Trainer Charlie Appleby has Old Persian as a Major Player in Breeders’ Cup Turf

The Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita lost three of its European team members on Monday – including —Magical, the Champion Stakes winner – but there is still likely to be a total of 33 runners from the continent’s stables in California on Friday and Saturday …

Charlie Appleby’s challenge at the meeting was reduced from two to one in desperate circumstances on Saturday when Line Of Duty, who took the Juvenile Turf last year and was due to contest the Mile on Saturday, suffered a fatal injury on the gallops. Appleby will now rely on Old Persian, a leading contender for the Turf, as he attempts to improve an already remarkable strike rate at the Breeders’ Cup, where he has had three winners and a second from six starters.

“It was six years ago that we were here with Outstrip, bless him,” Appleby said on Tuesday, looking back to his first Breeders’ Cup runner, and winner, in the 2013 Juvenile Turf. “It’s great to be here but it’s not a holiday, as much as it’s lovely to have the [mountainous] backdrop we see out there. We try to bring the right horses out, with the experience we’ve had through the years.

“I was always looking [for a juvenile to run] but didn’t want to put one on the wagon just to have a spin around. The great thing about a horse like him [Old Persian] is that shipping is second nature to him. He went to Dubai, he went to Canada [to win the Grade One Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine last time] and he’s shipped well here.

“This race was our target from Dubai [in March, where he won the Group One Sheema Classic]. I was confident he’d take all the beating [in Canada], he was the class horse in the race and he showed it. We wanted to keep the dream alive and we were always going to come straight here.

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No Winx in this Year’s Group 1 Cox Plate

Source: Sky Racing World

Star Japanese mare Lyx Gracieux won the middle-distance championship of their spring, the Takarazuka Kinen, and did it posting the sort of figure that would win many Winx-free Cox Plates, but the betting hasn’t missed her and it’s hard to see what the betting has missed about her with prices inside $4.00 in early markets.

Her positives are that she has run ratings that are in or around the likely winning zone for this Cox Plate in all bar one run in the last two years and she has been able to take that form on the road, running well twice in Hong Kong.

Prepare now for this year’s Breeder’s Cup – here’s how

The market still looks to be giving her all the credit she deserves for that, with several others capable of hitting similar levels, and one of those, Mystic Journey, looks a good each way bet in our eyes.

She was dragged back off a crawl last time, and did what she could from where she was, but this time she draws to land in her preferred stalking role and get every chance to show her best – which we know is very good.

Twelve months on from the blistering performance that skyrocketed her towards the top of the Australian racing tree she looks well set-up for a big peak again and that peak should have her right in the finish regardless of what the others bring.

Our bet of the day comes earlier in the day with the Gerald Ryan-trained Villami looking really well placed in the fourth on the card.

She was a touch flat when third at the same course and distance last time but was only beaten by a couple of high quality fillies in a deeper race than what she faces here.

From the wide draw she should go on with it this time and take control of the race and if she can return to her Sydney peak the rest of these will do well to keep up.

She’s tight in the betting but with a good jock, good map and the most talent she looks the sort of favourite that we can get stuck into.

THE MELBOURNE MAIL 

Bet Of The Day: Race 4 #3 Villami @ $2.25

Each Way Play: Race 9 #12 Mystic Journey @ $7.00 

Can Nature Strip Go the Distance in the $14M Everest Tonight?

Melbourne_Australian racingThe fate of Nature Strip’s Everest quest will be determined in the first few hundred meters of the race, according to his jockey Tim Clark.

The horse brings an X-factor to Saturday’s $14 million contest with opinion divided whether his raw speed can be harnessed to run out a strong 1200 metres.

Clark will be the man in the hot seat at Randwick and he says how the horse handles the first part of the race is crucial.

More news about the 14M Everest Stakes

“It’s important for him to get the first half of the race right,” Clark said.

“If he gets the first half right, I think that will go a long way to helping him run out the 6 f strongly.”

Complicating the task is Nature Strip’s outside barrier.

Again, opinion is divided whether he has the natural pace to negate the draw or will be made to work early by runners kicking up on his inside.

Clark prefers to see it as a positive.

“I would much prefer to draw out there than too close,” Clark said.

“It gives him an opportunity to do his own thing and get away from everything and I think he will enjoy a bit of galloping room out there early in the race.”

Nature Strip was $26 with TAB Fixed odds on Friday with Santa Ana Lane and Arcadia Queen joint $4.60 favourites in what is regarded as clearly the deepest Everest field in the race’s short history.

Despite the long odds, Clark has no doubt the Galaxy and Moir Stakes winner has the ability to run his rivals off their feet, provided he can get the headstrong gelding into an early rhythm.

“He’s always had a high profile, my horse,” Clark said.

“It’s going to be another level again but he’s a two-time Group One winner so he’s a pretty good sprinter in his own right.

“He’s just got to do things right early in the race and give himself the opportunity to run out the 6 f strongly.

“I think if the first part of the race goes to plan, the second half will take care of itself.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Runners Aiming for Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita

Aidan O'Brien's Arizona pointed at Santa Anita for Breeders' CupThe duo [of Arizona and Wichita] were beaten two lengths and two and three-quarter lengths respectively in the Group One heat, with Arizona notably closing the gap with the winner after trailing him by nine lengths in the National Stakes at the Curragh previously.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien was satisfied with their performances and could now look to Santa Anita on November 1 and 2 with the pair.

O’Brien said: “Arizona ran well, as we were worried about the ground for him. He’s a nice-moving horse.

“Arizona and Wichita are both possibles for the Breeders’ Cup, although Wichita might be a little bit more of a baby as he wasn’t out until later.”

The Ballydoyle handler also has Royal Lodge winner Royal Dornoch and Listed victor Fort Myers among his possible Santa Anita team.

He added: “Royal Dornoch is another possible for the Juvenile and Fort Myers who won in Dundalk is another that could go. We’ll see how they are in the next few weeks.”

$14M Everest this Friday Night ‘Down Under’

Source: Sky Racing World

The TAB Everest is the newest horse race in Australia and also the richest turf race in the world with a total of $14 million (AUD) in prize money. The 3rd running of The Everest will take place on Friday night, October 18 (US date/time), at Royal Randwick racecourse.

A weight-for-age sprint contested over 6 furlongs, The Everest is now the crown jewel of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival and the $14 million prize pool sees it surpass the iconic Melbourne Cup ($6.2 million) as the richest Australian horse race.

Get the latest in 2019 Breeders’ Cup News here

The Everest is unlike any other race contested down under and entry into The Everest field comes at a cost of $600,000 to connections. The concept is similar to the Pegasus World Cup as horse owners buy a slot and The Everest field has a capacity of 12 starters.

The Premier UK Horse Racing Days for Remainder of Year

Below are the best UK horse racing events for the remainder of this year:

Saturday 12th October: Dubai Future Champions Day (Newmarket)

Another event to pen on your horse racing events schedule is the Dubai Future Champions Day. It showcases emerging stars from the British horse racing world that are two years old.

It’s an important day because, for some horses and jockeys, reputations get forged. Previous champions include Frankel – now considered the most exceptional racehorse of all time!

Horse racing tips site RacingBetter reckons that the Godolphin-owned “Earthlight” will do well. The Darley Dewhurst Stakes has a £500,000 prize fund; this is the race where you should look out for Earthlight…

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Mario Gutierrez seeks first B.C. Derby win at Hastings

Mario Gutierrez may have two jewels of horse racing’s triple crown to his name as well as local fame from his time at Hastings Racecourse, but the noted jockey hasn’t yet won his adopted province’s biggest race: the B.C. Derby.

The 32-year-old Gutierrez aims to change that this weekend astride a Five Star General.

Saturday’s B.C. Derby and B.C. Oaks races will be the best day of racing at Hastings Racecourse in years, says horse owner Glen Todd. Todd has horses in four stakes races, but it’s the B.C. Derby that will be the most hotly contested, with a thriller of a field competing for the $250,000 purse.

“Anybody could win,” said Todd.

Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey and Hastings hero Gutierrez will be riding for Todd in the B.C. Derby. And while Gutierrez, now based in Santa Anita, Calif., is also a Preakness Stakes winner, he’s never won the B.C. Derby.

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68k Attend Hong Kong Racing at Sha Tin

Hong Kong horse racingPositive start to Hong Kong’s 2019/20 season

Hong Kong’s 2019/20 season opened today, Sunday, 1 September, with an enthusiastic crowd of 68,271 cheering on their sporting heroes in an atmosphere of positivity at Sha Tin racecourse.

Race goers roared loudest for 13-time champion jockey Douglas Whyte, who saddled his first winner as a trainer.

Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We know that we are in challenging times here in Hong Kong but I found it very encouraging to see the positive energy that was created at the racecourse today.

“The first-race atmosphere, the excited anticipation from the racegoers, was extremely good and the results, from a sporting point of view, were extremely pleasing: It was great to see Douglas Whyte have his first winner with only his second runner.”

The CEO was also delighted with the five successes on the day for Hong Kong’s home-grown riders, all of whom are products of the world renowned HKJC Apprentice Jockeys’ School.

“Our Hong Kong-grown talent has done extremely well today,” he said. “You can see the confidence in Vincent Ho, in how he rides, and it is encouraging for them to win five of the 10 races despite the significant increase in competition from our new arrivals, who also did well today without winning.”

Turnover was HK$1.28 billion, while the attendance was the fourth highest in the last 25 years.

“We are very pleased to see the total attendance at 68,000 – that is a positive outcome and exceeded the expectation I had,” Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges admitted.

“I was really surprised that we could hold up the attendance to this level, which is similar to the crowd we had here on the opening day in 2017. I hope this shows Hong Kong racing is strong and we hope we can continue with this positive momentum.

“The turnover was up by HK$35 million to HK$1.28 billion, and again, I have to admit that I expected it to be much lower today. Our commingling turnover has gone up from HK$158 million on this day last year to over HK$209 million. That shows the competitiveness of the overseas market.”

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges thanked the city’s racing fans for the “tremendous support and the resilience they have shown” in a challenging situation. “We have got the first race meeting off the ground with a positive start and that emphasises the strong support we have from our fans. I would also like to thank our staff for their dedication to make this happen” he said.

South Korea emerging as a horse racing hub

Horse racing fans know that lucrative horse races take place in Japan throughout the year. However, another Asian nation is fast emerging as a horse racing hub that is paying out large sums of money to trainers, owners, and jockeys. Horse race fans can visit Pennsylvania online sports betting for the latest events and wager on the horses they believe will win on a race day.

South Korea has become a horse racing hub despite it being a relatively new phenomenon in the country. The Korean Racing Authority amazingly estimates that 13 million South Korean residents attend horse races. That figure represents 25% of South Korea’s total population.

Why is horse racing’s popularity increasing?

Modern horse racing in South Korean made its debut in the 1920s. The horse racing featured the modern betting system in which horse racing around the world features. Although the sport has been present on the peninsula for nearly a century, it has only recently soared to new heights.

South Koreans, as a population, are renowned for supporting their countrymen who find success outside of the peninsula. More South Korean trainers, horses, and owners are participating in races around the globe.

The prestige of South Koreans participating in events outside the country continues to grow interest from those inside the nation. In addition, more South Korean races are attracting top competitors from other countries which is bringing out fans to watch at home racecourses.

Another reason horse racing’s popularity in South Korea is growing is thanks to music. K-Pop music, one of South Korea’s biggest exports, provides a concert-like atmosphere for big race events. The chance to see K-Pop music stars live brings out locals that wouldn’t normally watch horse racing. The KRA has also added theme park rides to the infield of racecourses to make it a family-friendly environment.

South Korea’s most popular horse races

South Korea has two premier horse races that attract the eyes of the nation. The races hold the same prestige as the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival in England or the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in the United States.

The Korea Cup and the Korea Sprint are the country’s most famous races. The races are both held at the country’s top racecourse, the LetsRun Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do. Both events take place in September with horses over three-years old competing for the illustrious trophies and prize money.

The Korea Cup has a large prize purse of nearly $900,000. The Korea Sprint offers a similar large prize purse with $626,000 up for grabs for the runners.

In 2018, nine different nations were represented during the Korea Autumn Racing Carnival. It is the annual carnival that hosts both the Korea Cup and the Korea Sprint. Horses and race teams from the USA, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Japan all participated at the carnival.

Race days in South Korea are fun-filled days that are more than just watching horse racing. While they may not have the pomp and circumstance of top races in England and the US, they offer locals something special. The Korean Cup and Korea Sprint also provide large prize purses to competitors.

Crystal Ocean Headlines G1 Juddmonte International on Wed. Morning

Breeders’ Cup Turf Prep on Tap

The world’s highest-rated horse, Crystal Ocean, will face eight rivals in the Aug. 21 Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Crystal Ocean will face high-class 3-year-olds King of ComedyCircus Maximus, and Japan on the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in a contest with a purse in excess of £1 million. As expected, Enable, who has Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks (G1) as her target, will not run in the 1 5/16-mile test.

More about G1 Juddmonte International on Wed. Morning