When you consider that European horses have won 12 (including High Chaparral's 2003 dead heat) of 22 runnings of the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), this year's contingent seems somewhat sketchy.
Aidan O'Brien has sprung a surprise in announcing his team for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, with Powerscourt, the Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner, missing his intended assignment in the John Deere Turf (gr. IT), and 3-year-old Oratorio, winner of two prestigious group I races this season in the Coral Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes, lining up for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Guy Reed, one of British racing's longest standing owner- breeders, celebrated his first group I winner after nearly 40 years' involvement, when La Cucarachas scored a narrow victory in the VC Bet Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) at six furlongs Thursday at York.
Punctilious is being considered for the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) after giving Godolphin its second group I victory in four days in the Aston Upthorpe Yorkshire Oaks at York, England Wednesday.
In a blanket finish that could have been won by any one of five horses in the final furlong, the Italian-trained Electrocutionist pulled off a thrilling victory in Tuesday's Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York to secure a first prize of £266,800 ($482,043).
For once, hype can take a back seat at the three-day meeting at York, England which starts Tuesday. With the first four horses in the betting trained in Ireland, Italy, Japan, and England, the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) is a race that really does live up to its name.
France's star filly Divine Proportions faces the stiffest test of her unbeaten career at Deauville on Sunday when she competes in the Prix Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (Fr-I), a race sponsored by her owners -- the Niarchos family.
Aidan O'Brien's exciting team of juveniles suffered a reversal for the second time in three days Friday when Amigoni finished out of the frame in the Sterling Insurance Richmond Stakes (Eng-II), which was won by Always Hopeful.
Mick Kinane landed his second group 1 win within the space of five days when he helped Proclamation, the 3-1 second favorite, gain a tactical edge over 2-1 market leader and defending champion Soviet Song to land the one-mile Sussex Stakes Wednesday at Goodwood.
The much-awaited clash between Motivator and Shamardal in Saturday's Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) is off, because of a career ending injury to the latter horse.
If the build up to Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) has revealed one thing, it is that there will be no excuses for any of the four American runners in the Nad al Sheba showpiece.
Michael Osborne, the man who helped organize the inaugural Dubai World Cup 10 years ago, has suggested that the Sheema Classic (UAE-I), a grass race on the card, should be made the highlight of the world's richest race meeting, instead of the World Cup (UAE-I) on dirt that has attracted American runners Roses In May, Congrats, Lundy's Liability, and Choctaw Nation at Nad Al Sheba racecourse Saturday.
Trainer Paulo Lobo says Pico Central, listed by British bookmakers as the 10-11 favorite for Saturday's $2-million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba, appears to have fully recovered from a hoof injury suffered earlier this year.
The connections of two U. S. turf specialists said Thursday they plan to embark on race campaigns this year that will include France's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp Oct. 2.
Last year's European champion Shamardal, who is due to make his first start for Godolphin Saturday's UAE Derby (UAE-II), is considered his new owner's best ever Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prospect, according to Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford.
Mixed vibes surround America's four runners in Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) although none of their connections had any concerns about Wednesday's post position draw.
A massive public gamble was landed Saturday at Britain's Epsom Downs when Kris Kin came late to secure a decisive victory in the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I). Owner Saeed Suhail had paid £90,000 to supplement Kris Kin for the race, even though he had been entered originally as a yearling at a cost of only £310 and subsequently scratched last autumn.
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