The Breeders’ Cup is looming large on the horizon and is only two-and-a-half weeks away.

Betfred TV US Racing expert Paul Quigley is here with some Ante-Post thoughts and three plays ahead of the action over at Santa Anita next month…

Breeders’ Cup Ante-Post Tips 2023:

  • Back Ushba Tesero in the Breeders’ Cup Classic @ 8/1
  • Back Bradsell in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint @ 7/1
  • Back Dr. Schivel in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint @ 5/1

We are rapidly approaching Breeders’ Cup Weekend. The unofficial horse racing World Championships takes place at Santa Anita on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 November.

There will be a very strong European raiding party as usual. The invaders from across ‘The Pond’ are expected to dominate the turf events. The make-up of most of the races is unclear with the likes of Aidan O’Brien yet to finalise his team. That makes ante post wagering a little precarious.

Best advice is keep your powder dry until the final declarations and take advantage of the likely many extra place markets. However, there are a few horses that may be worth considering now.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic

To The Americans, this is always the race of the meeting. It ranks alongside The Kentucky Derby as the biggest race Stateside. This year’s Kentucky Derby winner Mage is entered. However, it is another three year old Arcangelo who heads the market.

The mile and a half Belmont Stakes winner proved he’s not just a plodder when taking The Grade 1 Travers Stakes over The Classic distance at Saratoga. He has been trained specifically for this race since that victory in August.

The one-two from The Grade 1 Pacific Classic Arabian Knight and Geaux Rocket Ride will have their supporters. They have a home field advantage. That said, there looks to be no superstar like Flightline, Arrogate or American Pharoah in this year’s line up.

With that in mind, The Japanese trained Ushba Tesoro makes some appeal at about 8/1. He is much improved since switching to the dirt, culminating in his clear-cut Group 1 Dubai World Cup win in March. His trainer has targeted this race, winning nicely on his comeback in September.

The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

I wouldn’t write off defending champion Caravel off her narrow loss at Keeneland. She was coming off a lay off. Like a lot of these, she has never raced at Santa Anita before. The best of the Californian based runners Motorious is proven over the track. He will need racing luck coming from way off the pace.

By contrast, Live in the Dream will be a factor from the ‘B’ of the bell. He showed his usual fine early speed before fading late on in his Breeders’ Cup prep at Keeneland. The cut back to five furlongs will suit The Group 1 Nunthorpe winner. He is proven on turning tracks.

That is an unknown with Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes winner Bradsell. He still has upside at about 7/1. His trainer Archie Watson has pointed him to this race in an effort to get his preferred fast ground. At his best, he can reverse the York form with Live In The Dream.

The Breeders’ Cup Sprint

Defending champion Elite Power has looked as good as ever this term. His one loss came to a runner who freaked at Saratoga. He is without question the runner to beat in a race that has lost and may lose some of his likely dangers. He did get a fast pace to chase down in last year’s renewal. That looks less likely this time. Maybe a couple of the California based runners offer a bit of value against him.

The Chosen Vron made it eight wins in a row when scoring in The Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar. He is proven over course and distance. So too is Dr. Schivel. He is four from five over the track.

His latest success coming in a Grade 2 prep over course and distance. He is proven at the big show, losing by a nose in this race in 2021. He’s an each way price and should give his backers a good run for their money.

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