French-based Domedriver held off a stiff challenge from 4-5 favorite Rock of Gibraltar to post a three-quarter length victory in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I). The race was marred by the breakdown of Landseer, who broke a cannon bone shortly after the field entered the stretch.
Aidan O'Brien, Europe's leading trainer as caretaker of the horses from the Coolmore operation at Ballydoyle, has seven horses entered for the World Thoroughbred Championships. His standout for the day lies in the form of Rock of Gibraltar in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) -- the best "rock" to come out of Ireland since U2.
The Rock of Gibraltar is recognized the world over as a symbol of strength and stability. Guarding the meeting point of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the Rock of Gibraltar's reputation is one of an impregnable fortress. While its ownership has been in dispute for centuries, it has remained in British hands since the early 1700s.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has pre-entered 10 runners, including his Ballydoyle big three of Rock Of Gibraltar, High Chaparral and Hawk Wing, to the Oct. 26 World Thoroughbred Championships, ensuring strong representation for European runners at Arlington Park.
Longchamp's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) is considered the 12-furlong championship of Europe, but it has never produced a John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf winner.
There should be no doubting Rock of Gibraltar for the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) now. Any questions about the talents of the 'Rock' had to have been quickly dispelled after Sunday afternoon, when Landseer, a victim of Rock of Gibraltar once this year and once last year at two, won the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile Stakes (gr. IT).
Making his first United States start, Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Landseer may have landed a spot in the Breeders' Cup Oct. 26 by winning the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland Sunday
A pair of grade I contests highlight Keeneland's FallStars Weekend Sun., Oct. 6. The $600,000 Shadwell Keeneland Mile features the star of the American turf this year, Beat Hollow, who comes in off his fame win in the Arlington Million (gr. I).
Aidan O'Brien has entered 13 horses, including his two classic winners so far this season, Rock Of Gibraltar and Landseer, for Europe's premier sprint, the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket on July 11. He has also entered the horse considered by most to be an unlucky loser of the Sagitta 2000 Guineas, Hawk Wing.
The top three finishers from last months Prix de Fountainebleau (Fr-III) again filled the top three spots in Sunday's Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Poulains--French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I), with Landseer winning the French classic by a length over Medecis. Bowman came home third.
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