Europeans in luck with draw favouring majority of raiders
Europeans emerged from the draw ceremony for the 2017 Breeders' Cup at Del Mar not just unscathed but often bolstered after all but a handful of the raiders avoided tough draws at the tight west coast track.
Aidan O'Brien's strong squad endured comparatively mixed fortunes, however, with Roly Poly's wide berth of 12 for the Mile prompting Coral to push the front-runner out to 7-1 (from 5). Richard Fahey's Ribchester was trimmed to 100-30 (from 7-2) for the same race after landing stall ten.
In the Turf, O'Brien's defending champion Highland Reel fared better after landing gate three, a prime position for the frequent front-runner to spring from.
His chief rival and ante-post favourite Ulysses will take position in five, with Roger Charlton's Decorated Knight next door in four; Cliffs Of Moher completes a row of four Europeans in gate six. Andre Fabre's Talismanic is in one and O'Brien's Seventh Heaven will break from nine.
The draw for the concluding Classic saw ante-post second favourite Arrogate handed a tricky inside post, with chief rival Gun Runner in five. O'Brien will field two: Churchill (7), ridden by Moore, and War Decree (2), ridden by Seamie Heffernan.
Nunthorpe one-two Marsha and Lady Aurelia are set for an electric rematch in the Turf Sprint after landing gates six and three.
The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Marsha was cut to 9-2 (from 5) by Coral, who make Wesley Ward's Lady Aurelia their 11-10 favourite. O'Brien's Washington DC was drawn five and Charlie Hills' Cotai Glory, ridden by Breeders' Cup debutant Oisin Murphy, will break from gate eight.
Masar and Mendelssohn are the new 4-1 joint-favourites (from 6) with Coral for the Juvenile Turf after the draw ceremony, in which they were assigned posts six and one respectively.
Mendelssohn will be the mount of Ryan Moore after Dewhurst winner US Navy Flag was rerouted to a dirt showdown in the Juvenile, where he will break from the inside in stall one.
Back in the Juvenile Turf, Rajasinghe, a first Breeders' Cup runner for Richard Spencer, faces a tough task from the widest berth, gate 14, but Sands Of Mali (3), Beckford (5) and James Garfield (7) all fared well.
Charlie Appleby was also in luck with his Filly & Mare Turf contender Wuheida, who will spring from stall five. Queen's Trust, bidding to record back-to-back wins for Sir Michael Stoute and Frankie Dettori, is in ten, while Nezwaah landed 11 and Rhododendron was assigned the widest stall in 14.
In the Juvenile Fillies Turf Happily was cut to 7-2 (from 4) by Coral after landing stall two, while Chad C Brown's Rushing Fall was pushed out to 4 (from 7-2) after being assigned a wide berth in 11.
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