Beethoven to join Alfred for Breeders' Cup Juvenile on dirt
Racing:ANY SUSPICIONS Beethoven’s 33 to 1 success in last weekend’s Dewhurst Stakes might be a fluke could be banished at Santa Anita in 18 days when he lines up against the best in America. Aidan O’Brien’s colt was the outsider of three Ballydoyle runners at Newmarket on Saturday, but his Dewhurst victory has earned Beethoven a Breeders’ Cup ticket.
O’Brien has confirmed that Beethoven is set to join Alfred Nobel in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race on the Pro-Ride all-weather surface, while Viscount Nelson will run in the Juvenile race on turf.
“The plan is for Beethoven to run in the juvenile dirt. He has always had a lot of ability, but he needs good ground and he was probably starting to get tired of running on bad ground.
“When he ran in France they just walked around before sprinting at the end. I would say better ground and waking him up a bit with the visor all helped him at Newmarket,” O’Brien said.
“He and Alfred Nobel will run in the Juvenile dirt, while Viscount Nelson will go for the Juvenile on grass. The plan is for Lillie Langtry to go in the Juvenile fillies and Man Of Iron could run in the Marathon,” he added.
Rip Van Winkle and Mastercraftsman continue to please the champion trainer in their preparations for the €3.4 million Classic, a race run over the same course and distance that Henrythenavigator finished runner-up to Raven’s Pass in last year.
“Both horses have been busy this season, but we believe they are very good horses and very tough horses,” O’Brien reported.
Totally Devoted looks like being a non-Breeders’ Cup runner for Ballydoyle in a Grade Three on the Santa Anita undercard on November 7th. This Seeking The Gold filly was fifth to Aspectoflove in a Listed race at Naas on Sunday.
However, one horse missing from the Breeders’ Cup will be Septimus as O’Brien has drawn stumps on hopes to run last year’s Irish Leger hero this season. A decision on whether he remains in training in 2010 has yet to be made.
One star name that will be back next year is Fame And Glory, who failed to fire when favourite for last weekend’s Champion Stakes. The Irish Derby winner will race on as a four-year-old in 2010.
“The plan is for him to race next year and hopefully he will be able to do well again,” O’Brien said. “Saturday’s race was at the end of a long season and it could be the Arc took more out of him than we thought.”
St Nicholas Abbey will fly the Ballydoyle flag in Saturday’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and has been installed ante-post favourite for the event.
One man hoping to surprise the current 2010 Derby favourite, though, is Co Tyrone-based trainer Andy Oliver, who plans to run his own unbeaten colt Elusive Award in the final Group One of the British flat racing season.
“He had to miss the Beresford due to a couple of minor problems, but he has done well since.
“He is in the Horris Hill as a back up and it is ground-dependant. He wants good ground, and I hope it stays fair at Doncaster.
“He needs a mile on good ground on a big, galloping track, and that’s what we’re after,” Oliver said.
Kevin Manning will be on board Elusive Award provided he is not claimed for one of the two Jim Bolger entries in the Racing Post, Marfach and Free Judgement.
Today’s all-flat card at Navan could throw up a number of promising juveniles, and there will be none better bred than Flying Cross, who has his second career start in the mile maiden, a race in which O’Brien has five runners.
Flying Cross, a son of Sadler’s Wells and the 1999 English and Irish Oaks heroine Ramruma, has ground to make up on Akinndi from his course debut behind Bogie, but Ballydoyle’s juveniles usually improve significantly for their first start.
The Akinndi team of John Oxx and Mick Kinane introduce the Kalanisi newcomer Sindiyma, and the Aga Khan runner looks one to check out in the fillies maiden.
Oxx can also score in the fillies handicap with Carrig Girl.
Mt Weather should have no trouble with a drop back to the minimum trip in the apprentice handicap and could provide some each way value in a tricky heat.