Pick 6: Fugue has Point to prove
Our man trackside at Santa Anita, Graham Cunningham, brings us six more observations in his latest Pick 6 column.
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Shug has the BC bug as Point makes his entry
Now that's more like it. The weather took a marked turn for the better on Breeders' Cup Wednesday and the European media got their man (and their girl) as Big Johnny G held court about The Fugue's prospects of landing Saturday's $3m Turf.
The Dansili filly floated down the home straight under William Buick, but two chance meetings late in the morning suggest it would be unwise to award her "European banker" status just yet.
The first came as legendary American handler Shug McGaughey schooled his star turf performer Point of Entry in the paddock late in the morning.
The five-year-old endured traffic problems when runner-up to Little Mike as favourite last year but McGaughey feels he is as good as ever after a summer setback.
"When you are favourite with $3m on the line they won't let you out and he just came running too late last year," he said.
"The Fugue is the one to beat in the race, but I think Point of Entry's best makes him the pick of the American horses. This is what it's all about and I'm looking forward to what should be a great race."
Aidan hoping to weave his BC spell again as Magician finally reappears
The eagle eyed among you will have spotted that Coral PR director Simon Clare has been doubling up in the role of David Bailey this week with some splendid pictures which have headed the BC Pick6 blog.
Clarey Images have supplied another belter today with the above shot of The Fugue, but Simon also came across Aidan O'Brien on his travels and found him quietly confident of a bold effort from Magician in the Turf.
The Galileo colt looked a potential star when bolting up in the Irish Guineas and, like Point of Entry, is firmly back on track after a summer setback caused when a renegade bird disturbed him in Ballydoyle's equine spa.
O'Brien reported that Ryan Moore felt Magician had all the makings of a Derby colt back in the spring and hopes are high that he will be fully effective at a mile and a half.
The wait for fast ground has finally been rewarded and, the more the week progresses, the more it seems that the Turf could prove a lot less straightforward for The Fugue than many of her supporters suspected.
Pistol packs a punch - but what about the Self Righteous Brothers
Brewhouses with a vast array of craft beers from all over the world are the in thing in downtown Pasadena these days and last night's visit to the 50-50 Bar revealed a few very well named tipples.
Oude Tart certainly tickled the palate, as did Tiricerahops and Lips of Faith, while the Rogue Dead Guy was a strongarm brew carrying clear hints of menace.
However, two drafts in particular caught the eye of both this reporter and Channel 4's ever thirsty anchorman Nick Luck.
One of them was called Pistol Whip'd Pilsner, while the other rejoices in the name of Sublimely Self Righteous Ale.
My days of being pistol whip'd are temporarily over after my better half flew home to England on Tuesday.
And no way could anyone ever accuse myself or the Lord of being sublimely self righteous. Could they?
Dynamic Fleet Street duo fail to cast their spell at the 50-50
It was great to be part of the weekly pub quiz at the 50-50 and what could be better for a visiting bunch of journalists than a question on spelling?
Two of Fleet Street's finest marched to the platform full of confidence charged with giving the correct spelling of the word fluorescent only to return with their tails between their legs after opting for flourescent instead.
Doing the dirty on esteemed colleagues is no part of this blog's brief but justice demands that a clue or two as to the identity of the culprits should be given.
"With that in mind suffice to say that one of them is normally a Grauniad of reliability, while the other is a National treasure who was a little less than his normal Frisky self as jet lag took over later in the evening."
Big Mac meets Big Mac
John "Big Mac" McCririck has never missed a Breeders' Cup and was his usual chipper self while breakfasting at Clockers Corner.
And the former Channel 4 betting expert was more than happy to pose for pictures after meeting up with the canine Big Mac owned by HRTV reporter Zoe Cadman.
"He's perfectly house trained but a little bit smelly sometimes," said Cadman.
Happily, it seems similar comments also apply to the hound as well.
Thursday the day for War to break out (of quarantine)
Last but not least, a quick word about Thursday.
And Coolmore are bound to be the focus of attention.
I was reminded today that Declaration of War was initially sent to Todd Pletcher before joining the O'Brien team.
He faces a mighty task on dirt for the first time in a race in Saturday's Classic. All the same, his presence adds an extra layer of intrigue to an already compelling contest.