Breeders Cup 2022: Keeneland picks

Golden Trip’s 20/1 win in Monday’s Melbourne Cup at Flemington whetted the appetite in spectacular style for one of the biggest weeks on the racing calendar.

Capped off with this weekend’s Breeders Cup beginning on Friday at Keeneland, some of the biggest names in flat racing have assembled on the dirt track in Kentucky for 14 Group 1 races. We have already showcased one of the biggest clashes in the Bluegrass State as Golden Pal and Highfield Princess go head-to-head in the Turf Sprint on Saturday, but who else do we have our punter’s eye on?

Here are our picks to feature.

*all times GMT

Juvenile Turf Sprint, Friday, 19:00  

Friday’s action sees the 2yos take centre stage and first up in the Juvenile Turf, with The Platinum Queen is presented with her latest chance to dazzle on US debut.

Though untested outside of Europe, the 2yo won her first race away from British soil – and not just any race – with victory in the Prix de l’Abbeye at Longchamp, where the filly showed true staying power to hold off 30/1 long-shot White Lavender.

The favourite for the opening race of this weekend’s meet, it is her ability to hold on gamely that should suit at Keeneland.

Love Reigns and Irad Ortiz may provide the sternest competition with two wins from two in America, having also placed well in the Queen Mary in June after being well backed.

If, however, it comes down to a flat sprint – on the Turf no less – The Platinum Queen should be golden. A pretty decent 10/3price.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Friday, 21:00

As racing then switches to the Dirt, Friday’s penultimate contest sees Cave Rock looking to retain his unbeaten three-race record.

Winner on debut at Del Mar in August, the colt again won on the San Diego track a month later and earlier last month won at Santa Anita, beating stablemate National Treasure – who also goes here – by a mammoth 5½L.

This is obviously a step-up in class and punters may not get much value at around 2/3, but if Cave Rock goes out to evens before the race, he could double your money.

Breeders’ Cup Mile, Saturday, 19:00

The Turf Mile at Keeneland looks the best shot of a European winner and though Modern Games could very easily take the winning post, on the evidence of his late-season form, Kinross gets our vote.

With six races under the belt in 2022, after a rather sluggish start to the season, the 5yo gelding won for the first time in 13 months in the City of York Stakes and since then has gone on a four-race winning streak.

Looking for number five here on his US debut, in the last two outings Kinross was scintillating in the Prix de la Foret and then a fortnight ago on Qipco Champions Day. If he brings that from across the Atlantic with Frankie Dettori at a price of 10/3, Ralph Beckett could be a very happy man come Saturday evening.

Breeders’ Cup Turf, Saturday, 21:00

Our fourth and final pick centres on the big finale of the weekend, the Breeders’ Cup Turf over 1m4f and looking for some better value here, we have a pretty good feeling for War Like Goddess.

Third in last year’s Fillies and Mares Turf to Japanese raider Loves Only You and Chad B Brown’s My Sister Nat, Jose Lezcano took over the reins last time out at Belmont but this time around, Joel Rosario is back on board a horse he has won with on both occasions so far at Keeneland.

Wanting to bounce back from her own defeat to Virginia Joy at Saratoga back in September, in War Like Goddess’ 11 career entries, seven victories have come the mare’s way.

William Mott has enjoyed a good week with wins at Indiana Grand and Churchill Downs and the South Dakotan trainer will like his chances of a third and much more prestigious win. War Like Goddess could end the bettors’ weekend on a high with odds of 9/2 but which could yet shorten.

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