RAVEN’S Pass made history today in Santa Anita, California by becoming the first British-trained horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, the lithe chestnut colt crowned the best day Europe has ever had at a Breeders’ Cup by beating the Aidan O’Brien-trained Henrythenavigator to take the $5million purse for his owner, Princess Haya.
America’s big hope, last year’s champion Curlin, faded after looking strong early in the straight to take fourth place behind Tiago.
It was a particularly sweet victory for John Gosden, who started his training career here at Santa Anita, and also for Dettori, who must feel he has finally laid the ghost of losing the Classic on Swain 10 years ago.
The day started with a bang for Britain when Ralph Beckett trained Muhannak to win the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Marathon. Frankie Dettori went down by half a length in the next race, the Turf Sprint, on Diabolical, who was passed by Desert Code just before the line. Jeremy Noseda’s filly, Fleeting Spirit, was fourth.
Jockey Olivier Peslier put a winner on the board for France in the Breeders’ Cup Mile when the three-year-old filly Goldikova burst through for an impressive victory ahead of last year’s winner Kip Deville.
Midshipman, trained by Bob Baffert but owned by Sheikh Mohammed, took the Juvenile ahead of the former British horse Square Eddie. And the Sheikh doubled up when Donativum won the Juvenile Turf in his wife Princess Haya’s colours — a first winner of the day for John Gosden. The Coolmore team had to settle for second again with Westphalia.
Bob Baffert picked his fourth trophy of the meeting when the popular Midnight Lute became the first horse to win consecutive Breeder’s Cup Sprints.
And St Leger hero Conduit, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, gave jockey Ryan Moore a first Breeders’ Cup win by breezing past Eagle Mountain in the Turf, with Soldier Of Fortune a close fourth.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report on all the action from the Breeders’ Cup in next week’s magazine, on sale 30 October, ’08