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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Europeans look to continue dominance with O'Brien strong

Intelligence Cross: heads Aidan O'Brien's two-strong raiding party
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9.25 Santa Anita
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf | Grade 1 | 2yo | 1m | ATR

The Juvenile Turf has been a fertile hunting ground for European horses, who have won six of the nine runnings, and for Aidan O'Brien in particular, who has won it three times in the past five years and has strong chances of a fourth victory with Intelligence Cross and Lancaster Bomber.

Successful last year with Hit It A Bomb, who returns in Saturday's Mile, O'Brien looks to Middle Park fourth Intelligence Cross as his chief hope and a kind draw in eight did the War Front colt's chances no harm. Having never raced beyond six furlongs, however, this mile trip must rank as a significant question mark.

Lancaster Bomber will need to overcome a tricky inside draw but is no slouch. He took a massive step forward when setting the fractions for stablemate Churchill in the Dewhurst before battling on to finish a surprise second at 66-1.

The European contingent is completed by a first Breeders' Cup runner for Simon Crisford, a regular at the meeting in his former guise of Godolphin racing manager.

Rodaini was undefeated in four before finishing ninth of ten at Newmarket last month, but that run can be ignored after a bad stumble over a furlong from home effectively ended his chances.

A strong home challenge includes Woodbine Grade 2 winner Good Samaritan and Oscar Performance, who has lived up to his name with two awesome performances, winning a Grade 3 by six lengths at the start of last month following a  maiden win by 10¼ lengths at Saratoga.

Moore v Dettori
Frankie Dettori takes the ride on Rodaini as regular partner Silvestre de Sousa is in Hong Kong. Never a bad substitute, Dettori is tied with Ryan Moore as the Juvenile Turf's leading rider. Both have three wins.


What they say

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Lancaster Bomber and Intelligence Cross
Lancaster Bomber ran very well in the Dewhurst when he was ridden forward on fast ground, and I think the fast ground here will help him too. He's got a good enough draw if he can get out. His form is strong enough, the only thing we're not sure about is if he's had a busy enough time [having made five starts this year]. If Intelligence Cross gets the mile he's a big shot. We always thought Lancaster Bomber wanted a mile and Intelligence Cross was happy enough over six, but he could get it because he's relaxed.

Mark Casse, trainer of Keep Quiet
He has to step up his game. If any horse needed a good draw to be competitive it was Keep Quiet, and he got it [in two]. I think he may like this turf course so we're hopeful.

Chad Brown, trainer of Favorable Outcome and Ticonderoga
I've a feeling Favorable Outcome will handle the surface, despite his lack of breeding, just by the way he moves. He's a classy horse and showed a lot in his two starts on dirt. Ticonderoga is a well-bred and good-looking horse. He's still a work in progress mentally, but he does have talent.

Tim Yakteen, trainer of Big Score
He's doing good. It’s going to take his best effort and a clean trip to get the job done.

Frankie Dettori, rider of Rodaini
It’s a race I’ve won three times so I’ve every confidence but this is a really tough assignment with the home team looking very strong. That said, Rodaini didn’t really get the chance to show what he’s capable of in his last outing so I’d be willing to look beyond that run and hope for a better performance.

Lancaster Bomber ran very well in the Dewhurst when he was ridden forward on fast ground, and I think the fast ground here will help him too
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