Horse Racing Tips

Breeders' Cup Tips: Mark Milligan hoping for 20/1 glory on the Turf

Breeders' Cup
Mark Milligan has previewed Friday's action at Santa Anita on day one of the Breeders' Cup meeting

International horse racing expert Mark Milligan looks ahead to night one of the Breeders' Cup meeting, where he has a trio of selections...

  • Mark Milligan previews day one of the Breeders' Cup

  • He fancies a filly each-way @ 20/121.00

  • Expecting more glory for Baffert and O'Brien

The Breeders' Cup gets underway at Santa Anita on Friday evening, and what a meeting we have in store. The racing never fails to disappoint and there's something for everyone, with the top European horses plying their trade on the turf, while we see the best that North America has to offer on the dirt.

Santa Anita - 22:20 - Back Laulne E/W, four places @ 20/121.00

European-trained runners obviously have a stellar record when it comes to the turf races, but the one contest where they've traditionally not been as strong is the Juvenile Fillies' Turf, with a record of just three wins in the fifteen-year history of the race.

That obviously sounds a note of caution for those looking to play Carla's Way and Porta Fortuna at the head of the market, and I'm looking for some each-way value away from that pair.

Philip D'Amato trains locally at Santa Anita, and he's made quite a name for himself in getting hold of ex-European horses and improving them.

That makes the ex-French filly Laulne very much of interest to me at 20/121.00.

Connections paid €750,000 for this daughter of Straspangledbanner after she'd finished second in a Group 3 contest at Chantilly in September, and the Timeform rating she currently holds doesn't give her a great deal to find with those more prominent in the market.

Her draw in stall four is also handy, and there's a strong case that she's currently overpriced, with the added bonus of the Sportsbook paying an extra place on the race.

22:20 Santa Anita - Back Laulne each-way, four places @ 20/121.00

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Santa Anita - 23:00 - Back Muth @ 7/24.50

The controversial Bob Baffert holds the key to the Juvenile - a race he's won five times in the past - and he goes three-handed in this year's contest, fielding Muth, Prince Of Monaco and Wine Me Up.

The vote goes to Muth, who improved markedly for a step up in trip when winning the Grade 1 American Pharoah over this C&D last time in convincing fashion from aforementioned stablemate Wine Me Up.

Muth had previously been soundly beaten by Prince Of Monaco in the Grade 3 Best Pal at Del Mar in the summer, but that came over 6f and this $2m purchase is bred to come into his own over longer trips, as he duly proved last time.

I'm far from convinced that Prince Of Monaco will confirm that form around two turns, his pedigree is a speedy one and he looks to have the physique of a sprinting type.

In a good renewal, there are dangers away from Baffert's stable, with the Todd Pletcher-trained Locked heading them, although the Pletcher barn hasn't been in great form of late, which doesn't bode particularly well for this one's chances.

Timberlake is another that deserves respect, but his best performance has come on a sloppy track and conditions will be markedly different here.

23:00 Santa Anita - Back Muth @ 7/24.50

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Santa Anita - 23:40 - Back River Tiber @ 2/13.00

In stark contrast to the fillies' equivalent, European-trained runners have taken the Juvenile Turf eleven times, with Aidan O'Brien top of the tree courtesy of his five successes in the race.

Ballydoyle are strongly represented again in this year's renewal, with River Tiber and Unquestionable heading the market, and it will be something if a surprise if one of them doesn't claim the spoils.

Unquestionable is the mount of Frankie Dettori, who is riding in his new home base in California, and the form of his second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere at Longchamp last time entitles him to plenty of respect.

However, Ryan Moore has decided to side with River Tiber, and he's the one that makes most appeal of the pair.

The Coventry Stakes winner has been far from disgraced in finishing third on his last two outings, in the Prix Morny at Deauville and the Middle Park at Newmarket, both times running into the very smart Vandeek.

River Tiber has shaped as if ready for a step up in trip in both those contests, and while a mile on a testing track might have been a stretch for him, I don't think he'll have any trouble getting it on this tight circuit under very quick conditions.

The home team doesn't look a particularly strong one and River Tiber rates the best bet on the card for me.

23:40 Santa Anita - Back River Tiber @ 2/13.00

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