|Wednesday 20th September 2023|
Breeders’ Cup 2023 the Major Focus as Racing Enters Autumn Season
The 2023 racing season has already brought plenty of explosive action, but we are far from done. As summer turns to autumn, attention is already being turned to a number of huge festivals both in Britain and Ireland, as well as further abroad.
The horse racing community is gearing up for some sensational sporting action. And while trainers are going through their final preparations, fans and punters alike are checking the form and odds that some of the industry’s best bookmakers are already priming. And while many look forward to attending the events in person, others look forward to following the action with their favourite online casino and sports betting sites where they can live stream some of the biggest races.
So what is exactly is in store? Well, October will see the Longchamp Festival in Paris, featuring one of the most lucrative all-age races anywhere in the world: the Arc de Triomphe. And then, in November, America hosts what is known internationally as the World Championships of thoroughbred racing. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the Breeders’ Cup Festival.
When, what and where?
The Breeders’ Cup is, hands down, one of the most important racing events anywhere in the world. Part of the Breeders’ Cup Festival of Racing, the Classic is the most prestigious race – it’s the third and final leg of the highly prized US Triple Crown series. And it’s also one of the most lucrative races anywhere in the world, with the winning horse taking up approximately half of the $6m prize pot. That’s some serious winnings. Attracting the best thoroughbreds aged three and above, the event is run over a mile and quarter. And the winner often goes on to bag the momentous Horse of the Year award. The venue changes year on year, with this year’s event set to be held at the iconic Santa Anita course in LA.
But the Classic is only one of the feature races with 14 world champions to be crowned at the festival. On the first day of the festival – the Friday - there are five juvenile races amounting to $7m in prize money. Saturday is the big one, with eight massive races, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic but also the Dirt Mile, the Filly and Mare Turf, the Filly and Mare Sprint, the Distaff, the Turf and the Turf Sprint. All are Grade One races and there is a total of $19m to be won. Sunday is the culmination of the event and features one race: the Breeders’ Cup sprint.
Being held in the States, the Breeders’ Cup features the cream of American racing. But the event also entices some of the very best of world racing. European horses will feature strongly this year. Here are some of the standout contenders:
This Irish horse is the son of legendary Frankel, and will be ridden in the Classic by superstar jockey Frankie Dettori. His five-year-old season has included victories in the Neom Turf in Suadi Arabia and the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot. The latter of those two is competed over the same distance as the Classic, and is just one of the reasons this horse is a big hope for trainers John and Thandy Gosden.
One European horse of renowned pedigree who could well be making the long trip out to California is dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin. The Aiden O’Brien trained runner completed the double of the English and Irish Derby in 2023, adding the prestigious Irish Champions Stakes in September to his roll call of honours. It’s now expected that the horse will be primed at the Breeder’s Cup Distaff at Santa Anita rather than the Arc due to the ground looking unfavourable in Paris.
Bolshoi BalletThis may be an Irish horse but the majority of Bolshoi Ballet’s success has come in North America, which bodes well for this tilt at probably the Turf. His major success this year came at the Grade 1 at the Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga back in August, so his form is good.