Keeneland preview: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (19.30)
David Metcalf | October 30, 2015
Airoforce can fend off a strong European challenge to land the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland (19.30).
The Mark Casse colt is unbeaten in two starts and comes into the contest on the back of an impressive success in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes over course and distance.
After racing prominently, the son of Colonel John moved up to challenge at the furlong marker before striding away to beat Camelot Kitten by 2 1/2 lengths.
That success came on yielding ground, so the rain that has hit the track will not inconvenience Airoforce.
It was also a performance which showed the two-year-old had a high cruising speed and potent turn of foot, and that is the perfect combination for this type of race.
Casse says the plan is to ride Airoforce close to the lead, and he has bagged a decent enough draw in stall eight from which to obtain a good early position.
O’Brien Irish contingent in with chance
Five of the eight renewals have gone to the Europeans, and Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien saddles two leading contenders in the shape of Hit It A Bomb and Shogun.
The former is unbeaten in two starts and has obvious untapped potential but has a horrible outside draw in 14 to overcome and needs to step up considerably on what he has achieved so far.
I prefer the chances of Shogun, who has the stronger form in the book and ran very well last time out when beaten just 1 3/4 lengths into sixth behind Ultra in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp.
The son of Fastnet Rock is a big player judged on that run, and another plus is that Shogun has secured a great draw in stall four.
Cymric finished in front of Shogun when a short-neck tunner-up in the Lagardere and is bidding to provide trainer John Gosden with a third victory in the race.
The son of Kitten’s Joy got a smoother passage than Shogun in Paris, and may struggle to confirm the form from a bad draw in stall 13.
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