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The European lowdown: our assessment of the Breeders' Cup raiders

Kameko: 2,000 Guineas winner runs for the final time in the Breeders' Cup Mile before being retired
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Over the next two days 31 European raiders will take on the best of the US at the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland. Ladbrokes make two and three winners the joint-favourites at 2-1, and here we evaluate where those winners are most likely to come from.


7.30 5½f Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (Grade 2)

British and Irish representatives: Mighty Gurkha, Lipizzaner, Ubettabelieveit

Friday is all about the juveniles and while this is one of the stronger European teams numerically, they are still outnumbered by Wesley Ward's powerful seven-strong string.

Nigel Tinkler's Flying Childers winner Ubettabelieveit possesses the strongest form of the raiding party, while Lipizzaner, the Aidan O'Brien-trained mount of Ryan Moore, was a $650,000 purchase from the Keeneland sales and is by American super sire Uncle Mo – himself a Breeders' Cup-winning juvenile, albeit on the dirt.

Hollie Doyle rides Mighty Gurkha for Lambourn trainer Archie Watson as she looks to cap a spectacular year with a winner on her first Breeders' Cup ride.

Verdict: Aidan O'Brien won this in 2017 with Declarationofpeace and perhaps saddles Europe's best chance, but this is one of the weaker races. Chance of a European winner: 4/10

8.10 1m Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade 1)

Battleground, Cadillac, New Mandate, Devilwala, The Lir Jet

Ralph Beckett is double-handed with Royal Lodge winner New Mandate, who has Frankie Dettori in the saddle, and Dewhurst fourth Devilwala. Aidan O'Brien's Battleground, whose dam Found was a winner here in the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2015, is the market leader, although he has been absent from the track since winning at Glorious Goodwood over three months ago.

Battleground: leading contender for Aidan O'Brien in the Juvenile Turf

Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet gives his trainer Michael Bell a first runner at the Breeders' Cup, but he has yet to tackle a trip longer than six furlongs, while Jessica Harrington has a fantastic chance of training her first Breeders' Cup winner with Cadillac.

Verdict: A much better outlook here in a race in which European trainers have won in six of the last ten years, Aidan O'Brien responsible for four of those. 8/10

9.30 1m Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1)

Mother Earth, Snowfall, Oodnadatta, Nazuna, Miss Amulet

Ken Condon's Miss Amulet has the best form after finishing a half-length runner-up to Alcohol Free in the Cheveley Park Stakes and her pedigree suggests she should get this trip.

Oodnadatta is another runner for Jessica Harrington, while Nazuna is Roger Varian's sole runner at the two-day event.

There are question marks over Mother Earth's ability to handle firm ground after she flopped on good in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and fellow Aidan O'Brien two-year-old Snowfall is a reserve.

Verdict: Miss Amulet has a serious chance, but they face a strong home contingent featuring Frankie Dettori aboard Wesley Ward's unbeaten Queen Mary and Prix Morny heroine Campanelle. 5/10


5.39 5½f Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1)

Glass Slippers, Equilateral

Glass Slippers, last season's Abbaye winner, plundered another Group 1 this term in the Flying Five at the Curragh. She has excellent form, but the quick turf conditions may prove too lively for her.

Equilateral has a chance on the pick of his form, and the assistance of Frankie Dettori, but is not guaranteed a run as first reserve. 

VerdictMarket principals Leinster, Got Stormy and Imprimis are course-and-distance winners in a race the home team have dominated. 4/10

6.57 1m1½f Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1)

Peaceful, Cayenne Pepper, Audarya, Terebellum

Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Peaceful should bounce back on quick ground after disappointing on heavy in the Sun Chariot last time. Cayenne Pepper is very consistent, though yet to strike at Group 1 level and she could have been drawn better (stall 14) for Jessica Harrington.

Terebellum should also enjoy the ground for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, while Prix Jean Romanet winner Audarya will give James Fanshawe his first experience of the Breeders' Cup.

Verdict: Multiple Grade 1 winner Rushing Fall is a deserved favourite, but this is a race the Europeans have won three times in the last four years. 7/10

8.15 1m Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade 1)

Kameko, Siskin, Safe Voyage, Circus Maximus, Lope Y Fernandez, Order Of Australia

2,000 Guineas winner Kameko is making his final appearance before being retired to stud and the Andrew Balding-trained three-year-old could enjoy a spectacular swansong with champion jockey Oisin Murphy once again in the saddle.

Ger Lyons' Siskin is also set to retire after this race and has a great chance if returning to the form which saw him stroll to victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. The John Quinn-trained Safe Voyage was third in the Prix de la Foret last time on a very different surface, while Aidan O'Brien fields dual Royal Ascot scorer Circus Maximus, Lope Y Fernandez and Order Of Australia.

Verdict: Some very solid hopes, none more so than Kameko who returned to winning ways in the Joel Stakes last time after three fourth-placed finishes following his 2,000 Guineas triumph. 7/10

9.33 1m4f Breeders' Cup Turf (Grade 1)

Magical, Tarnawa, Lord North, Mogul, Mehdaayih

The Turf has traditionally been a European stronghold and things are no different this year with a plethora of top-class raiders competing.

Aidan O'Brien has won this six times and runs seven-time Group 1-winning mare Magical, the mount of Ryan Moore, and the Pierre-Charles Boudot-ridden Mogul drawn widest in stall ten.

Aidan O'Brien's best chance of victory may come in the Breeders' Cup Turf where he runs Magical and Mogul

The Dermot Weld-trained Tarnawa reached new heights this year with a Group 1 Longchamp double in the Prix Vermeille and Prix de l'Opera. Prince of Wales's Stakes winner Lord North struggled on testing Ascot ground in the Champion Stakes but should be more suited by the Keeneland surface, while John Gosden's other runner Mehdaayih is the outsider of the five-strong European contingent.

Verdict: The top of the market is dominated by the European runners and it would be a major surprise if the winner was to come from elsewhere. 9/10

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The top of the market is dominated by the European runners and it would be a major surprise if the winner was to come from elsewhere
E.W. Terms