Despite poor visibility trackside due to fog, several European Breeders' Cup contenders managed their morning outings on both turf and dirt at Santa Anita Park Oct. 31.
Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) favorite The Fugue completed a steady canter for a circuit of the turf course under jockey William Buick, who will be aboard for the 1 1/4-mile race Nov. 2.
"She's very well and I'm happy with her," Buick said. "She's an athletic type, but she's intelligent too; she handled the track and the turns fine and changed her leads. That's all we asked of her."
Trainer John Gosden, on hand to observe the 3-year-old filly's preparations, is seeking his fifth Breeders' Cup win and first since upsetting the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) with Raven's Pass in 2008.
Jeremy Noseda's duo of Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) contender The Gold Cheongsam and Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) runner Fantastic Moon also stretched their legs with Fantastic Moon doing a slightly stronger canter than his stable companion. Joining those four on the turf was the Roger Charlton-trained Dundonnell, also pointing to the Juvenile Turf.
Dundonnell was again ridden by James Doyle, walking a circuit of the track with his pony before going around again in a canter.
Having left the track, that group of horses went through the tunnel and did a few laps of the walking ring before returning to the barn.
Mile (gr. IT) contender Moonlight Cloud was at the head of a group of Frech Breeders' Cup runners. She had a gentle walk of the main track before going a couple of circuits at a gentle canter.
Trainer Freddy Head, who flew to California the night of Oct. 30, was trackside to watch his Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Fr-I) winner. Afterward he was asked to compare Moonlight Cloud with his three-time Breeders' Cup Mile-winning mare Goldikova.
"You can't compare them, as there will only ever be one Goldikova, but Moonlight Cloud is very good in her own right," he remarked. "As she has gotten older, she maybe has lost a little bit of her speed, but at the same time her stamina has improved, so she is now effective over further ground."
Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) contender Shareta, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, did the strongest piece of work of the French horses. Having warmed up with a gentle jog and a canter for two circuits, the daughter of Sinndar was then asked to move up a gear and did a much stronger canter for almost three-quarters of a lap.
The remainder of the French, Mikel Dezangles' Filly & Mare Turf runner Ridasiyna and Juvenile Fillies Turf contender Flotilla stretched their legs with a gentle canter.
Roger Varian's Nahrain, here for the Filly & Mare Turf and runner-up to Perfect Shirl in last year's edition at Churchill Downs, saw the Santa Anita track for the first time and did nothing more than walk a circuit of the course.
Another Filly & Mare Turf contender, I'm A Dreamer, went a nice steady canter for a circuit in the hands of English jockey Laura Pike. The daughter of Noverre will be hoping she can make it two wins in a year in America having already won the Beverly D. (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Juvenile Fillies Turf runner Sky Lantern did a more solid canter than her Oct. 30 outing and went a circuit and a half of the track under the surveillance of Richard Hannon Jr.
Godolphin's Artigiano, a contender for the Juvenile Turf, once again followed the same pattern as the past couple of mornings by first going out on to the training track before coming back and having a stretch on the dirt.
Dermot Weld's Marathon (gr. II) runner Sense of Purpose was the first European to take to the track with jockey Pat Smullen on board. The 5-year-old mare by Galileo went a couple of circuits of the track before returning to the barn.
Ralph Beckett was on hand to supervise the morning work of his Juvenile Fillies Turf challenger Waterway Run, who did some gentle exercise on the dirt track.
"I'm happy enough with my filly, happier today than I was yesterday when I thought she might still be a little tired after the flight over, but she wasn't tired this morning," Beckett said. "Everything's going OK. She didn't draw that well (in post 10 of 14), but she's got Frankie (Dettori) on board, and I'll leave him to overcome that."
Rafael Bejarano was given the leg up on Tom Dascombe's Juvenile Sprint runner Ceiling Kitty, who once again took a while to get used to her new surroundings. She was put into the gate and gave the impression that she was not happy at all by planting herself firmly on the Santa Anita dirt. She then went for a circuit of the track, but never really settled.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien arrived at the barn Oct. 31 and spent some time with members of the international media discussing some of his Breeders' Cup hopefuls, but the horses from his Ballydoyle Stables remain in quarantine until they are able to make their first appearance on the track Nov. 1,