Sakhee and Galileo go head to head in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, while Fantastic Light contests the Breeders’ Cup Turf
Only hours before racing’s superpowers Godolphin and Coolmore launch the most formidable European raiding party in the history of the Breeders’ Cup, their second strings will be in action nearer home at Doncaster on Saturday.
Godolphin run Mount Joy against the Coolmore trio of unbeaten Castle Gandolfo, Camp David and High Chaparral in the Racing Post Trophy and just four and a half hours later their trans-Atlantic runners meet head to head at Belmont, New York.
Castle Gandolfo slammed Camp David with a spectacular seven length victory at The Curragh a fortnight ago and will take some pegging back, though Mount Joy can be expected to step up on his initial second over the Doncaster course in August.
The shock of the week came from the Maktoum family, who decided to switch Godolphin’s Arc winner Sakhee from the Breeders’ Cup Turf to take on dual Derby winner Galileo in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. This will be the final race for Galileo, who will then retire to Coolmoe Stud in Ireland.
Stable companion Fantastic Light now goes for the Turf, which looks the easier option. Though Mutamam, who, like Sakhee is owned by Sheikh Hamdan, could give him a fright. Mutamam is at the top of his form after winning the Canadian International in Toronto.
Noverre, from the Godolphin camp, could have everything going for him in the Mile where he meets Coolmore’s Bach.
Coolmore’s Mozart, Europe’s champion sprinter, has a tough call from stall 11 in the Sprint. Recent Middle Park Stakes winner Johannesburg is considered on ‘mission impossible’ tackling America’s brilliant Officer in the Juvenile.
The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare, over a mile and a quarter on turf, could turn out to be the most fascinating event of the night from the European point of view.
Ed Dunlop’s pair Lailani and Mot Juste are opposed by the Andre Fabre-trained duo of Banks Hill and Spring Oak, the mount of Frankie Dettori.
But the dark horse of the night may be John Gosden’s Crystal Music, who got stuck in the mud at Longchamp on Arc day. She will enjoy much better conditions here and could give Gosden his second Breeders’ Cup winner following Royal Heroine at the inaugural meeting at Hollywood Park, Los Angeles in 1984.