Breeders' Cup: Bookies View

  • Last Updated: November 1 2012, 11:54 GMT


Who will be celebrating - the bookies or the punters?

Can you see Fame And Glory being popular in the Marathon following his effort at Ascot on Champions Day? How do you think he'll cope with the Dirt?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: He will still be popular with the punters as a former Group 1 winner against a lot of horses they have never heard of but he isn't as good or consistent as he used to be and with a big doubt on his ability to act on dirt there are too many question marks over him to make him one of the European bankers.

Simon Clare, Coral: On paper he is much the best horse in the race and I am sure he will attract plenty of support from his fans willing to forgive some below par efforts this season, particularly as he wasn't beaten that far on Champions Day after travelling well into the straight. Coral will be looking to get as much of him in the book as possible as there must be serious doubts about Fame And Glory's suitability for the dirt both in terms of his breeding and whether he now has the desire to dig deep when the going gets tough. On the dirt over 1m 6f the going always get tough!

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: The efforts of his siblings do not support a switch to dirt and he has looked increasingly frustrating this year. The appearance of a visor supports the theory that he hasn't been giving his all. As one of only two Euro-runners in the race he will have his supporters but considering a lack of familiarity with US runners and questions over F&G most UK punters will likely swerve this one.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: I wasn't convinced that Fame And Glory's poor run at Ascot was a result of the testing ground; I fear the great horse is beginning to get a bit canny in his old age and this could well be his swansong. he's sure to be popular as one of few familiar names but I'd be surprised if he still had the ability and appetite to win on the dirt.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Don't think the drop back in trip will beat him but not convinced he will be suited by dirt and he looks sure to drift. Connections have little to lose and should be applauded for letting the entire take his chance but not for us.

We're represented by a couple of fillies in the Juvenile races on Friday, Ceiling Kitty and Sky Lantern, the latter is obviously favourite but would a European victory for either be a bad result?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: Yes a victory for Sky Lantern will no doubt be a terrible result as the favourite and ridden by the champion jockey elect Richard Hughes who is fast becoming the punters favourite after a tremendous year.

Simon Clare, Coral: On Breeders' Cup night most of the money we take is on the European horses so we are nearly always cheering for the Americans. Sky Lantern promises to be one of the best backed horses on Friday with champion jockey Richard Hughes in the saddle but Europe has never won the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Spring Venture looks a formidable opponent. Ceiling Kitty has a chance by virtue of the fact that the Juvenile Sprint is the worst Breeders' Cup race ever staged but Merit Man looks a very fast two-year-old indeed and should be odds-on. He can win in a canter.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: Sky Lantern has a very solid looking chance and will be a popular choice. If she reproduces her Moyglare form she will be tough to beat. On an alien surface, against a couple of US hotpots, Ceiling Kitty is unlikely to appeal to the same degree.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Sky Lantern would be costly but it'd be good to get one on the scoreboard before Saturday. I was at the Curragh when she took the Moyglare and that performance was excellent. She's drawn well and can be expected to go mighty close.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: I can see Sky Lantern proving very popular although there are mixed messages on breeding as to whether the step up to a mile will see further improvement. A Breeders' Cup Juvenile success would be the icing on the cake for the Hannon/Hughes combination but she is sure to be a bad result. The chances of Ceiling Kitty on dirt seem less obvious and I can't see her attracting support in the curtain-raiser.

Will you be cheering on The Fugue in the Filly & Mare Turf or is she one European hopeful you'd like to see turned over?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: I'm sure the company won't be cheering her on as she will be the worst result in the race but from a personal view it is always good to see our horses going over there and beating the yanks.

Simon Clare, Coral: On a personal level I will be cheering on The Fugue as I think she has an outstanding chance but she would be a bad result for Coral. This is a race that Europe will definitely win, and could even have a 1-2-3, with Nahrain, I'm A Dreamer and Ridasiyna all serious contenders. Nahrain and I'm A Dreamer have both looked terrific on the track this week and whilst they are a few pounds behind The Fugue and Ridasiyna on ratings, they have both tasted Group 1 success in the USA this season and that experience will stand them in good stead.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: Sure to be popular but the price looks to relate to her chance. She faces a strong challenger in Ridasiyna.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: The firm would like to get her chinned but she's been a terrific flag-bearer this season and I'll probably find myself cheering her on.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Has been on the go since the Guineas but looks the class act and connections have given her two months off since her narrow defeat in the Yorkshire Oaks. Her main market rival Ridasiyna would want plenty of rain and I think Nahrain, runner-up in the corresponding race last year, can make it a British 1-2.

Who is the filly you fear most in the Ladies Classic?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: My Miss Aurelia is a perfect 6/6 and will not give up her unbeaten record easily.

Simon Clare, Coral: Royal Delta will be well supported but this looks one of the best Ladies Classics in Breeders Cup history and she has her work cut out to repeat last year's success. My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather are both unbeaten while Questing has put up some terrific performances this season. This is truly a race to savour and for what it's worth I think Royal Delta is going to storm to a historic victory.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: It's a very strong looking renewal having plenty of strength in depth. Royal Delta winning again would not be a great result.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: It's a shame Royal Delta hasn't gone straight for the Classic proper as she'd be a likely second favourite there. She'll take some beating here.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: I think punters will get behind last year's impressive winner Royal Delta who is guaranteed to stay but I favour the unbeaten Awesome Feather although this is her acid test.


How solid a favourite is Dundonnell for the Juvenile Turf? Do you envisage much interest in the other European raiders for the race?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: Lines through Steeler give him the edge over Fantastic Moon and Artigiano, two of our other hopes, and with the two Aidan O'Brien horses looking beatable he looks the one to beat but whether 3/1 is value is open to question after his narrow defeat at Doncaster last time out.

Simon Clare, Coral: Dundonnell must have an excellent chance in a race with a strong European challenge. Roger Charlton has left no stone unturned in preparing him for the race and he looks certain to appreciate the pace and ground he will face on Saturday, but at the prices I would rather back George Vancouver and Artigiano. Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori have brilliant track records at the Breeders' Cup and always attract strong support with British punters, and I think they will both ride big races on horses that will love the fast ground.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: He's clearly shown the best form of the European horses and historically the US turf two-year-olds are largely failed dirt horses. Having said that I can see support for the solid Artigiano and Fantastic Moon, who would have been close to Artigiano last time but for meeting trouble.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Dundonnell is drawn well enough but it's a hot looking race. Lines of Battle will struggle from the 14 box in a race where the draw is going to be critical.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: I got the impression at both Lingfield and York that the colt needs fast ground to be seen at his best and the ground looked too loose at Doncaster last time. Well drawn and one of my personal fancies although getting a tad skinny now at 3s.

Can Starspangledbanner make an impact in the Turf Sprint? Any spike in interest in him following the draw?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: It will be a superb training performance by Aidan O'Brien if he can get this one to win a Breeders cup race after coming back from retirement but he hasn't shown enough in his four runs this year to suggest he can turn back time and return to his very best which would be good enough. No interest in him before or after the draw but will no doubt get some sentimental money on the night.

Simon Clare, Coral: On Wednesday morning Aidan O'Brien spoke enthusiastically about his chance and he represents great value for the Turf Sprint. He has been drawn in the best position for the unique Santa Anita downhill sprint course and on the fast ground that he craves I can see him winning this and winning well. The American team look an ordinary bunch proofed by the fact that old timer California Flag is second favourite. Starspangledbanner is my best bet of the week.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: On this season's efforts you can't hold out much hope but to be fair, he hasn't had his ideal conditions. Six furlongs on fast-ish ground should be perfect and on his old form he would pick these up and carry them, but there hasn't been much interest in him.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: It's unlikely. Coming from a placed effort on Friday night in Dundalk to take a Breeders' Cup race would be a fantastic training performance but he's hardly being backed off the boards at 12s.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: We have cut him into 10s but weak betting heat and not convinced he screamed Breeders' Cup winner when fourth at Dundalk over 5f last weekend.

What's your position on St Nicholas Abbey in the Turf? Can he repeat his heroics from last year?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: There is no doubt that St Nicholas Abbey on his best form is the one to beat in his attempt to follow up last years victory but he has had a fairly tough season and a slog in the mud when well beaten in the Arc wasn't the ideal preparation, but if he is over that he must still put up a big show.

Simon Clare, Coral: St Nicholas Abbey could well emulate High Chapparal and Conduit by winning back to back Breeders' Cup Turfs. Point Of Entry is clearly a good American turf horse but we have seen year in year out that our European horses are far superior and the main dangers to St Nicholas Abbey are Shareta, and a rare challenger from Japan, Trailblazer. I still favour St Nicholas Abbey as he has been there, seen it, got the T-shirt. It could be a stellar Breeders' Cup for Aidan O'Brien.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: He has a solid chance under his ideal conditions but in Point Of Entry, Shareta and Trailblazer he faces three rivals of a very similar level to him.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Very much so, although the Americans have got their best hope of disrupting our Turf dominance in the shape of Point Of Entry. It won't be the usual help-yourself buffet for the Europeans this weekend.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Why not? 12f and fast ground are his optimum conditions although that can also be said of Shareta who also didn't give her running in the Arc. She just gets the nod and another European 1-2?

Does the short gap between the QEII and BC give you hope Excelebration can be beaten in the Mile? And what about Moonlight Cloud's chances?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: The short gap gives us some hope of getting him beat but I would still think he will be very hard to beat if anywhere near top form as it seems to be if he's not racing against Frankel he wins. Freddie Head knows what it takes to win at the Breeders Cup after his wonder mare Goldikova was a multiple winner and he will have primed Moonlight Cloud to be spot on for the day after her narrow victory over Godolphin's Farhh last time out at Longchamp and she looks an each-way bet to nothing at 5/1.

Simon Clare, Coral: We will not be looking to get too stuck into Excelebration. He has raced in Frankel's shadow for the last two years but that doesn't disguise the fact that he is still one of the best milers we have seen for some time. The two week gap shouldn't be a problem but Moonlight Cloud could be. She has the perfect profile for the race not least because she is trained by a Breeders' Cup Mile legend in Freddie Head but I think she will have to settle for second behind the majestic Excelebration, crowning a great two days for Ballydoyle.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: He won so comfortably at Ascot, I cant see it being an issue. Having said that, I really like Moonlight Cloud's chances. A sharp mile such as this will be right up her street and the yard know exactly what it takes to win this race with a filly.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Excelebration deserves to win and ought to win. His Ascot demolition job was first rate and he could be the star performer this weekend. I wouldn't in any way be discouraged by Moonlight Cloud's draw. She'll be dropped out anyway and too much is made of the draw in these fields that don't fill up. She'll be a fast-finishing second to Excelebration.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Only had five starts this season and should be OK on that score and I just feel the filly must have soft ground to show her best. Wise Dan is a big danger and I know many think he is the banker of the meeting.

Who is your personal fancy in the Classic?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: Although Game On Dude will be hard to beat I like Mucho Macho Man to run a big race each way at around the 8/1 mark.

Simon Clare, Coral: It is by no means a vintage Breeders' Cup Classic and Game On Dude should prove too good and too consistent for an unspectacular bunch of opponents. Mucho Macho Man can run into a place and can win if Game On Dude has an off day but I expect Bob Baffert's colt to win and win well.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: It's difficult to knock Game On Dude, given his record round here but he's no value at 2/1. At the prices I like the look of Ron The Greek and To Honor And Serve.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: It's as uninspiring a renewal as I can recall for ages and Game On Dude should win but To Honor And Serve represents the best value at time of writing.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: I thought Game on Dude was ultra impressive last time and must be the one to beat. We want to stay on the right side of last year's runner-up.


Who is the European banker?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: No doubt Excelebration is the European banker and much of the night will depend on getting him beat.

Simon Clare, Coral: The European banker at the Breeders' Cup has to be Excelebration. I promised on twitter recently to breakdance in the Santa Anita press room if Wise Dan beats Excelebration and I'm so confident of victory that I haven't even practised my spins and moves.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: Excelebration has to be the best of the Euros.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Excelebration.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: As long as the ground remains fast Shareta to confirm Arc running with St Nicholas Abbey.

If different, who is your banker of the meeting?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: John Gosden is another European trainer who knows how to prepare one for this meeting and with our record in the turf races I think The Fugue at 11/4 is the best bet of the night in the Filly And Mare Turf.

Simon Clare, Coral: Amazombie in the Sprint looks outstanding value to repeat last year's win. He is a top class specialist six furlong sprinter who has the perfect running style for a big field, strong run race like the Breeders' Cup Sprint and that is more than can be said for some of his main rivals, particularly Coil and Capital Account.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: I can't see Groupie Doll being beaten in the Filly & Mare Sprint.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Merit Man should hose up in the Juvenile Sprint.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Wise Dan to beat Excelebration in the Mile.

Which one horse will your traders be cheering against come Saturday night?

Richard Horner, Sky Bet: We will be cheering against all the European raiders from a company point of view but getting Excelebration beat will be the biggest result.

Simon Clare, Coral: The Coral traders will be cheering against the main European hopefuls as these will be significantly overbet, even if we aren't taking a serious stance against them. The likes of Excelebration, The Fugue, Sky Lantern, St Nicholas Abbey and Fame And Glory will hold the key to the success or otherwise of the meeting for bookmakers, and victory for three or more will prove very painful indeed regardless of what happens in the other races.

Damian Snee/Mike Bellamy, William Hill: Excelebration will be in virtually every UK punters 'multi's' on the night. If we get him beaten it could be a good night.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Game On Dude will be expensive.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Excelebration was visually so impressive at Ascot in the QEII and it is so clear in the memory that I think he is the European horse that punters will get behind and he could be the pivotal horse.