Juddmonte Farms, who already has Breeders’ Cup victories with Banks Hill (2001) and Intercontinental (2005), could have a strong presence in this year’s World Championships with several horses, including Midday, who is targeting the $2 million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita.
The 3-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream, trained by Henry Cecil, was beaten a head in the group I Oaks at Epsom in June before going on to be third in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh the following month.
She gained a deserved success at the highest level when taking the group I Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, beating fellow Breeders’ Cup hopeful Rainbow View by 2 1/4 lengths.
“Midday may go for the Filly & Mare Turf and we will make a final decision after she has run in the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on October 4.” revealed Juddmonte’s European racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe. “Her victory in the Nassau Stakes was especially sweet, particularly on that ground, but she’s acted on a faster surface earlier in the season and going to Santa Anita wouldn’t be a problem."
Grimthorpe also announced possible Breeders’ Cup plans for several other horses owned by Juddmonte’s Prince Khalid Abdullah.
Midday’s stable companion Father Time could be aimed at the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, having been fourth in the final British Classic of the season, the extended 14-furlong group I St Leger at Doncaster on Sept. 12. The 3-year-old Dansili colt had previously recorded a four-length verdict in the group II King Edward VII Stakes over 12 furlongs at Royal Ascot in June.
“Father Time could go for the Breeders’ Cup Marathon,” Grimthorpe said. “He stayed most of the St Leger trip, and I would be hopeful that he could get a mile and six furlongs around Santa Anita. I think that the St Leger was a very good, competitive race this year and he seems to have come back fine.”
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Spanish Moon, a 5-year-old by El Prado, has already proven himself as one of the world’s top middle distance performers, following a close second in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba (UAE-I) in March with a brace of victories in France, including a decisive success in the 12-furlong Prix Foy (Fr-II) at Longchamp on Sept. 13.
“Spanish Moon also has the Breeders’ Cup as an option,” Grimthorpe said. “We are thinking about the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr. I, Oct. 4) at the moment and there’s also the Pattison Canadian International (Can-I, Oct. 17), which could lead to the Breeders’ Cup Turf. There is also Hong Kong to think about.
“The idea is to have him on song for the top international races and the Breeders’ Cup obviously comes into the equation. I thought he ran really well in the Prix Foy considering that was his first appearance since the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (June 28) and he was a bit rusty; that run should bring him on a ton.”
Lightly-raced Zacinto, who is also trained by four-time Breeders’ Cup winner Stoute, may book his ticket for Santa Anita if he performs well in either the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Sept. 26 or the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 17. Both group I contests are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
Another son of Dansili, the 3-year-old was narrowly denied by subsequent Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Westphalia in the group II Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last September. He was second in group II company on his latest appearance in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood at the end of August.
“We haven’t decided whether Zacinto is going to Ascot or Newmarket at the moment,” Grimthorpe said. “They are both part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge but we would see how he goes in either race before deciding whether to let him run at Santa Anita. It’s doubtful at the moment that he will go for the Breeders’ Cup, but it’s certainly possible.”