FLAT FINALE: BIG DRAMA IN BREEDERS CUP AT 14.5: Get on 12.0 shot for the November Handicap. Jockeys’ title goes to the wire. Final fling at 16.0. These are just some of the headlines as Daqman sums up a massive goodbye-to-all-that betting day of Flat racing.
2.00 Doncaster As a son of soft-ground sire Pivotal out of a Primo Dominie mare, Entitled is literally entitled to come on massively in these conditions over his firm-ground form when just touched off by Valencha a fortnight ago.
2.35 Doncaster There’s a birthday looming for horses aged five and six; none has won this Listed in its eight years of existence, with three-year-olds 5 wins, four-year-olds 3.
Many of these are stepping up from low-class handicaps, hoping for some black type, but Principal Role has already won Listeds back to back.
Last year’s winner, Ceilidh House, was sixth of seven last time out but had been beaten more than 62 lengths in three races on her way to that victory here in 2010, and the run last time was in a Group race.
3.10 Doncaster (November Handicap) It’s four-year-olds 5, three-year-olds 4 in the last decade. Not a favourite in sight, with outsiders (10-1 to 25-1) winning in seven of the last nine years.
Godolphin have two four-year-olds in the race: Burj Nahar and Willing Foe, who had his first run back a fortnight ago after a long absence, fourth (not clear run) over a trip too short, and is a winner at Doncaster.
It was firm that day, when Oceanway (Silvestre De Sousa takes over now) was around seven lengths behind him. Willing Foe is the one bred to accept today’s conditions; forget his run in the November last year.
But Oceanway will do well to defy soft ground: his sire, Street Cry, has only ever had four winners on such a surface in his entire stallion career.
Burj Nahar was out of form during the summer and, though he is a winner with cut, his success has all come after a long absence. Pekan Star’s form is almost identical, winning only after long breaks, when he’s forgotten the lung-busting pain of racing. He’s had a longer holiday than Burj Nahar.
Like Pekan Star, Harlestone Times does best in the autumn but, though his stable won the race last year, he seems to have nothing in hand of the handicapper.
Doncaster winner Zuider Zee’s third to Fox Hunt at Epsom was as good as anything here; his sire Sakhee gets soft-ground winners but they don’t want it heavy.
Which to go for: Pekan Star, Zuider Zee, Willing Foe? Value wise, Pekan Star will be gobbled up by Pricewise fans, so I’ll make him the saver to jackpot bets on Zuider Zee (12.0 this morning) and Willing Foe.
3.40 Doncaster This is where Silvestre De Sousa, the jockey find of the season, shakes hands with Paul Hanagan. He’s run Hanagan to the wire but riding in the Melbourne Cup may have cost him the title.
Intriguingly, their season ends in a race against a similar Irish duo here: Pat Smullen, the man at the top, and Ben Curtis, a rising star and future champeen.
Irish form could be the key, with the two young pretenders in a duel: Curtis on Dawn Eclipse (dropped from Group racing but 22.0 on Betdaq this morning) and De Sousa on the recent Curragh Listed winner, Eton Rifles.
4.10 Doncaster Martin Harley will be crowned apprentice champion after this ride on the old boy, Cornus – 149 races under Rules – who landed a hat–trick on summer ground but may have to give way to Northern Fling (16.0 for young Jason Hart) on this surface. That’s my final fling of the English Flat season but there’s a hot night ahead..
5.20 Churchill Downs (Breeders Cup Marathon) As with the continued route of our fillies yesterday, European stayers on dirt have so far been eclipsed by the home team, but note that both Brigantin and Meeznah are US bred.
As with last year’s winner of this, Birdrun took the Brooklyn Handicap; A.U. Miner has been laid out for revenge, having been hampered in the race last year; but Pleasant Prince is at massive offers on Betdaq.
The 14.5 I see on my screen is another ‘plum loco’ price about an improver who has been given a break in preparation for this after beating a Group-1 star last time out. I’ve been saving my pennies for Big Drama but the ground is a worry and this prince could now be my big betting drama of the night.
6.02 Churchill Downs (Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf) Impressive local-hero Finale would be a fitting winner on this day; how about a coincidence double with Flat Out (11.0 race). But can Finale repeat his flying finishes on firm with tonight’s surface so yielding.
Caspar Netscher (10.0 on Betdaq) has won on similar ground and is a length short of Group 1 over here, whereas Farraaj (7.2) was beaten in a Group-3 last time.
‘Caspar’ could provide a grand (or two) reward for Kieren Fallon, who had to drop out of the jockeys’ race at home because of illness.
6.37 Churchill Downs (Breeders Cup Dirt Sprint) As with Secret Circle yesterday, last year’s winner of this, Big Drama, is a machine. But will the sloppy dirt track slow down this winner of 10 out of 12 sprints?
Giant Ryan, another sequence horse, has won all three times he’s run on sloppy, and only a photo verdict against him stopped a four-time on dirt for Amazombie, placed 17 times from 18.
Such is the pace of Giant Ryan and Big Drama they could come clear of the field, but will then hear 7f-winner Jackson Bend hunting them down. Can he get there? That’s the question in a fascinating contest.
Betdaq comes to the rescue again with 7.6 Giant Ryan and 5.8 Jackson Bend. If the surface has dried out, I’ll save stakes on Big Drama but, if it’s rained, let him run (though you’ll go round the Bend if he hangs on in there).
8.45 Churchill Downs (Breeders Cup Turf) Europe is strongly represented here with Arc fifth St Nicholas Abbey, the great nearly horse from Ballydoyle, and Sarafina, drawn with no chance at Longchamp but on a roll as France’s flying filly before that.
Midday is also a Group-1 nearly mare, at least when she faces the colts (has lost all three times), and Sarafina has far too much finish for her.
Because this is often slowly run, St Leger horses have a fine record and Sea Moon, unlucky at Doncaster in September, could continue the trend, though the slow pace will also serve Sarafina. She can pick up like a magnet and is off with the prize while slower animals are still trying to change gear.
9.25 Churchill Downs (Breeders Cup Juvenile Dirt) US bred like all our winners of this, Daddy Long Legs for Ballydoyle faces the formidable legs of Creative Cause and the ‘machine’ (wide-margin winner every time) Union Rags.
There’s no value in choosing from among this trio, particularly when all have to overcome middle-to-outer draws. If pressed, I’d pay my Union dues.
10.07 Churchill Downs (Breeders Cup Mile) Goodbye Goldikova, and thanks. I don’t think she’s quite as good as for her hat-trick in this race but she’s got the plum (not so loco) draw, while Byword (8 stall) and Strong Suit (11) have ground to make up.
The outside draw (he’s in 13) will actually suit Turallure: he likes to pick up off strong pace. Doesn’t always get it, but is six out of six when he does.
11.00 Churchill Downs (Breeders Cup Classic) So You Think it’s all over. It is now! Flat Out.
BET 2.5pts win ENTITLED (2.00 Doncaster)
BET 3.7pts win CEILIDH HOUSE and 1.5pts win (stakes saver) PRINCIPAL ROLE (2.35 Doncaster)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: BET 3.4pts win WILLING FOE and 2.7pts win ZUIDER ZEE, with 0.6pts win (stakes saver) PEKAN STAR (3.10 Doncaster)
BET 2.6pts win ETON RIFLES, and 1pt win and place DAWN ECLIPSE (3.40 Doncaster)
BET 1.3pts win and place NORTHERN FLING (4.10 Doncaster)
BET 1.4pts win and place PLEASANT PRINCE (5.20 Churchill Downs)
BET 2.2pts win CASPAR NETSCHER (6.02 Churchill Downs)
BET 4.1pts win JACKSON BEND and 3pts win GIANT RYAN (6.37 Churchill Downs)
BET 6pts win on each SARAFINA and SEA MOON (8.45 Churchill Downs)
BET 2.8pts win TURALLURE (10.07 Churchill Downs)
BET 4pts win FLAT OUT (11.00 Churchill Downs)
Did you know that as well as checking the realtime prices on BETDAQ below – you can also log into your account and place your bets directly into BETDAQ from BETDAQ TIPS.