English and Irish Derby winner Galileo had a solid mile work over the all-weather track at Southwell Race Course Wednesday morning in preparation for his dirt debut in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
After sitting in behind workmates Match and Ice Dancer, Galileo, under regular rider Mick Kinane, cruised by both horses and finished two lengths clear at the wire. He was timed in 1:41 for the mile.
"He was a little bit lazy in the straight, but we were happy," Kinane said. "He's in a good frame of mind, and everything he does suggests he should adapt to racing on the dirt. He doesn't back away from anything."
"We were very happy," trainer Aidan O'Brien said. "He didnt need this fitness-wise. And the last two furlongs were very quick. He finished very well. Giant's Causeway came here last year and did more or less the same thing. He has great tactical speed and is very quick into his stride and that will be a big help to him."
English bookmaker Coral Eurobet, obviously not enamored with the work, raised Galileo's odds from 3-1 to 7-2, leaving Fantastic Light the favorite at 11-4.
Galileo is scheduled to renew his rivalry with Fantastic Light in the Classic. Fantastic Light, who edged Galileo in the recent Irish Champion Stakes, also worked Wednesday morning over the stable's all-weather track, and went "very well," according to assistant trainer Tom Albertrani. "He's in great shape," Albertrani added.
Fantastic Light is scheduled to leave for Belmont Park on Oct. 9, along with Breeders' Cup Mile hopeful Noverre, who was upset by his own pacesetter in last weekend's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The remainder of the Godolphin horses will ship here on Oct. 20 or 21.
Albertrani said a decision on whether E Dubai will contest the Classic will be made in the next day or two. E Dubai is coming off a narrow defeat in the Super Derby after setting a blistering pace over a deep, muddy track.
O'Brien's other Classic hopeful, Black Minnaloushe, worked his mile a full second slower than Galileo, and had trouble getting past the leading Shoal Creek. O'Brien said Black Minnaloushe is a "lazy work horse" who doesn't like seeing daylight too soon, and added that Shoal Creek is not an easy horse for anyone to get by. A decision will be made whether to run the Irish 2000 Guineas and St. James's Palace Stakes winner in the Classic or Mile.