Arizona looks a worthy 9/4 favourite with Coral to land the spoils and enhance trainer Aidan O’Brien’s excellent record in the 1m Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Breeders’ Cup day 1 at Santa Anita on Friday (20:52).
The Ballydoyle maestro is the most successful handler in the history of the race having won it four times courtesy of Wrote (2011), George Vancouver (2012), Hit A Bomb (2015) and Mendelssohn (2017).
In Arizona, O’Brien has a high class colt who has won two of his six starts, including the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and posted some top class efforts in defeat at the highest level.
They include when a fine 4 3/4 lengths fourth of eight to Earthlight in the Group 1 Prix Morny over 6f at Deauville. The form of that race has worked out really well.
This is because the Andre Fabre trained winner has gone on to land the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket and is now unbeaten in five outings.
Arizona was then not at his best when a 9 1/4 lengths third to outstanding juvenile Pinatubo in a Group 1 at The Curragh, but got much closer to that rival last time out when a two-length second in the Dewhurst Stakes over 7f at Newmarket.
The son of No Nay Never attempted to make all and when headed inside the last stuck to the task really well. That form sets a clear standard in this.
As the step up to a mile looks sure to suit Arizona, he should arguably be much shorter in the betting. So, with Ryan Moore in the saddle once again, he rates the standout bet on the card.
Daahyeh taken to deliver in Juvenile Fillies Turf
European raiders have triumphed just once in 11 runnings of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (22:12), but are represented by the two market leaders in this year’s renewal of the 1m contest in the shape of Albigna and Daahyeh.
Preference is for the latter who hails from the in-form yard of Roger Varian.
Daahyeh comes into the race fresher than Jessica Harrington’s charge who had a hard race when winning at Longchamp’s Arc meeting just over three weeks ago.
This daughter of Bated Breath has won three of her five starts, including when quickening clear to impressively land the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot by 1 1/2 lengths.
Daahyeh then lost little in defeat when staying on from off the pace to go down by 1 3/4 lengths in the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes over 6f at Newmarket’s July Festival.
The winner has since run two crackers in defeat at Group 1 level, finishing a neck second to the aforementioned Earthlight in the Prix Morny at Deauville and a 1 3/4 lengths runner-up to Millisle in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
That gives the form a solid look. Daahyeh has since finished a fine three-quarters of a length runner-up in a Curragh Group 1, before landing the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over 7f in good style.
She got unbalanced in the dip in the latter, but showed a smart turn of foot and stayed on gamely to beat Stylistique by half-a-length.
It left the impression that the extra furlong in this would hold no fears. So, at 9/2 with William Hill, Daahyeh looks decent value to follow-up and one to be on during Breeders’ Cup day 1 at the odds on offer.
A’ali appeals in Juvenile Turf Sprint
In the 5f Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (20:12), the Simon Crisford trained A’ali appeals as a solid each-way betting proposition under big race jockey Frankie Dettori.
After shaping with stacks of promise when a neck runner-up to Spartan Fighter at Ripon, this son of Society Rock opened his account in fine style when landing the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot by a neck from Ventura Rebel.
A’ali chased the leaders traveling strongly under Dettori. When shaken up at the two marker, he took up the running just over a furlong out before showing a smart turn of foot to shoot three lengths clear.
He then idled towards the finish, but never looked likely to get caught and was value for more than the winning margin.
A’ali went on to follow-up in a Group 2 at Deauville when beating My Love’s Passion by three-quarters of a length, before being far from disgraced when a five-length fifth of eight to Earthlight in that red-hot renewal of the Prix Morny at the same venue.
He has since taken advantage of a drop in class to get back to winning ways in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster when comfortably accounting for Dream Shot by a length.
A’Ali is a strong travelling sort with a potent turn of foot, and those are the ideal attributes for this speed test.
So, with Dettori – who is 3-3 on him – once again in the saddle, there is nothing not to like about his chances in this.
At 11/2 with 888Sport, A’ili therefore had to get our each-way vote and thus completes this Breeders’ Cup day 1 preview.