Limato to go the distance
Neil Morrice has a tip for every race at the Breeders' Cup on Saturday, with Limato fancied to relish the Santa Anita mile.
BREEDERS' CUP SELECTIONS: 7.05 With Honors, 7.43 Queen's Trust, 8.21 Joking, 9.05 Washington DC, 9.43 Practical Joke, 10.22 Found, 11.01 Haveyougoneaway, 11.40 Limato, 12.35 CALIFORNIA CHROME (NAP).
Limato can swoop to conquer in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita and prove the highlight from the European challenge on the 2016 World Championships.
A first runner in America for trainer Henry Candy and a first ride here for Harry Bentley, Limato needs to demonstrate his terrific versatility on what is his first run over the distance since the spring.
The Paul Jacobs-owned gelding did not appear to stay when fourth in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, but Candy is in no doubt Limato will get the trip racing around the tight turns.
And in everything he has done since his arrival in California, the four-year-old has looked happy and completely in his zone.
From gate 10 he will need to break sharply, but so swift was he out of the schooling gate on Thursday that Bentley nearly fell off – surely a good omen for the crucial start of the Mile.
Found can continue her remarkable form in Group One company by repeating her 2015 victory in the Turf.
The astonishing filly has everything in her favour, with Aidan O'Brien interestingly pointing out that stablemate Highland Reel's inclusion in the field will be to her advantage.
An interpretation of that suggests Highland Reel may well go forward from the start and set a pace that Found can exploit with her customary late surge.
California Chrome is the nap of the day in the Classic.
Third behind Bayern in the race two years ago, he has been indomitable on the international stage ever since.
He was imperious in landing the Dubai World Cup and both trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza are agreed they have never known the five-year-old to be any better than he is right now.
Since shipping from Los Alamitos he has been granted superstar status by the horse-lovers here and his California dream can become a reality.
Queen's Trust has looked happy in her work on the turf course ahead of the Filly & Mare Turf.
Sir Michael Stoute has an outstanding record with his runners at this track and the Cheveley Park-owned Queen's Trust can make up for some unlucky defeats this summer.
She would have finished a lot closer in the equivalent race at Ascot on Champions Day but for meeting interference when launching her run.
She is a strong traveller who will appreciate the track and the fast ground.
Washington DC has received good reports from Aidan O'Brien in his preparation for the Turf Sprint.
His form in equally good at five furlongs and seven, prompting his trainer to assert he will be strong at the finish if enjoying racing room.