BREEDERS’ CUP MILE
(1m, turf, 10.19pm)
THIS will be an absolute brawl – a full field of 14 around Del Mar is asking for trouble. The winner will need to be a tough horse, and a lucky one. For that reason, Ribchester won’t help himself because he is not tractable.
By contrast, O’Brien’s wonderful filly Roly Poly has poise and focus. The problem for her, however, is pace pressure, and her win last time in the Group 1 Sun Chariot at Newmarket came next to the heavily favoured rail.
There’s no doubt World Approval – trained by Tepin’s conditioner Mark Casse – is the fastest horse. The track was not slick when he won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in 1m 33.05 from Roly Poly’s stablemate Lancaster Bomber. Once again, however, he is an on-the-pace type, and backing the favourite in this race seems to underestimate the chance of trouble.
Turf racing in the US tends to feature finishing speed, and David O’Meara’s Suedois has that in spades. After waiting for a run, and having to be switched, in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, he picked up four lengths into a 23.53 final quarter on ground that I rated less than firm. He’s won both starts at a mile and can run a huge race with a clear shot.
Apart from Ribchester and Lancaster Bomber, the European challenge is bolstered by Home Of The Brave, Karar and Zelzal.