Breeders Cup 2012 Preview Day 2

Excelebration will lead Europe’s charge in tonight’s Breeders Cup, but will it be celebration or despair for the top miler.
Let’s face it, had this horse been racing in a different generation to Frankel we may well be talking about it in the same breath as the likes of Frankel and other great mile winners.
However, Excelebration’s unlucky streak came to an end last month at Ascot due to Frankel moving up in trip and should he repeat that form there will be little to oppose it.
At 13/8, many punters believe he is the bet of the weekend but he may not find things quite as easy as he did at Ascot.
He was fresh at Ascot for a start and even trainer Aiden O’Brien admits he will not know whether the soft Ascot race two weeks will affect him.
His biggest danger I believe will come from Moonlight Cloud who has been narrowly beaten by Excelebration in the past, but her connections insist she is very much the horse to beat.
However Excelebration oozes talent and if all things go well his classiness will be there for all to see.
Europe will kick off the day with the well fancied Dundonnell (3/1) in the first televised race of the evening.
The top class 2-year-old’s form has been justified after beating Steeler at York earlier on in the season before Tornado proved too much for him at Doncaster.
A horse that has gone very quietly about his business this season with scoring a grade 1 is Aiden O’Brien trained George Vancouver but he ran a very good race to be placed in the Dewhurst last out and could improve for it.
Noble Tune is America’s top hope after a very impressive season. It will be very interesting to see how he holds up against two of the most promising of two-year-olds.
Should you fancy both George Vancouver and Excelebration, you could be on for an Aiden O’Brien treble if you think St Nicholas Abbey can repeat last year’s heroics.
However I think it may prove one step too far for the Coronation Cup runner up, especially after that run on very heavy ground at the Arc last month.
USA’s point of entry has been exceptional this year and I can’t see anything but a US victory and at 4/1, I think there is money to be made.

    Breeders Cup Previews Day 1 2012


    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.