Breeders' Cup Turf 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide
Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf, and pick out their 1-2-3...
"Very much the one to beat..."
Timeform on Enable
1. TALISMANIC (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona)
High-class performer who was successful 3 times in 2017, notably in this race at Del Mar (beat Beach Patrol ½ length). Won minor event at Chantilly in March and Prix Gontaut-Biron at Deauville (by 2 lengths from Subway Dancer) in August, before finishing a good 2½ lengths second to Waldgeist in the Prix Foy at Longchamp next time. However, below form in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Enable there on his latest outing. Will likely be more suited by the nature of this race but still hard to see him reverse the form with Enable.
2. ENABLE (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
Top-class performer who has been defeated only once from 10 starts. Won 5 Group 1s as a three-year-old, including the Oaks at Epsom, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (at Chantilly). Suffered an injury (off 11 months), but has been successful in both starts since returning, in the September Stakes at Kempton and the latest renewal of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, latter by a short neck from Sea of Class, well positioned and bursting ahead over 1f out, all out in the end. Very much the one to beat again from a good draw in stall 2.
3. CHANNEL MAKER (William I. Mott/Jose Ortiz)
Very smart performer who dead-heated for first with Glorious Empire in Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga in July, and also won 7-runner Turf Classic Stakes at Belmont (best effort, by 4½ lengths from Robert Bruce, making all) in September. Finished 1¾ lengths second to Glorious Empire in Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga in between, but has a bit to find with the top European turf horses.
4. ROBERT BRUCE (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr)
Unbeaten in 6 races in Chile in 2017, and has showed further improvement in the US this year, winning Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont in May and Arlington Million (by ½ length from Almanaar, strong run to lead late on) in August. Creditable 4½ lengths second of 7 to Channel Maker in Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont last time.
5. MAGICAL (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Very smart performer who won the Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh (by 2¾ lengths from I'm So Fancy) in July, and proved better than ever when also winning 11-runner Fillies' And Mares' Stakes at Ascot last time by a length from Coronet, travelling well and leading over 1f out. Folly to ignore in receipt of weight all round under Ryan Moore.
6. ARKLOW (Brad H. Cox/Florent Geroux)
Won optional claimer at Fair Grounds in February, non-graded event at Ellis in August and Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes at Kentucky Downs (by ½ length from Bigger Picture) in September. Good 2 lengths second of 11 to Zulu Alpha in Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland last time, but much more needed here.
7. GLORIOUS EMPIRE (James L. Lawrence II/Julien R. Leparoux)
Has improved this year, winning last 3 starts, namely optional claimer at Delaware, and Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes (dead-heated with Channel Maker) and Sword Dancer Stakes (by 1¾ lengths from same rival), both at Saratoga. Could run into a place.
8. LIAM THE CHARMER (Michael W. McCarthy/Tyler Gaffalione)
Won optional claimer at Del Mar in August and 6-runner Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship Stakes at Santa Anita (by ½ length from Ashleyluvssugar) in September. Up against it here, however.
9. QUARTETO DE CORDAS (Ian R. Wikes/Brian J. Hernandez Jr)
Successful at Gavea in Grade 3 Jose Buarque de Machedo in January and Grade 1 Gran Premio Brasileiro (by neck from Arrocha, leading near finish) in June. Finished ½-length second of 9 to Arrocha in Copa ABCPCC Mathias Machline there last time, and having first start for new trainer now after leaving L. Esteves.
10. HI HAPPY (Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez)
Multiple Grade 1 winner in South America who was also successful in Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream in March and Man o'War Stakes at Belmont (by ½ length from Sadler's Joy) in May. Creditable neck second of 6 to Blacktype in Grade 2 Knickebocker Stakes at Belmont last time, but more needed from a win perspective.
11. SADDLER'S JOY (Thomas Albertrani/Javier Castellano)
Good fourth to Talismanic in this race at Del Mar in 2017, and has proved as good as ever this year, winning Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream (by ¾ length from One Go All Go) in March. Has placed since in Man o'War Stakes (½-length second to Hi Happy) and Manhattan Stakes (neck behind Spring Quality), both at Belmont, Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga (½-length third behind Glorious Empire) and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont (below form when 10 lengths third to Channel Maker). Another who can't be discounted each way.
12. WALDGEIST (Andre Fabre/Pierre-Charles Boudot)
High-class performer who has developed well in 2018, winning the Prix d'Hedouville at Longchamp, the Grand Prix de Chantilly, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Prix Foy at Longchamp. Stayed on (from unpromising position) when 1¾ lengths fourth of 19 to Enable in Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp last time, recording a fast closing sectional. Has wide draw to overcome here but bound to be on the premises if getting the breaks.
13. HUNTING HORN (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan)
Very smart performer who won maiden at Naas in April and Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot (by 4½ lengths from Crossed Baton) in June. Ran in the US next 2 starts, and went on to finish a short-head second of 6 to Brundtland in Prix Niel at Longchamp in September. Failed to figure in Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe back there 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 Turf Analyst Verdict
In summary, this looks a race in which the Europeans should be able to get a win on the board and, in all likelihood, it will be Enable who provides it. Ideally drawn in stall two, she is well clear on her best form and arguably more likely than previous Arc winners to reproduce it, with only two starts under her belt this term.
Timeform's Breeders' Cup Turf 1-2-3