Breeders' Cup Mile 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide
Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Breeders' Cup Mile, and pick out their 1-2-3...
"That ultimately made all the difference and she commands plenty of respect here..."
Timeform on I Can Fly
1. ONE MASTER (William Haggas/James Doyle)
Smart performer who won Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary in August and 15-runner Prix de la Foret at Longchamp (improved form, by short head from Inns of Court, leading last strides) in October. That run entitles her to have a crack at this and she is drawn well.
2. NEXT SHARES (Richard Baltas/Tyler Gaffalione)
Trained by Bill Mott in 2017. Won non-graded event at Kentucky Downs in September and 13-runner Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland (best effort, by 3¼ lengths from Great Wide Open) in October. Others look stronger, though.
3. HAPPILY (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan)
Very smart performer who won 4 times as a two-year-old, including in Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Chantilly (by 1¼ lengths from Olmedo). Produced best effort when head second of 9 to Laurens in Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket last time and should be thereabouts once more.
4. POLYDREAM (Freddy Head/Maxime Guyon)
Very smart performer who improved when winning the Prix du Palais-Royal at Longchamp in June and Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville (did well to catch James Garfield by ½ length) in August. Off 9 weeks, and unlucky when 3½ lengths seventh of 15 to One Master in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp last time, going well but not clear run from 2f out. Has landed a good draw and sets the standard on form.
5. OSCAR PERFORMANCE (Brian A. Lynch/Jose Ortiz)
Successful 3 times in 2017, including in Belmont Derby and Secretariat Stakes at Arlington, but only ninth in Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar. Won Grade 3 Poker Stakes at Belmont in June and 8-runner Woodbine Mile (by 1½ lengths from Mr Havercamp, making all) in September. Looks more comfortable at this trip so can't be ignored.
6. ALMANAAR (Chad Brown/Joel Rosario)
Very smart performer who was successful in a Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on second start in 2017. Won optional claimer at Belmont (by neck from Ticonderoga) in June, and good second in Arlington Million (½ length behind Robert Bruce) next time. Well below form in Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland latest outing, though.
7. EXPERT EYE (Sir Michael Stoute/Frankie Dettori)
Good-topped colt who won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot (by 4½ lengths from Society Power) in June and the City of York Stakes at York (by 1¼ lengths from Gordon Lord Byron) in August. Finished 1½ lengths second to Lightning Spear in Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in between, and a good 1¼ lengths third of 11 to Recoletos in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp last time, having to wait for gap before finishing well. Likely strong pace here will suit and he shouldn't be overlooked.
8. I CAN FLY (Aidan O'Brien/Jamie Spencer)
Lengthy filly who won a listed race at Killarney in August and the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown (by 1¾ lengths from Kenya) in September. Produced a career best when a neck second of 13 to Roaring Lion in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last time, just failing (rider put up 2 lb overweight). That ultimately made all the difference and she commands plenty of respect here.
9. HUNT (Philip d'Amato/Flavien Prat)
Won Shoemaker Mile Stakes at Santa Anita (by neck from Heart To Heart, leading close home) in May, but produced just a fair effort when 3¼ lengths sixth of 13 to Catapult in Grade 2 Del Mar Mile Handicap last time.
9. CATAPULT (John W. Sadler/Drayden Van Dyke)
Left Chad Brown before reappearance and has proved better than ever this year, winning Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar (by neck from Sharp Samurai) in July and 13-runner Grade 2 Del Mar Mile Handicap (by ½ length from Fly To Mars) in August. This represents a sterner test, though, and a career best needed.
10. LIGHTNING SPEAR (David Simcock/Oisin Murphy)
Very smart performer who won a steadily-run Sussex Stakes at Goodwood (by 1½ lengths from Expert Eye, showing best turn of foot) in August, but below form when 7 lengths seventh of 13 to Roaring Lion in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last time, not ideally placed. Should be suited by the demands of this race, though hasn't fared too well with the draw, and could prove vulnerable to some younger rivals.
11. ANALYZE IT (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr)
Smart performer who won Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland (by 5¼ lengths from Captivating Moon) in April, and finished second on next 3 starts, in Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont (beaten a neck by Catholic Boy), Belmont Derby (head behind same rival) and Secretariat Stakes at Arlington (beaten a neck by Carrick) in August. However, below form when 5¼ lengths fourth of 13 to Next Shares in Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last time.
12. GUSTAV KLIMT (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Very smart performer who won the Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial in April, and finished placed in several Group 1s after, including the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh, St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot (½-length second to Without Parole) and the Sprint Cup at Haydock (¾-length third to The Tin Man). Unlucky not to finish closer when 1½ lengths fourth of 15 to One Master in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp last time, hemmed in at crucial stage, and not to be underestimated despite a wide draw.
13. MUSTASHRY (Sir Michael Stoute/William Buick)
Very smart performer who won listed race at Sandown in July, Park Stakes at Doncaster (by neck from D'bai) in September and 5-runner Joel Stakes at Newmarket (best effort, by ½ length from Zabeel Prince, never far away and quickening to lead inside final 1f) in September. Deserves a crack at the top level, though the draw could have been kinder.
14. DIVISIDERO (Kelly Rubley/Jevian Toledo)
Successful in Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in 2016 and 2017. Won Grade 3 Arlington Handicap (by ½ length from Revved Up) in July, and finished creditable 3½ lengths fifth of 8 to Oscar Performance in Woodbine Mile last time.
15. CLEMMIE (Aidan O'Brien/Andrea Atzeni)
Leading two-year-old filly of 2017 in Europe, winning 3 times, including Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. Creditable third in Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket (5½ lengths behind Alpha Centauri) and Matron Stakes at Leopardstown (beaten 2 lengths by Laurens), but lacklustre effort when 8½ lengths eighth of 9 to latter rival in Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket last time.
Minimum Bet Guarantee
Betfair's 'minimum bet guarantee' on all Class 1 and 2 races in the UK and Ireland - which means all customers are able to bet to win a minimum of £500 - has been extended to cover all races at selected meetings this week. T&Cs apply.
Timeform's Breeders' Cup Mile Analyst Verdict
The one who makes most appeal at the prices is I Can Fly. There should be a strong pace on here, which will suit her hold-up style of racing, and a repeat of her latest second at Ascot would entitle her to be bang there at the finish. Polydream and Oscar Performance complete the shortlist in an open heat.
Timeform's Breeders' Cup Mile 1-2-3
1. I Can Fly
3. Oscar Performance