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Part two of Coral’s Saturday Breeders’ Cup preview

| 03.11.2017

The action continues from Del Mar 

The Coral News Team’s look at Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup action concludes with a further four races from Del Mar.

In one of the highlights of the meeting, Ulysses and Highland Reel will renew old rivalries in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Meanwhile, Churchill will be looking to upset old foes Arrogate and Gun Runner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The preview continues with the Breeders’ Cup Mile at 10:19pm UK Time.

Breeders’ Cup Mile (10:19pm UK Time)

The Breeders’ Cup Mile is shaping up to be a hugely exciting contest

Some of UK and Irish racing’s star names are all set to take on American ace World Approval, who is 2/1 favourite. The five-year-old saw off Aidan O’Brien’s Lancaster Bomber at Woodbine in September to land a second successive Grade 1 contest. Trainer Mark Casse won this with Tepin in 2015 and over 1m, World Approval will be hard to beat.

Trying to stop him will be 3/1 shot Ribchester, who has enjoyed a stellar 2017. Defeat on soft ground to Persuasive should not be held against the four-year-old who has won three Group 1s this season. Over a mile, he should be more than a match for the favourite. Other options include Roly Poly at 7/1 and Zelzal at 9/1.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (10:58pm UK Time)

Bolt d’Oro is the comfortable 6/5 favourite to claim a first win in the Juvenile for trainer Mick Ruis. The two-year-old has an imperious record after three races and has taken the step-up in trip in his stride each time.

Main competitor Free Drop Billy impressed when landing a first Grade 1 contest last time out and could cause the jolly problems at 4/1. Meanwhile, O’Brien’s US Navy Flag cannot be ruled out at odds of 10/1 after a hat-trick of victories, including the Dewhurst Stakes last month.  

Breeders’ Cup Turf (11:37pm UK Time)

Can Ulysses finish with a win? In what is set to be the mare’s last race before retiring to stud, she’s set as the 9/4 joint-favourite alongside Highland Reel. Sir Michael Stoute’s charge lost out when the two went head-to-head in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes in June, but has since landed the Coral-Eclipse and International Stakes.

Highland Reel was beaten handily in her last two outings. And that casts doubt over whether she can challenge the consistent Ulysses at Del Mar. She still has the ability, but can O’Brien’s runner make it two wins in two years in the Cup Turf?

Beach Patrol at 8/1 and Decorated Knight at 9/1 are next best.

Breeders’ Cup Classic (00:35pm UK Time)

The final race of the Breeders’ Cup sees American-pair Gun Runner and Arrogate clash, with Irish-bred hopeful Churchill also in the running. It’s 7/4 shot Gun Runner who starts as favourite after a hat-trick of Grade 1 wins. However, all of those came over 1m 1f.

This race will see Steve Asmussen’s star drop back down 1m 1f, which will favour 9/4 shot Arrogate who beat his rival over that distance in the Dubai World Cup in March. Two defeats since – at Del Mar of all places – cast doubt on Bob Baffert’s four-year-old, though.

Could that let in 16/1 shot Churchill? Well, probably not. O’Brien’s mount has been off the pace for the majority of this season and will have to put in an unlikely career-best performance if he’s to challenge here.

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Nick Murphy