All eyes will be on the 31st running of the Breeders’ Cup this weekend and thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious event has attracted some of the best horses in the world.
With over $25 million of prize money on offer and with more than 130 countries set to tune into the action there is plenty to be excited about and European punters have even more reason to look forward to Saturday’s card.
The raiding party have a formidable line-up of challengers taking their chance at Santa Anita and the bookmakers will be hoping that they aren’t left battered and bruised by the market leaders at racing’s most extravagant fixture.
Punters will be aware that the meeting can rapidly turn into a slog unless you land some winners early on but this year’s favourites look set to dominate proceedings and the layers could be in for a tough night.
The three best bets on Saturday’s card
19:43 Breeders' Cup Filly And Mare Turf (Grade 1) (3yo+, 1m 2f, 11 runners)
For many punters DANK
) will represent the best bet of the day on Saturday and it isn’t hard to see why she is considered to be ‘banker’ material by many experts.
Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old returns to Santa Anita in a bid to become the first filly to defend her crown in the Grade One and there is every reason to believe she can reward her supporters with another emphatic success in the States.
Sent off a 6/4 favourite for last year’s contest, Dank proved she has the tactical speed to run well in these big international races and she is a very high-class filly on fast ground. Her victory twelve months ago came after a devastating victory in the Beverly D. Stakes and she has already shown that she has the beating of the best of the home guard.
Dank winning at the 2013 Breeders' Cup
Stoute’s star has been used sparingly since and although she wasn’t at her best in the Dubai Duty Free and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes this season, she still ran well enough to suggest she retains all of her ability.
The market leader has had this race as her aim all season and although the presence of Stephanie’s Kitten and Fiesolana mean that it won’t be easy Dank looks to have everything in her favour.
22:22 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (Grade 1) (3yo+, 1m 4f, 13 runners)
The Breeders’ Cup Turf looks set to be one of the highlights of the meeting and the race has attracted a number of top class operators.
The Europeans look to have a strong hold on the highlight and Flintshire and TELESCOPE
) will be looking to continue the raiding party’s fine record in the race.
Flintshire ran a huge race to finish second to Treve in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last month and the bookmakers believe that he looks the most likely winner on Saturday. However, Telescope looks a fantastic bet to upset the favourite and he can finally land an elusive Group One victory for his army of supporters.
Telescope powered to victory at Royal Ascot. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)
Sir Michael Stoute’s stable flagbearer has had a fantastic season and although he only managed to get his head in front once in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot, he has been running huge races in defeat.
Form behind Australia, Taghrooda and Noble Mission makes him a formidable opponent and connections have had this race in mind for some time. A hugely talented individual who has always been held in the highest regard, Telescope finally looks set to deliver on his massive potential.
The rattling firm ground and his partnership with Ryan Moore are both sure to suit and he looks the bet of the meeting.
23:40 Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade 1) (Turf) (3yo+, 1m, 15 runners)
The Breeders’ Cup Mile has been dominated by Wise Dan in recent years and the absence of the American superstar is a huge blow to the contest.
He would have been a strong favourite had he lined up but he might not have won anyway with Richard Hannon’s TORONADO
) in the field and the son of High Chaparral looks another fantastic bet for Europe.
The dual Group One-winning colt will be looking to get back to winning ways after his last two defeats, but the form of both contests have worked out extremely well and his one length second to Kingman at Goodwood makes for especially kind reading.
Kingman and Toronado battle it out at Goodwood. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
The highly regarded four-year-old kicked off his season with an easy success in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and he has been lightly raced ever since. That should ensure that there is plenty left in the tank for his trip to Santa Anita and he is rated the most likely winner on the figures.
The fast ground will suit the selection and although he has the likes of Mustajeeb and Karakontie to cope with, he looks by far the classiest horse in the race. He can complete a huge European treble for readers of the column on another sensational evening of racing at Santa Anita.
Saturday’s three best bets
The treble pays 33/1 with bet365
, who are also offering new customers £200 worth of free bets on the action.