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Classic night in California - and it's not a bad afternoon over here either

David Carr looks forward to a day of delights on both sides of the Atlantic

California Chrome: America's most popular horse is looking for revenge on his Breeders' Cup conqueror Arrogate
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Forget Tuesday. Tonight is the night we can stay up and watch the breathless live coverage from the USA with a sense of excitement rather than dread.

This is no reluctant choice between the lesser of two evils but rather a joyous celebration of the sport – had the slogan been 'Let's make American racing great again', no voter could complain they'd been short-changed at the ballot box this evening.

Few political initiatives are as successful as the Breeders' Cup, a simple concept devised when Ronald Reagan was in the White House and designed to get all the best horses to run against each other in an end-of-season spectacular.

Whether it be landslide victories for such as Cigar or Arazi or emotional triumphs by the likes of Goldikova or Zenyatta, this has been the stuff of headlines that a Trump or a Clinton can only dream of.

And while the race to be the 45th president has been rather less than a vintage one, the 33rd Breeders' Cup looks well up to scratch.

Just look at the Classic, which rounds the two-day meeting off at 12.35am – this could be the greatest post-midnight sporting drama on British television since Denis Taylor and his upside-down glasses snookered Steve Davis three decades ago.

A Racing Post rating of 130 or more is the sparingly awarded hallmark of a real top-notcher. Only four horses in the world have achieved it this year and three are in this field – the first clash of three 130-plussers since the 2003 Irish Champion Stakes.

Nor do you need to have a head for handicapping to be excited by a clash which is about much more than dry figures.

Think of the tale of California Chrome, the cheaply bred chestnut who won the Kentucky Derby two years ago and has kept winning since coming back from injury this season, so that he could become the highest-earning horse in racing history.

Think of the thrill Frosted created when landing the Met Mile by an astonishing 14 lengths – even trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said: "It was just a 'wow' race."

And think of the way that Arrogate took the Travers Stakes by nearly as far, prompting Steve Asmussen, who trained the third, to say: "We ran into a freak today."

Not that you need to stay up past midnight to see something special.

Prolific mare Tepin bids to atone for a shock defeat at Keeneland in the Mile at 11.40pm, opposed by the July Cup and Prix de la Foret winner Limato, who is Henry Candy's first runner in America.

And Strictly Come Dancing will still be on when Lady Eli bids to complete a remarkable return from life-threatening illness in the Filly & Mare Turf at 7.43pm.

Aidan O'Brien is the Len Goodman of 'Team GB & Ireland' at the Breeders' Cup, the undeniable expert who has been responsible for six of our ten winners since 2010.

He still has an outside chance of setting a new mark for Group or Grade 1 wins in a year and his best hope of adding to his tally of 21 –the record is 25 – would appear to come when Found bids to repeat her 2015 victory in the Turf at 10.22pm.

She sprang a surprise 12 months ago by beating Golden Horn, whose trainer John Gosden is out to break a record at a (slightly) less scenic and (decidedly) chillier Doncaster this afternoon.

He is seeking a sixth victory in the Betfred November Handicap to surpass Sam Hall, who won it five times in ten years between 1950 and 1960 when the race was run at now-defunct Manchester – which is set to slip even further into history with recent news that its Listed turnstiles are to be bulldozed, along with the Castle Irwell Student Village.

His Cape Cova was described as "very lethargic early on" by jockey Tom Queally when winning here last month and could well be sharpened up by first-time blinkers – that's certainly the view of the bookmakers who are taking no chances with him.

Of course, jumps fans would tell you that the biggest name in action when the Breeders' Cup and Down Royal clashed last autumn was Don Cossack, who was not extended to land the odds in the JNwine.com Champion Chase.

He went on to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup four months later, as did 2008 winner Kauto Star, whose trainer Paul Nicholls aims for a fifth success in Northern Ireland's biggest chase with Silviniaco Conti. 

Gigginstown pair Don Poli and Valseur Lido, meanwhile, bid to show there is life after Willie Mullins, both horses having been among the 60 the owners removed from the champion trainer's yard in September.

Britain's champion jumps trainer is even harder to beat in the supporting Titanic Belfast Chase, for which Nicholls sends Le Mercurey in search of an eighth victory in nine years in a race commemorating the UK's most tragic transatlantic venture of all.

Remember 1912, if any media commentator should describe defeat in a mere horse race as a 'disaster' this evening.

Had the slogan been 'Let's make American racing great again', no voter could complain they had been short-changed at the ballot box this evening
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