Breeders’ Cup Day 2 | History books await for Caravel

Royal Ascot Day 5, July Festival

It’s time for the highly-anticipated second night of the Breeders’ Cup after the fireworks of yesterday.

The British and Irish charge proved to be deadly yesterday, though my three selections for tonight’s action come from three different continents.


7:10 Santa Anita – Warm Heart @ 11/4 with William Hill – 1pt Win

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Warm Heart has been my long-term fancy, alongside many others on Racing X, for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and with the race just a few minutes away, there’s no chance I can ditch her now.

The challenge of Inspiral, who just shades favouritism, will be a difficult task, though both horses are running over a different distance to their usual trip.

John & Thady Gosden’s four-year-old tackles 10 furlongs for the first time in her career and a quick scan at her pedigree shows that Celestran, a Dansili half-brother to Inspiral, won over 10 furlongs and even tackled 12 furlongs during his career, so she might be okay with the step up in trip.

As for Warm Heart, she has a 100% record at 10 furlongs including a victory in the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury earlier this year, suggesting the step down in distance is nothing to worry about.

Furthermore, master trainer Aidan O’Brien won the race last year with Tuesday, a similar-type horse who had her best form over 12 furlongs before her Breeders’ Cup victory.

On form, her victories over Sea Silk Road, a future Group 1 Prix de Royallieu winner, Lumiere Rock, a future Group 1 Prix de l’Opera third, and Bluestocking, a subsequent Group 1 British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes runner-up, all read nicely.

Although State Occasion did initially pique my interest – and at 40/1, I wouldn’t put you off backing her – due to her progressive profile, Warm Heart is now hampered by the penalty of having my money onboard as she is my main hope.


8:30 Santa Anita – Songline @ 10/3 with William Hill – 2pt Win

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The Breeder’s Cup Mile doesn’t look like a race brimming with class, so the one who could be too good is Songline representing Japan.

The three-time Grade 1 winner is a proven quick ground horse and comes into tonight’s £1.5 million contest with the benefit of a nice break between the start of June and the start of October.

Toru Hayashi’s five-year-old got back into the swing of things in the Grade 2 Mainichi Okan in early October over nine furlongs, a race that saw her positioned on the outside for the majority of the contest before her interrupted charge towards the line.

Once a gap opened up, she stormed on but couldn’t get past Elton Barows who had a facile route on the nearside rail.

Although she has stall 10 today, she showed good gate speed during her victory from a wide draw in the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen and if she does the same today, Songline could negate her outside draw.


11:25 Santa Anita – Caravel @ 6/1 with William Hill – 2pt EW

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Two horses, Mizdirection and Stormy Liberal, have won back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprints since 2012 and Caravel is looking to do the same this year.

The six-year-old sprung a surprise in last year’s renewal to beat Emaraaty Ana, Creative Force, and Highfield Princess at odds of 43/1; that form is very hot and she had a tough stall in 10 to navigate that day.

Since then, the Mizzen Mast mare won three in a row until her defeat in the Grade 3 Troy Stakes on soft ground in August and afterwards, connections gave her a break until a good second in the Grade 2 Franklin Stakes 20 days ago.

That run should have the Brad Cox-trained contender spot on for today’s target and from stall three, she could leave this field in her dust.

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