Breeders' Cup 2019 runner profiles as Matt Brocklebank provides a guide of all 33 European entries

Arizona is backed to overcome a wide draw
Arizona is backed to overcome a wide draw

There are 33 European contenders in action at the Breeders' Cup this weekend and Matt Brocklebank takes a deep dive into every runner's chance of Santa Anita success.

There may be no Enable, Bataash, Waldgeist or Sotsass, while Magical's withdrawal at the start of the week was another blow, but Europe's challenge on the turf races at the 36th Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita this weekend remains more than respectable.

There are six winners from this summer's Royal Ascot meeting, a couple of Classic victors from this year and last, while the likes of Andrew Balding, James Tate, Karl Burke and Richard Hannon having representatives this time around adds another satisfying dimension to proceedings.

Our man in California Matt Brocklebank rates every European runner's chances of glory.


A’Ali - Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer: Simon Crisford
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Stall: 10
Sky Bet odds: 9/2
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Get the strong impression Frankie has turned down a couple of options from the Wes Ward yard to keep the ride on Simon Crisford’s charge, who has effectively been laid out for this since winning the Flying Childers in good style at Doncaster. It was fast ground that day on Town Moor and he’d already won twice in Group Two company on soft – in the Norfolk Stakes and Prix Robert Papin – and perfectly understandable for connections to try and make hay while the sun shines. Plenty to suggest he can make it a perfect 4-4 under Dettori, but well found in the market.

Band Practice - Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer: Archie Watson
Jockey: Jamie Spencer
Stall: 2
Sky Bet odds: 14/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟

Comes into this with a lower profile than last year's unlucky sixth, Soldier’s Call, for the same connections but she’s not too far off boasting a similar level of form. Made a good chunk of improvement to win a Listed race at Chantilly last month, her third win on the bounce, and she’s evidently versatile in terms of ground. Well held by Al Raya on debut but clearly progressed since then and Archie Watson – who excels with juveniles – has been making the right noises in the build-up. Jamie Spencer on board ahead of the owner’s retained rider Danny Tudhope on account of her low racing weight.

Dr Simpson - Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer: Tom Dascombe
Jockey: Richard Kingscote
Stall: 8
Sky Bet odds: 20/1
Euro Stars: 🌟

Useful daughter of Dandy Man whose early gate speed and ability to travel on the pace should stand her in good stead. Will surely face significant competition for the lead here, though, and overall body of work leaves her looking exposed and ultimately vulnerable to classier types in the field.

Dream Shot - Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer: James Tate
Jockey: Chris Hayes
Stall: 4
Sky Bet odds: 20/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Dream Ahead colt who strictly only has a length to find with A’Ali based on their Flying Childers form but looked in need of a sixth furlong when staying on for second behind Dr Simpson in Dundalk Group Three last time. Pretty exposed now after eight starts and hard to see him suddenly sprouting new wings and making his mark in this sort of company.

King Neptune - Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Stall: 11
Sky Bet odds: 16/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Only on the periphery of things since making a winning debut over five furlongs at Dundalk in April and while arguably better than ever when two and a half lengths fourth to Earthlight in the Group One Middle Park when last seen, he looks bound to be outpaced dropping back to five furlongs on fast ground. Same sire (War Front) as O'Brien's 2017 winner of what is now this event, Declarationofpeace.

Alligator Alley - Juvenile Turf Sprint

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
Jockey: Wayne Lordan
Stall: 6
Sky Bet odds: 10/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Kingman colt who was on a real upward curve prior to bombing out when favourite for the Flying Childers at Doncaster. An awkward start there put paid to his chances so could be interesting if putting a line through that run, as he’d beaten Dr Simpson comfortably in Listed company at York’s Ebor Festival. Needs to break on terms at least if he’s to have a say at the business end in a race of this nature.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf contender Daahyeh in action
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf contender Daahyeh in action


Arizona - Juvenile Turf

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Stall: 12
Sky Bet odds: 9/4
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

As things stand he’s already the clear form pick when it comes to Aidan O’Brien’s best Guineas hopes and it was very encouraging to see how much closer he got to the superstar juvenile Pinatubo when second in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. The official BHA handicappers note he ran to a mark of 117 that day which would have been enough to win the vast majority of previous editions of this race. Has already done it on the big stage, too, with victory in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot so no chance of stage fright and, barring a brilliant American colt heading for this event, he’s going to take the world of beating. Last time he ran on quick ground he won doing handstands and while stall 12 could cause issues, Moore got the job done on Hit It A Bomb from 13 a couple of years ago.

Fort Myers - Juvenile Turf

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Wayne Lordan
Stall: 13
Sky Bet odds: 12/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

War Front colt whose two wins from seven starts so far this year have both come at Dundalk (six and seven furlongs). Clearly appreciated having his sights lowered when scoring at Listed level last time and he moves back into much deeper waters here. The first crack at a mile promises to be no issue and ground conditions look ideal but neither factor quite enough to recommend him for all he's going to be attractively priced given his connections.

Action from Santa Anita Park
Action from Santa Anita Park


Albigna - Juvenile Fillies Turf

Trainer: Jessica Harrington
Jockey: Shane Foley
Stall: 9
Sky Bet odds: 7/2
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Looks on course to emerge as Europe’s top juvenile filly and legitimate excuses for her only defeat when reported to have been ‘heavily in season’ following the Moyglare. Two last-gasp wins over six furlongs prior to that show she has the requisite speed to lay up here and stamina for a mile also assured now following her Group One Marcel Boussac win on Arc weekend. Owners have a superb historical record at the Breeders’ Cup and she should give an excellent account if getting the breaks from off the pace having been given what could be a potentially tricky draw.

Daahyeh - Juvenile Fillies Turf

Trainer: Roger Varian
Jockey: William Buick
Stall: 5
Sky Bet odds: 7/2
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Strictly holds Albigna on their Moyglare running, though excuses have emerged for the latter subsequently. She’s barely put a foot wrong all year and appeared to improve a touch more to win the Group Two Rockfel Stakes in game fashion. Untried at a mile but stiff seven furlongs at Newmarket should translate perfectly well here and, given her attitude and rock-solid profile, she’s arguably the one they’ve got to beat under William Buick, who will look to stalk and pounce from a favourable starting stall.

Etoile - Juvenile Fillies Turf and Juvenile Fillies

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Stall: 14
Sky Bet odds: 16/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Relatively inexperienced compared to most of the Ballydoyle two-year-olds heading for this meeting, with just the two starts to date. Seemingly surprised a few with 12/1 debut win at Naas in May and not seen until only beating three home in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes at the end of September. Hard to weigh up but dam’s side of the pedigree suggests stamina will be her game into next season so the move up to a mile can’t be a bad thing. Opposable on balance, mind, given the draw.

Living In The Past - Juvenile Fillies Turf

Trainer: Karl Burke
Jockey: Danny Tudhope
Stall: 1
Sky Bet odds: 14/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟

Improved quite rapidly through her first three starts, culminating in Group Two victory in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival. Showed good early toe and stuck at it well to make all that day but first backward step when weakening fifth of 11 in the Cheveley Park last time. No guarantees on paper that a mile will be within her range but this kind of test around two turns on quick ground offers a good opportunity to test the notion. In terms of raw ability she’s only a couple of pounds behind the pick of these on that Lowther form and, with the going seemingly ideal, a big run would not be a shock if breaking sharply from the inside gate. Karl Burke’s horses are also having a particularly good end to the season in general which shouldn't be overlooked.

Shadn - Juvenile Fillies Turf

Trainer: Andrew Balding
Jockey: Jamie Spencer
Stall: 3
Sky Bet odds: 16/1
Euro Stars: 🌟

Tidy little strike-rate already of 3-6, including wins at Listed and Group Two level. Obvious potential stumbling block here is the fast ground as she does appear to have appreciated a good dig, although two-length third to Pierre Lapin in the Mill Reef came on good to firm. Not hard to see the move up to a mile eking out a bit more improvement and, although not one to appeal for top honours, could give her trainer an interesting first taste of Breeders’ Cup action.

Tango - Juvenile Fillies Turf

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Stall: 8
Sky Bet odds: 12/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Found life tough in top-class company since the spring time, when she pushed Albigna close on debut before winning a Navan maiden at short odds. Quite a promising run from the front in the Cheveley Park Stakes, though, and waltzed home when dropped to Listed level at the Curragh last time. Wouldn’t be the first O’Brien-trained juvenile filly to find big improvement for a first try at a mile and she’s bred for the job here being a daughter of No Nay Never and out of a Galileo mare. Draw not a nightmare and she could end up offering the best value in the race from a European perspective.

Unforgetable - Juvenile Fillies Turf

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
Jockey: Wayne Lordan
Stall: 6
Sky Bet odds: 25/1
Euro Stars: 🌟

Yet to really find her feet in stakes company since winning her maiden in decent fashion at Fairyhouse in July. Didn't look particularly happy at York on her only previous outing on fast ground either so hard to get overly excited about her credentials for a test like this. The TVG Morning Line price of 20/1 could be event bigger on the day.

Heartbreak for Zenyatta as Blame takes the glory in 2010
Heartbreak for Zenyatta as Blame takes the glory in 2010


Ambassadorial – Dirt Mile

Trainer: Jane Chapple-Hyam
Jockey: Jamie Spencer
Stall: 6
Sky Bet odds: 50/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Formerly with Mick Halford and bolted up on stable debut back in June but that came in a Chelmsford handicap from a mark of 95 and he's found life tougher since. Hard to know how he'll take this kind of test but he did run well on dirt out in South Korea on his penultimate start. Overall likely to struggle though could pick up a small piece of the pie as likely to be ridden to give him the best chance of getting home.

Santa Anita stages the Breeders' Cup for a record 10th year
Santa Anita stages the Breeders' Cup for a record 10th year


Billesdon Brook - Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: Richard Hannon
Jockey: Sean Levey
Stall: 4
Sky Bet odds: 12/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Surprise winner of the 1000 Guineas last spring and back in the big-time with victory over Newmarket's Rowley Mile again in the Sun Chariot Stakes on October 5. That came on the back of a Group Three win at Goodwood so she's clearly thriving and Richard Hannon moving her from one of his yards to another seems to have just brought back the spark. She's also settling much better in her races which bodes well for the first try at a mile and a quarter and she's also bred for a trip being a daughter of Champs Elysees. She wouldn't be a million miles off the level of form shown by last year's close second Wild Illusion and the ground will be fine too so clearly overlooked in terms of the market.

Castle Lady - Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: Henri-Alex Pantall
Jockey: Mickael Barzalona
Stall: 8
Sky Bet odds: 14/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟

French Guineas heroine, with an American pedigree, who has looked like a move up to 10 furlongs was required in her two starts since landing the Classic, getting caught a little out of her ground in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot before a staying-on second in a Keeneland Grade One when returning from a break recently. Entitled to strip fitter for that run and dangerous to rule out under a confident jockey who is likely to want to play her late and fast.

Fanny Logan - Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: John Gosden
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Stall: 12
Sky Bet odds: 14/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟

Clearly several stalls wider than ideal from a draw perspective and still has something to find in terms of bare form, though she's been a bit of a revelation since the hood went on. Didn't need to improve much to win fourth race on the bounce in weak-looking Newmarket Group Three but very hard to know where the ceiling of her ability is as John Gosden's fillies can often get on a real roll. Versatile ground-wise and no qualms over the trip. A lower draw and she'd have come into calculations.

Fleeting - Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Stall: 3
Sky Bet odds: 7/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟

Has all the guns to be competitive in a field of this nature, but they're not necessarily always locked and loaded. Constant eyecatcher all year really but no wins from eight 2019 outings and surely not many chances left and can't have too many excuses from what looks a perfect draw here.

Iridessa – Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
Jockey: Wayne Lordan
Stall: 1
Sky Bet odds: 6/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟

Daughter of a Derby winner and has now snared three Group Ones including the Matron Stakes on her penultimate start. Staying-on third behind Billesdon Brook in the Sun Chariot last time out and there must be a danger here that she just gets a little too far behind and they don't come back to her. Slightly surprising she's now second-favourite.

Just Wonderful - Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: William Buick
Stall: 11
Sky Bet odds: 33/1
Euro Stars: 🌟

Has always been considered a top prospect but looks to be punching above her weight a little. Encouragement can be taken from the fact one of her better efforts this season came on rattling fast ground at Belmont Park and she's looked in need of a return to this trip in two starts back over a mile since then. She'll need the breaks from stall 11 and there's seemingly too much to overcome.

Villa Marina – Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: Carlos Laffon-Parias
Jockey: Olivier Peslier
Stall: 9
Sky Bet odds: 10/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Enjoyed a good summer with back-to-back wins and, following a weak-finishing fourth over a mile and a half in the Prix Vermeille, relished the drop back to 10 furlongs when causing a turn-up in the Prix de l'Opera over Arc weekend. Held off the fast-finishing Fleeting that day which brings her into the equation but she's never been out of France and will also be out of her comfort zone on firm ground.

Midnight Bisou is a strong contender for the Distaff
Midnight Bisou is a strong contender for the Distaff


Circus Maximus – Mile

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Stall: 9
Sky Bet odds: 3/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thought to be a Derby prospect at the start of the year but a mile and a half proved beyond him and dropping right back to this trip has since proved fruitful. Won the St James’s Palace and the Prix du Moulin last time, having not been utterly disgraced over a mile and a quarter in the Juddmonte International. Mile division in Europe hardly red hot this year but he’s just about the pick of the bunch and he’s going to be particularly dangerous around here if able to pick up a handy position without using up too much gas from stall 9. Sweats up in the preliminaries but it doesn't seem to stop him and experience around Chester and Epsom counts for plenty at an event like this.

Hey Gaman - Mile

Trainer: James Tate
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Stall: 13
Sky Bet odds: 20/1
Euro Stars: 🌟

Looks to have a rotten draw on the face of it as Dettori will surely have to use up too much juice if he's wanting to adopt the usual prominent position. Fast ground and seven furlongs seems to suit so he shouldn't have any issues with a mile around this sharp circuit given the conditions but will need to pull something out of the fire and looks a shade below the very best of these anyway.

Lord Glitters - Mile

Trainer: David O’Meara
Jockey: Jamie Spencer
Stall: 12
Sky Bet odds: 14/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟

Super servant for team O’Meara over the past few years and still performing at the peak of his powers this term. Loves Ascot and pounced late to land the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal meeting in the summer. The ground was quite soft on that occasion but he’s perfectly adaptable in terms of conditions and would relish a strong gallop to aim at having been posted wider than ideal. Expect a late bid down the wide outside under Spencer.

Space Traveller - Mile

Trainer: Richard Fahey
Jockey: Danny Tudhope
Stall: 3
Sky Bet odds: 10/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Burst a few bubbles when winning the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and while that didn’t look the most competitive edition of all time, he’s since proved it to be no fluke with a close-run third at York and a taking success in the Group Two Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown over Irish Champions Weekend. A more speed-orientated miler than some of his travelling companions and that should theoretically work out in his favour on a course like this. No forlorn hope by any means and could get a piece of the action if able to sit mid-pack or closer through the first half mile.

Suedois - Mile

Trainer: David O’Meara
Jockey: Javier Castelano
Stall: 1
Sky Bet odds: 25/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Good on his travels in the past, winning the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in 2017 just before a good fourth in this race at Del Mar. Has developed a bit of a ‘nearly horse’ tag but Group Three win at Goodwood in August this year showed he’s still got the minerals when things drop his way and he caught the eye with a decent-looking finishing effort in the same Keeneland Grade One again last time. Jockey one of the best in the business in America with tons of west coast experience. Looks over-priced.

Trais Fluors – Mile

Trainer: Ken Condon
Jockey: Billy Lee
Stall: 4
Sky Bet odds: 25/1
Euro Stars: 🌟

Interesting horse going forward but could be asking a bit much for him to strike on his first outing for a new yard in a race quite as warm as this. Has won a Group Three and a couple of Listed race in France for Andre Fabre although genuine fast ground form is in short supply. Long odds reflect his chance.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frankie Dettori following Raven's Pass's Classic win
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frankie Dettori following Raven's Pass's Classic win


Alounak – Breeders’ Cup Turf

Trainer: Waldemar Hickst
Jockey: Clement Lecoeuvre
Stall: 7
Sky Bet odds: 20/1
Euro Stars: 🌟

Rare German runner at this meeting and precious little in his form lines to suggest he should be seriously competitive. About as good as ever when narrowly (albeit quite comfortably) beaten by Desert Encounter in the Canadian International recently but a repeat shouldn't be good enough.

Mount Everest - Breeders’ Cup Turf

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Wayne Lordan
Stall: 4
Sky Bet odds: 14/1
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟

Set to be kept in training on the back of a light and injury interrupted campaign this time around. Juvenile form from last year stands up to pretty close scrutiny and good to see him back with a win at Leopardstown last time but nothing flashy about that in Listed company and he could well primarily be here to help ensure a searching gallop which will obviously help esteemed stablemate Anthony Van Dyck as well as potentially upset the big home hope.

Anthony Van Dyck – Breeders’ Cup Turf

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Stall: 5
Sky Bet odds: 15/8
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Derby-winning son of Galileo who gained plenty of experience at two but was out of luck with a wide draw and a rough trip when down the field as favourite in last year’s Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs. This year couldn’t have started better and while defeat in the Irish Derby was followed by a King George flop in first-time cheekpieces, the wet conditions looked a legitimate reason for that and he was back to form when third to Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes. Trained for this since, will love the quick ground as well as the move back to a mile and a half so, in essence, there is a great deal to like about his chances of bringing down Bricks And Mortar.

Old Persian – Breeders’ Cup Turf

Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Jockey: William Buick
Stall: 10
Sky Bet odds: 7/2
Euro Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Charlie Appleby is clearly very mindful of the type of horses he brings to this meeting and his strike-rate so far is impressive. He’s struck with Wuheida and Line Of Duty the past two years and is running only this horse so his presence alone is enough to make him of interest. Won the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot last summer and, following a productive time in Meydan at the start of the year, floundered in the Coronation Cup. Seems best on his travels and on conventional tracks, though, and got back in the groove with ready success in a relatively soft Grade One at Woodbine recently. Strong stayer who will need them to go a good gallop to get involved when it matters in this deeper contest. Looks bound to be in there pitching.

Magician won the Turf for O'Brien in 2013
Magician won the Turf for O'Brien in 2013


Breakdown of European trainers with runners (33)

Aidan O’Brien – 10
Joseph O’Brien – 4
David O’Meara – 2
James Tate – 2
Simon Crisford – 1
Ken Condon – 1
Jessica Harrington – 1
Richard Hannon – 1
John Gosden – 1
Tom Dascombe - 1
Richard Fahey - 1
Roger Varian - 1
Karl Burke - 1
Charlie Appleby - 1
Jane Chapple-Hyam - 1
Archie Watson - 1
Carlos Laffon-Parias (FRA) – 1
Henri-Alex Pantall (FRA) - 1
Waldemar Hickst (GER) – 1


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Most Read Racing

Check out the latest tips preview1

Thursday's racing preview

Firmanent is Keith Hamer's best bet for Thursday and he has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day2

Daily Nap: Go with the Heart

David Ord heads to Taunton for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Thursday and he's siding with a Philip Hobbs-trained chaser.

Racegoers watch the action from Sandown on Saturday3

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Racing Tips

Check out the latest tips preview

Thursday's racing preview

Firmanent is Keith Hamer's best bet for Thursday and he has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Go with the Heart

David Ord heads to Taunton for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Thursday and he's siding with a Philip Hobbs-trained chaser.

Check out the latest daily racing preview

Wednesday's racing preview

Nick Robson previews Wednesday's racing and he reckons the in-form Richard Hughes can strike again with Mazikeen at Chelmsford.