AIDEN O’BRIEN’s star mare MAGICAL is out of this weekend’s Breeders Cup, which returns to Santa Anita in California for the first time since 2016.
Described by the Ballydoyle handler as “the ultimate racehorse”, her career came to a sudden end when found to have a temperature following her final piece of work on Monday morning.
The winner of more than £3m in prize money, she was immediately retired and will be covered by No Nay Never in the spring.
There’s a staggering $28m in prize money on offer with the action kicking off today (Friday) with Future Stars Day, and the main action taking place on Saturday. Under a new partnership Sky Sports Racing will have exclusive UK broadcast rights to all races.
DAAHYEH booked her place in today’s (Friday) Juvenile Fillies Turf with a win in the Group 2 Rockfel last month. Drawn well in stall five, she should be suited by the sharp mile and worked nicely before her departure.
Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old battle-hardened globe-trotter OLD PERSIAN has an excellent record over 1m4f on flat conventional left-handed tracks, including top-level victories at Meydan and Woodbine.
The Breeders’ Cup turf has been the target since his routine victory in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer in September, and the favourite BRICKS AND MORTAR is going into unknown territory at this trip while ANTHONY VAN DYKE has something to prove. OLD PERSIAN gets his ideal conditions and is a standout bet at 9-2.
MOGUL heads a field of 12 contenders for the rescheduled Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle today (Friday)
The mile event was originally due to take place at Doncaster last Saturday – but a waterlogged track put paid to that meeting and will now become the first top-level prize to be contested on an all-weather surface in Britain. The race is scheduled as the 6.00, fifth of nine events on the floodlit card.
O’Brien also saddles INISFREE along with stablemates NEW WORLD TAPESTRY, ROYAL COUNTY DOWN and YEAR OF THE TIGER.
Only six were due to go to post at Doncaster, with the Andrew Balding-trained KAMEKO the sole runner not handled by the master of Ballydoyle. But connections are bullish.
David Redvers, racing manager to owners Qatar Racing, feels the switch to Newcastle should benefit the son of Kitten’s Joy.
He said: “Kameko did a sensational piece of work last week and Andrew was busting to run him, understandably, because he hasn’t had a horse like this for a while.
“We’ve got to go (to Newcastle) and now I hope conditions might suit us a little bit better.”
Ralph Beckett’s KINROSS is an intriguing potential addition to the final Group 1 of the British Flat season after making a hugely impressive debut at Newmarket at the start of the month.
Bold jumping front-runner TOP VILLE BEN has something to find with the main players in Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase but loves the track and is a great each way punt at 7’s with Carrigill’s.
Carrigill’s nap: (money back as a free bet if finishes outside top 4. Write Augur on your slip to qualify): DEFINITELY RED, Wetherby, Saturday, 3.40.
Augur’s best bet:
TOP VILLE BEN (e/w), Wetherby, Saturday, 3.40.