Aidan O’Brien narrowly misses out at Breeders Cup

Battleground had started as favourite in Juvenile Turf but was beaten by 30-1 shot

Ireland drew a blank on Friday night's Breeders Cup action in Keeneland with Aidan O'Brien frustratingly having to settle for two runner-up finishes.

Mother Earth finished fast from the rear of the field but had no answer to the impressive all the way winner Aunt Pearl in the Juvenile Fillies on Turf.

Ken Condon’s bargain buy Miss Amulet ran another fine race at the top level to finish third.

Earlier, Battleground had started 7-2 favourite to give O'Brien and Ryan Moore a fifth win in the Juvenile Turf but also found himself with ground to make up and couldn't overhaul the 30-1 winner Fire At Will.


Moore reported of Battleground: “He ran a lovely race. I like him a lot. He’s a horse with a big future. He ran on really well but the winner had gone.”

Jessica Harrington’s Cadillac was fourth after a fraught time both before and during the race.

A problem with one of the colt’s shoes reportedly had to be fixed in the parade ring beforehand while Cadillac also proved reluctant to load at one point, kicking out spectacularly before going into the gate.

Cadillac also met some trouble at the first turn in a rough contest that saw the Michael Maker trained winner enjoy a charmed run around in comparison to others.

Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal opened up Breeders Cup 2020 by justifying hot favouritism in the Juvenile Turf Sprint.

It was enough to make the speedy colt a general 6-1 favourite for Royal Ascot’s Commonwealth Cup all of seven months away next summer.

The O’Brien trained Lipizzaner finished fourth.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column