Breeders’ Cup Classic Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, Churchill Downs, 3rd November 2018
Here we have available some of the best odds and betting tips for the grand finale of the thoroughbred racing calendar, the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
This is one of the biggest races of the series and always attracts a brilliant field and some brilliant racing betting offers. By far the most lucrative race of the Breeders’ Cup, the Classic is a weight for age race over 2000m, a mile and a half.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Tips 2018
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
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Breeders’ Cup Classic 2018 Betting Tips
This weekend we have one of the really big global racing contests of the year taking place over in Louisville, USA, as Churchill Downs plays host to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic. The history of this great race is littered with contests which truly live up to its “Classic” moniker, with two of our personal favourites being Zenyatta’s scintillating last to first victory in 2009 and the changing of the guard head to head clash between California Chrome and Arrogate in 2016. We await with anticipation to see what the race serves up this year.
Dominant for the past nine years, the question on the lips of racing fans on this side of the Atlantic will be, can any of the raiding party break the US stranglehold on the race? The British and Irish trainers will certainly be giving it a good go.
Going for Saeed bin Suroor is no less a horse that the Dubai World Cup winner, Thunder Snow. 5 ¾l too good for the field that in that Meydan contest, he’s clearly a class act on his day, but will need to do better than his last effort here in the Kentucky Derby when bucking and kicking as soon as the stalls opened in scenes more akin to a rodeo than a horse race.
John Gosden’s name is already on the roll of honour here having scored with Raven’s Pass back in 2008 and he goes for glory once again this year with Roaring Lion. In terms of raw ability, he may well be the best horse in the field but is taking a huge step into the unknown racing on a dirt surface for the first time.
Mendelssohn may be trained by Irish supremo Aidan O’Brien but has been campaigned very much like a US performer with this race the number one target. Winner of this season’s UAE Derby on dirt by a thumping 18½l, he headed into the Kentucky Derby at this track with a live chance on the book. He simply couldn’t handle the sloppy conditions that day though which would be a concern with rain in the area once again.
Of the Americans, one trainer who certainly knows what it takes to succeed is Hall Of Fame handler, Bob Baffert. Having claimed gold in three of the past four seasons he sends West Coast and McKinzie into battle this season. McKinzie was expected to be the real flagbearer for the yard amongst the three year olds this season, only for injury to get in the way, but he did bounce back with an impressive win last time out. West Coast meanwhile finished a solid third in the race last year and looks to have trained on well enough and be coming to the boil at the right time for this.
Whilst this contest is run on a dirt track, the US runners will likely be at a big advantage. Of the home team the one we like best is the three year old, McKinzie. An extremely talented performer, he has fewer miles on the clock than most of these and can come home in front under Mike Smith.
It takes a good horse to turn the Dubai World Cup into a procession though, and despite his antics on his last visit to the track, the one who may be a little underestimated at the prices is Godolphin’s, Thunder Snow. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him run into a place at least.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Previous Winners
- 2017 – Gun Runner – jockey Florent Geroux, trainer Steve Amussen
- 2016 – Arrogate – jockey Mike E Smith, trainer Bob Baffert
- 2015 – American Pharoah – jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert
- 2014 – Bayern – jockey Martin Garcia, trainer Bob Baffert
- 2013 – Mucho Macho Man – jockey Gary Stevens, trainer Kathy Ritvo
- 2012 – Fort Larned – jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr, trainer Ian Wilkes
- 2011 – Drosselmeyer – jockey Mike E Smith, trainer William Mott
- 2010 – Blame – jockey G K Gomez, trainer Albert M Stall Jr
- 2009 – Zenyatta – jockey Mike E Smith, trainer John Shirreffs
- 2008 – Raven’s Pass – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer John Gosden
- 2007 – Curlin – jockey Robby Albarado, trainer Steven Asmussen
- 2006 – Invasor – jockey Fernando Jara, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin
- 2005 – Saint Liam – jockey J D Bailey, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr
This is the grand finale event of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and is the climax of the thoroughbred racing calendar in the US. The race is held at a different track each year and as of 2015 had only left the US once, with the 1996 renewal being held at Toronto’s Woodbine. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is a class one race for three-year-olds and older, and is run over a 10 furlong distance on dirt and is a weight for age race in which three- and four-year-olds have enjoyed most success.
It is the richest race in all of North America and so therefore draws in some of the year’s best performing thoroughbreds from across the world. With its prize fund amounting to over double that of any other race across the weekend, this is the contest that all spectators are waiting for. There are just 14 starting places for horses to fill in this race, with half of these being allocated automatically to those who triumph during The Breeders’ Cup Challenge and the rest decided by a panel of experts.
The Classic has been notoriously difficult to predict due to the highly selective nature of its participants, with each of the competitors earning their right to participate through their individual successes throughout the season. The status that comes with winning this race has proved decisive in the awarding of the US Horse of the Year honours, after four of the Classic winners between 2004 and 2007 went on to be rewarded with this accolade.
This prestigious race has accumulated a great number of world-class thoroughbreds, jockeys and trainers during its history. Chris McCarron and Jerry Bailey go down in the record books as legends in this particular race, both winning the Classic on five occasions each, spanning from 1988 until 2005. There are only a few trainers who have managed to win this one more than once, giving us an insight into the unpredictability of such a fascinating contest.
In 2011 William Mott joined the trio of handlers to boast two Breeders’ Cup Classic victories, alongside Charlie Whittingham and Jay M. Robbins. However, last year Bob Baffert made it three wins in a row to really cement his place in the history of this race.
It truly is an astonishing feat for a single jockey or trainer to be successful on multiple occasions here and this is made evident when viewing the past decade of results in this race – Mike E. Smith is the only jockey who has appeared on this triumphant list twice, winning the race for a fourth time in his career in 2016. Two jockeys have won it five times: Chris McCarron and Jerry Bailey.
From an owner’s perspective, just one person has ever possessed two Breeders’ Cup Classic winning horses – Stronach Stables has been successful with Awesome Again in 1998 and the record-time holder Ghostzapper in 2004.