns up for the Mile. 

Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Letruska has the best overall form in this division for dirt-track female horses and heads the market, but she has had a harder season than some of her rivals. Her only defeat this year came against 2020 Kentucky Oaks winner SHEDARESTHEDEVIL, who looks better value in the betting and has a crucial track win at Del Mar on her CV. 

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

The talented ECHO ZULU is three wins from three starts, proven at the distance and looks a worthy favourite.

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

AUDARYA has yet to get on the scoresheet since landing last year’s Filly & Mare Turf but she has posted a decent level of form in her last two defeats in French Group 1s and has had this race as her main target all season.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

JACK CHRISTOPHER laid down his Breeders’ Cup claims with an impressive prep win in a Grade 1 win at Belmont in October and looks a big threat to likely favourite Corniche.

Breeders’ Cup Turf

Tarnawa has every chance of defending her crown here after finishing second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but fellow raider MISHRIFF gets the vote. Already a successful globetrotter, he looked better than ever when winning the Juddmonte international at York this year.

What you should consider before betting on the Breeders’ cup

Looking back at past races can be a useful tool when trying to work out your Breeders’ Cup picks.

Studying previous results for a race helps build a profile of the type of horse that has enjoyed the most success. For example, a check through the last ten runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Classic reveals that the typical winner is aged between three and five, from the top four in the betting and has had at least four runs that season, winning at least one of their last two.

Stats on winning favourites can also prove useful, in particular those from previous Breeders’ Cups at the host track. Del Mar has staged the Breeders’ Cup once before, when favourites won only one of that year’s 13 races. The remaining 12 contests produced winners at 66-1, 40-1, 20-1 and 18-1. Those figures indicate that Del Mar could well throw up a few shocks at the Breeders’ Cup 2021.

Another factor worth examining is trainer records in particular races. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is a good example. Aidan O’Brien has had more winners than any other trainer with four victories, but his powerful stable has run a large number of horses in the race. Delving a little deeper, Charlie Appleby jumps out as the one to follow. He may have had only two winners but they have come from just three runners in the race, giving him a 66 per cent strike-rate.