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O’Meara relishing two-pronged Breeders’ Cup challenge with Mondialiste and Suedois

 

Mondialiste & Suedois

Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara will be double-handed at the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita in Los Angeles on Saturday November 5th as he has entered both Mondialiste and Suedois at the self-styled ‘World Championships’ in California.

Mondialiste is no stranger to this fixture having finished an excellent second behind the brilliant Tepin in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile. He again holds an entry in the $2 million Mile, but is also engaged in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf having guaranteed himself a place in the field by landing the Grade 1 Arlington Million in Chicago in August – which is a ‘Win And You’re In’ event for the Turf.

Winner of last season’s Team British Racing Champion Award as the British-trained horse to win most prizemoney outside Europe in 2015, Mondialiste has been on his travels again this term and last time out stayed on strongly in the closing stages to take fourth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

Suedois is also entered in the Breeders’ Cup Mile but is more likely to run in the $1 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint over six and a half furlongs. He has proved himself a top class sprinter over recent months, contesting five straight Group 1 races and never finishing out of the first five.

Two of his best performances have come behind Limato, another of the 11 British-trained Breeders’ Cup entries. He finished two lengths second to him in the Group 1 Darley July Cup in mid-summer, and third, beaten three and a half lengths, in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Chantilly on his latest start, three and a half weeks ago.

David O’Meara, trainer of Mondialiste and Suedois, said:

“I am really looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup and hopefully both Mondialiste and Suedois can be competitive.”

“Mondialiste likes the American style of racing with its fast ground and turning tracks. We’ve run him a couple of times over the straight mile at Ascot and he hasn’t really enjoyed it”

“He ran okay in Kentucky last time, when he was beaten less than two lengths despite them going really steady in the early stages, which didn’t suit the hold-up horses [like him].”

“When he won the Arlington Million back in August he clocked the third fastest time in the last ten years, so the ground was pretty quick and a similar surface at Santa Anita will hold no fears for him.”

“We are leaning towards stepping him up to a mile and a half for the Breeders’ Cup Turf rather than going again in the Mile. It’s a very fast mile and a half at Santa Anita, beginning in a chute which is part of the sprint course, so I think that will suit him fine.”

“Suedois has only been with us for just over a year and he’s had a fantastic season, with his second place in the July Cup being the highlight. He was also third in the Haydock Sprint Cup, when we made plenty of use of him, fourth in the Prix Maurice de Gheest and beaten less than a length at Royal Ascot so he has been running really well all year.”

“One can never be sure how they will deal with the travelling but he is a sensible horse with a good head on him so I would be hopeful on that score. It’s also impossible to be certain how he will handle the downhill sprint course but he is a very well-balanced individual who coped well with the undulations at Newmarket.”

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Group 1 double for British-Breds at QIPCO British Champions Day

G1 Double - BCD

Journey emphatic in the Fillies & Mares

Journey, runner-up in last year’s QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, went one better on Saturday when landing the Group One race over a mile and a half in great style.

A daughter of the Dalham Hall Stud stallion, Dubawi, owned and bred by George Strawbridge and trained by another Newmarket resident, John Gosden, she proved four lengths too strong for Speedy Boarding (by Shamardal) with Queen’s Trust (by Dansili) a close third.

Trainer John Gosden said: “I said to Frankie [Dettori], ‘just try to settle where you can’ and she’ll tell you when she’s happy, and he rode her beautifully. She showed great acceleration.”

Dettori continued with the plaudits: “I can’t believe the turn of foot that she showed today and I am delighted for her. She picked up like she had roller skates! It was instantaneous. She’s not straightforward, but she keeps on winning so I like her!”

The Tin Man proves solid gold

The Tin Man ran out an ultimately impressive winner of Saturday’s QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes run over Ascot’s straight six furlongs.

Owned by the Fred Archer Racing Ormonde syndicate and trained in Newmarket by James Fanshawe, The Tin Man is a four-year-old son of the Newsells Park Stud stallion, Equiano, and was bred by Mrs Elizabeth Grundy before selling for 80,000gns at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sales in 2013.

He proved to be much the best in the Group 1 £600,000 prize, coming home a length ahead of Growl (a son of Oasis Dream) with Brando (a son of Pivotal) a short head back in third.

Fanshawe said: “He’s been a very difficult horse to get right this year – in the Spring he didn’t really thrive, and while I thought I’d got him right for Royal Ascot it didn’t work out. Then the ground came up soft at Haydock [Sprint Cup] and so this is the first time this year we’ve had a really clear run with him, although it’s easy to say in hindsight.”

Big Orange ready to fly the flag for Britain in second Melbourne Cup

Big Orange

“Representing Britain in a race like this is an honour – it really feels as if you are flying the flag for the whole nation.”

Big Orange is on target to represent Britain for a second straight year in the ‘Race That Stops The Nation’, Australia’s biggest race, the Aus$6.2 million (£3,069,307) Emirates Melbourne Cup which takes place at Flemington in Melbourne on Tuesday November 1st.

Pictured above in his Team British Racing livery, Big Orange is trained in Newmarket, Suffolk, the 350-year-old historic headquarters of British racing 50 miles outside London, by Michael Bell. He will go into quarantine next Thursday (September 29th) prior to flying out to Melbourne a fortnight later.

Bred just a brisk gallop away from his current stable at his joint owner, Bill Gredley’s, Stetchworth and Middle Park Studs, the five-year-old son of Duke Of Marmalade has already made the 21,000 mile round trip to Australia once. He finished fifth in the 2015 renewal of the Emirates Melbourne Cup, beaten by just two and half lengths having bravely tried to make all the running.

His other owner is Gredley’s son, Tim, who is better known as a top class showjumping rider. He is quite used to representing his country abroad, having been on senior Great Britain teams on thirteen occasions, including at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, and when winning the Nations Cup in Dublin, Ireland, in 2008. Individually, he won the Geneva Grand Prix in Switzerland in 2008.

When the weights for the Emirates Melbourne Cup, a handicap run over a distance of two miles, were announced last week, Big Orange was allotted 56kg or 8st 11lb, just 1lb more than when he ran in the race last year.

Some might consider this quite lenient, given that Big Orange has excelled in all but one of his four starts since venturing Down Under 11 months ago. His first outing of 2016 saw him go down by just a neck in the US$1 million Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates in late March.

He has also landed a pair of prestigious Group 2 races in his native country for the second straight year – the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket and the Goodwood Cup at Goodwood – but this time by wider margins than in 2015. His only disappointing run came on soft ground in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket back in April.

Big Orange will be endeavouring to break a hoodoo that has lasted over two decades. Since the Melbourne Cup was opened up to international competition in the early 1990’s, no British-trained competitor has crossed the winning line in front despite a number of near misses: runners sporting the Union Jack have finished second on an agonising eight different occasions in the last 17 years.

 

Michael Bell, trainer of Big Orange, said:

“I am very happy with Big Orange’s wellbeing and we are now gearing up his preparations for the Emirates Melbourne Cup. He has not run since July because he was being readied for the Irish St Leger until we decided to give that race a swerve owing to soft ground.”

“I am very happy with the weight that he has been allocated as I think that he has improved since 2015.”

“Last year was a very good reconnaissance trip – he ran an outstanding race and I’m really looking forward to taking him out there again. We learned that he handled the travelling well and he also handled the race day well, which can be quite an ordeal as the runners have to stand in the paddock for an hour and a half with 100,000 people looking on.”

“It’s very exciting but there are still 40 days to go and we have to keep him in one piece, so there are still many bridges to cross.”

“Representing Britain in a race like this is an honour – it really feels as if you are flying the flag for the whole nation.”

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