After the drama of this year’s Ryder Cup, it’s now horse racing’s turn to provide the drama as “Europe V USA round 2” begins with day one of the Breeders Cup tonight.
With the scorching California sun baking the track for the last few weeks it is not surprising to see that the going is very firm.
The track will be a lot faster than most of the European horses have seen and some may struggle to familiarise themselves with the conditions.
With the wet summer, most won’t have ran on ground firmer than the firm side of good so it will certainly be interesting to see how and if they adapt.
That said there are still many horses travelling over the Atlantic with big chances and there will be none more so on the first day than The Fugue (11/4f).
John Gosden’s three-year-old has scored twice this season and was second to Was in The Oaks. With a grade 1 victory at Glorious Goodwood, few would argue that she is definitely the one to beat.
We have not seen the exciting filly since her defeat to Shareta in the Yorkshire Oaks due to ground being too soft. However, there will be no such problem here with the turf being described more like a road than a race track.
Peculiarly, The Fugue has never won when starting the race as favourite so it will be interesting to see if she can finally overturn that trend and give something for the European punters to cheer about.
The Fugue’s main competition comes from another European horse Ridasinya. The French 3-year-old has won 4 from 5 in her maiden season and landed the group 1 Prix De L’Opera Longines last out so has some impressive form to challenge The Fugue.
It has been announced this week that tonight’s Marathon Race will be the last for former Gold Cup winner Fame and Glory.
The six-year-old ran a solid run on Champions Day last month but failed to stay in the closing furlong to eventually finish fifth.
At 11/2 there is potentially some value there should Fame and Glory make this trip but it is the USA’s Atigun that heads the betting at 4/1.
The American 3-year-old however has failed to win since May but has been entered in some top class races and the firm ground today will certainly help.
The bet of the day however has to be 11/4 for Sky Lantern in the Juvenile Fillies at 9.28 (UK time).
The Richard Hannon trained 2-year-old has been very consistent in her maiden season with three wins and two seconds from her five starts.
Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes have been superb all season and if Sky Lantern shows any form from her superb group 1 win last out at Curragh, it will take an extra special performance to beat her.