Breeders’Cup Turf & Breeders’Cup Classic Future Book

The final race of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on Saturday will be a season-defining contest, as the unearthly Flightline puts his all-timer status on the line in the G1 Classic against the star quality of Life Is Good, Epicenter and Taiba. Before then, the Europeans will fancy their chances of another win in the G1 Turf with Rebel’s Romance, Nations Pride and Broome going up against local heroine War Like Goddess. Here our Breeders’ Cup Turf & Breeders’ Cup Classic Future Book Preview!

Breeders’ Cup Classic

G1, $6,000,000, 1m 2f, 3yo+, Saturday 5.40pm ET

Will he? Won’t he? He will, won’t he.

The Classic, and by extension the whole of the Breeders’ Cup, revolves around the exceptional, freakish, unbeaten, possibly unbeatable Flightline (3-5), the only horse capable of being bigger than the biggest race of the year in the US.

What more is there to say about Flightline? Everyone knows the numbers, everyone knows the story. Five runs, five wins including three G1s, topped by the greatest, most thorough demolition of a top-line contest since the legendary Secretariat when he ran beautifully wild in the ten-furlong Pacific Classic at Del Mar, cruising home under a hand-ride in a very fast time by 19 and a quarter lengths.

Watch that race, and there’s nothing more to say. If Flightline runs like that again, he wins. No question, no quibble, no doubt. If he runs 10lb below that, he probably still wins. It’s not even about tactics, such is Flightline’s speed and strength. But it’s a horse race, and strange things can happen, and we have all seen great champions beaten when we thought it impossible.

So what about the opposition? It’s led by two punchy three-year-olds, chief among them the pro tem champion Epicenter (5-1), runner-up in the G1 Kentucky Derby and G1 Preakness before winning the G2 Jim Dandy and the hugely prestigious ten-furlong G1 Travers at Saratoga in brilliant fashion.

He strolled the Travers, drawing off to win by five and a quarter lengths with Derby winner Rich Strike (20-1) fourth, another half-length further back, and he’s probably a better horse than fellow sophomore Taiba (8-1), who was making just his fifth start when dominating the mile-eighth G1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing by an easy three lengths. Taiba is unproven at a mile and a quarter but it’s unlikely to be a major issue, and he’s entitled to find more off such a light schedule.

The other older horses bring big question marks to the table. The hugely talented Life Is Good (6-1) has more natural speed than anything in the race but there’s a major doubt over whether he can carry it for ten furlongs, having palpably failed to do so in the G1 Dubai World Cup.

But he did win the mile-eighth G1 Whitney at Saratoga, beating Happy Saver (30-1) – who has had an interrupted final week – by two lengths, with Hot Rod Charlie (15-1) a head further back in third and Olympiad (10-1) running the worst race of his life as a distant fourth, and he will go out running from the gate in a bid to upset Flightline’s equilibrium.

Dubai World Cup runner-up Hot Rod Charlie pipped Rich Strike at the post in the G2 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs (Happy Saver fourth), but his limitations have been exposed frequently and he is not quite top-class. Neither is Olympiad, who is six-for-seven in 2022 – that Whitney his only blemish – and got his first G1 in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga last time.

But it’s not about them. It’s about Flightline. Will he?

Prediction  It is rare that a race as prestigious as this one is regarded as a one-horse affair, but when that one horse is FLIGHTLINE it’s easy to see why. His usual performance will be more than enough to win, it’s as simple and as exciting as that.

Breeders Cup Odds

Breeders’ Cup Turf

G1, $4,000,000, 1m 4f turf, 3yo+, Saturday 4.40pm ET

This above all is the race for the Europeans, whose arsenal of route turf horses is obviously much deeper and stronger than that of their American cousins. Eleven of the last 15 runnings of the Turf – and seven of the last ten – have gone for export and it will be a surprise if that record isn’t improved upon this year.

Last year’s winning trainer Charlie Appleby is double-handed with Rebel’s Romance (3-1) and Nations Pride (7-2). Rebel’s Romance has been a revelation since switching to turf, going unbeaten in four over a mile and a half including two G1s in Germany. There is probably more improvement in store given his relative inexperience on the lawn, and he appears comfortable on fast and easy ground.

He is arguably the stronger stayer of the pair but Nations Pride seems blessed with more speed and is the choice of jockey William Buick. Nations Pride has already posted his credentials in the US, winning two legs of the Turf Triple – G1 Saratoga Derby and G3 Jockey Club Derby over a mile and a half at Aqueduct, although that was a mediocre contest – and he owns a similar profile to last year’s winner Yibir.

The money-spinning Mishriff (6-1) would be one to fear at his best, but he is riding a seven-race, year-long losing streak, ran poorly in the G1 Arc de Triomphe although he hated the mud, and has always been better over ten furlongs. Aidan O’Brien goes again with last year’s narrow runner-up Broome (12-1), who relishes fast ground and likes to race near the speed but is inconsistent, and barnmate Stone Age (15-1), who doesn’t have what it takes at G1 level.

The US contingent are a slightly motley crew with the exception of the magnificent War Like Goddess (9-2), who beat males with a degree of comfort in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Aqueduct over a mile and a half, much too strong for runner-up Bye Bye Melvin (15-1), who figures as the likely front-runner if he makes a clean getaway from the rail post. War Like Goddess will be a worthy adversary for the invaders, although she’ll find this a fair bit tougher than the Joe Hirsch.

Bye Bye Melvin’s barnmate Highland Chief (15-1) is an in-and-out type but was well in when keeping on gamely to win the G3 Sycamore over course and distance last time, with the greybeard Channel Maker (30-1) a neck and a nose behind in fourth and Red Knight (20-1) a no-show eighth. He shouldn’t be discounted, but was some way inferior to today’s tourists during his time in Britain.

Prediction  Europe has a strong record in the Turf and NATIONS PRIDE is narrowly preferred to his talented barnmate Rebel’s Romance. War Like Goddess is the only member of Team USA with a realistic chance of repelling the invaders.

Stay tuned for the latest Breeders’ Cup Odds. Check out the World’s major Racetrack Entries, Horse Racing Results and don’t forget to Sign-up and get up to a 10% horse rebate. We offer the best rebate, check the Terms & Conditions here!

Daily Horse Betting Rebate

Raise your winning opportunities with our Horse Betting Guide. We have a guide for all levels! Beginners, Intermediate Handicappers!

Follow us on Social Media for more Breeders’ Cup Classic Future Book updates!