Melbourne Cup controversy marks weekend horse racing

The Breeders’ Cup, the truth is, is the big story in weekend horse racing nonetheless there’s a whole lot of further movement exterior Southern California, from England to Hong Kong and even Australia, the place closing preparations are under means for the Melbourne Cup.

We cowl the Breeders’ Cup individually. Here’s the rest of the information you don’t want to overlook:

Santa Anita

We’ll start with the Breeders’ Cup host monitor, which presents the identical previous good supporting program.

The Breeders’ Cup abandoned its short-term flirtation with stayers years up to now however it certainly’s modified into the standard for the host monitor to take up that slack. So, Friday’s $200,000 Grade II Marathon, at 14 furlongs on the precept monitor, encompasses self-discipline of six with Campaign due to the 4-5 favorite. The 4-year-old Curlin colt gained the 1 1/2 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar this summertime and was second to Zulu Alpha over the identical distance inside the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs in his remaining outing.

Saturday’s $200,000 Damascus Stakes at 7 furlongs on the grime has the self-discipline of 5 with Flagstaff, Roadster and Extra Hope topping the morning line. Roadster, the Santa Anita Derby winner, makes his second start for Baffert since ending 15th inside the Kentucky Derby. Flagstaff exits a third inside the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, behind solely Breeders’ Cup opponents Omaha Beach and Shancelot. Extra Hope needs to hunt out considerably additional.

A baker’s dozen entered for Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II Qatar Twilight Derby, 9 furlongs on the grass. Lacking a clear favorite, the oddsmaker nods to Grade II Del Mar Derby winner Nolde; Neptune’s Storm, who traveled all through the continent to win the Grade II Hill Prince at Belmont Park in his remaining start; and Kingly, nonetheless looking out for the very best spot for coach Bob Baffert.

Saturday’s $100,000 Grade III Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes for fillies and mares, 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf, has the self-discipline of 9. Girls Know Best, who landed on the also-eligible guidelines for the Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint, is the morning-line favorite for this. A pair of California-birds, Just Grazed Me and Don’t Sell, look dangerous.


Friday’s $150,000 Tempted Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, 1 mile on the precept monitor, has six starters and choices 8-5 morning-line favorite Power Move. The More Than Ready filly comes off a maiden win at Belmont Park.

Nine turned out for Saturday’s $150,000 Grade III Turnback the Alarm Handicap for fillies and mares at 9 furlongs on the grime. Golden Award is the 121-pound height weight on the ability of her victory inside the Grade III Shuvee at Saratoga nonetheless then was pulled up and did not finish the Grade II Personal Ensign in her most modern start, Aug. 24 on the Spa. She has been working steadily and correctly since then.

Churchill Downs

Saturday’s $200,000 Grade III Chilukki Stakes for fillies and mares drew self-discipline of seven to contest the one-turn mile on the precept monitor. The roster consists of graded stakes winners Mylady Curlin and Chocolate Martini. Divine Queen gained her remaining two begins under the Twin Spires for coach Buff Bradley.


Sunday’s $125,000 (Canadian) Grade III Maple Leaf for fillies and mares is 10 furlongs on the all-weather course. Entries had been pending at press time.

Over the bounding important:


The Group 1 Vertem Futurity, rescheduled from the ultimate weekend because of torrential rain at Doncaster and moved to the Newcastle all-weather course, doubled in measurement when entries had been reopened. Originally set to run with six starters, 5 saddled by Aidan O’Brien and one by Andrew Balding, the sphere for England’s closing Group 1 event of the flat season grew to a dozen.

Mogul and Innisfree, two of the O’Brien lot, and Balding starter Kameko are among the many many ante-post favorites along with Kinross, a late entry from Ralph Beckett who earned a 101 Racing Post Rating in his solely earlier outing, at Newmarket.

The race normally is a crucial pointer to the subsequent 12 months’ Classics nonetheless, as a result of flooring swap, this 12 months’ model could also be seen a bit in one other method. Rather than rewarding horses who can tackle the identical previous testing autumn turf, it ought to favor these that may glibly glide on the Tapeta footing. This can be the primary British Group 1 ever run on an all-weather flooring.

Hong Kong

Two weeks after coach Caspar Fownes despatched out Rise High to take down Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation, he’ll try to defeat one different champion, Exultant, whereas saddling Southern Legend in Sunday’s Group 3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap at Sha Tin. And the top end result might have repercussions for the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong International Races in December.

“Southern Legend could be dangerous getting 6 pounds off the champ,” Fownes said at Sha Tin on Tuesday. “Southern Legend is in good form going into this race. I think he’s there the next few runs to pick up some stakes money.”

Southern Legend is assigned 127 kilos whereas the 2018 Longines Hong Kong Cup winner, Exultant, makes his seasonal debut under the prime weight of 133lb. The 11 entries moreover embrace the ultimate 12 months’ winner, Time Warp, and remaining season’s BMW Hong Kong Derby victor, Furore.

Looking ahead, Fownes said he hopes to keep up Southern Legend and Rise High apart due to the December races technique. On a big day, Rise High might bid for the Cup at 2,000 meters or the Vase at 2,400 meters whereas Southern Legend is entered for every of those and the Mile. “As long as they’re healthy and fit, we’ve got options,” the coach said.

“I’m hoping Almond Eye runs in the Japan Cup and doesn’t come here because I wouldn’t want to take her on just yet. She’s just a freak,” Fownes added. The Lord Kanaloa filly holds entries inside the Cup and the Mile however as well as, is a candidate to aim to repeat the ultimate 12 months’ victory inside the Grade 1 Japan Cup Nov. 24 at Tokyo Racecourse.


Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup is embroiled in some controversy after Racing Victoria on Tuesday ordered the withdrawal of the ultimate 12 months’ runner-up, Marmelo, and Godolphin’s hopeful, Ispolini. The governing physique said CT scans confirmed Marmelo had “incomplete fractures” in two cannon bones and Ispolini had “pre-fracture pathology” in a single leg.

Marmelo’s coach, Hugh Morrison, was “utterly appalled” by the selection, primarily based on Racing Post. He is thought because of the scan outcomes “unfounded” and said he’ll attraction.

Godolphin already had misplaced Melbourne Cup hopeful Red Galileo, who pulled up lame from a train. The world Thoroughbred powerhouse now could possibly be proper all the way down to remaining 12 months’ winner, Cross Counter, who will tote prime weight due to the defending champ.

The scanning course was a contemporary addition to safety protocols inside the wake of a spate of lethal accidents to Melbourne Cup runners before now half a dozen years.

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