Weekly Racing Blog: Breeders Cup Review / Dermot Weld / Oisin Murphy & More

European Delight At Keeneland

It was the stuff of dreams as European patrons, grounded by Covid-19 travel restrictions, watched their TV’s in awe from the safety of their own homes as Europe totally dominated the turf races at Keeneland with all four winners on Breeders’ Cup Saturday.

We were however left ruing our luck on this column as our ante post bet for the Breeders’ Cup Mile – Circus Maximus (16/1) hit traffic problems at a critical moment, and was just unable to overhaul his 73/1 stablemate, Order Of Australia.

To rub further salt into our wounds, we also finished in the middle of an Aiden O’Brien sandwich as the Ballydoyle maestro landed an historic 1-2-3 with Lope Y Fernandez making up the bottom layer of this veritable Irish feast.

After making a ground-saving rail run aboard Circus Maximus, Ryan Moore was momentarily held up by the occupational hazard that manoeuvre sometimes brings, when tiring horses come back into your lap.

The losing fractions are always small, but as a punter you pays your money, you take your chance. That’s the nature of gambling! You can read more on the Moore “fallout” on Twitter if you are so inclined.

Welding Job

Legendry Irish trainer Dermot Weld now boasts the perfect international CV as his Tarnawa completed a Group One hat-trick by sweeping down the outside of the pack to land the Breeders’ Cup Turf under Colin Keane. Weld’s globetrotting efforts have now seen him have major winners on four continents.

Despite 16 previous attempts, Weld had never won a Breeders’ Cup race until the Aga Khan-owned Tarnawa continued her upward curve and put her rivals to the sword with her withering burst of speed.

The veteran trainer’s son Mark, who was on hand whilst his father stayed at home, said: “My father has been a long-standing supporter of American racing ever since Go And Go won the Belmont back in 1990. He worked in the United States as a boy and it’s very special to him.”

Arc Betting 2021

Bookmakers reacted by making Tarnawa 12/1 third favourite for next year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe behind dual Classic winner Love.

Arc 2021 betting (general): 8 Love, 10 Contrail, 12 Tarnawa, 20 High Definition, Mishriff, 25 bar.


Newmarket handler James Fanshawe had never even saddled a Breeders’ Cup runner in all the years he has been training, but on Saturday afternoon at Keeneland his beginners luck bore out as Audarya landed the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

“It’s the biggest win of our whole career, isn’t it?” said his wife Jacko, a major cog in their set up at Pegasus Stables.

After winning the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and then finishing third in the Prix de l’Opera on Arc day last month, the Fanshawe’s knew they had a good filly on their hands, but they were shocked just how good after her US endeavours.

Heart Of Glass

The Kevin Ryan-trained Glass Slippers certainly boasted top-level credentials before going over to Keeneland.

She had won the Prix de l’Abbaye in 2019 and this year’s Flying Five at the Curragh, but she looked up against it in the $1 million Grade 1 Turf Sprint, normally a European challenger graveyard.

However under Wigan-born jockey Tom Eaves, Glass Slippers bucked that trend with a half-length victory and Kevin Ryan saying that the four-year-old would stay in training in 2021.

Oisin is Just Champion

Oisin Murphy clinched the Champion Jockeys’ title for a second time on Friday afternoon, signing off on a seasonal total of 142 before he headed off to the States to ride at the Breeders’ Cup.

In what has been a challenging tail-end of the season for the 25-year-old Irishman, Murphy told Great British Racing: “I’m incredibly proud to have won a second Champion Jockey title and I’m extremely thankful for the team around me that have enabled me to do so – my agent, manager, driver, form-man, and family.”

Murphy is still waiting on the outcome of a B-sample from France Galop, after originally testing positive for cocaine on July 19th, with the prospect of a six-month suspension still hanging over him. He’s quoted as 250/1 with Paddy Power to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award but I will happily give you 500/1.