Thursday European Report

December 10, 2019

Gleneagles, Ireland’s hope in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic saw the Keeneland dirt for the first time this morning. With trainer Aidan O’Brien on a pony overseeing the exercise Gleneagles, with Joseph O’Brien in the saddle jogged around the outside of the main track for one circuit before doing a hack canter for another lap before heading home.

Having got off Gleneagles back at the Quarantine barn Joseph O’Brien said “It is impossible to tell how he will handle the dirt, but what I would say is when he stretched his legs this morning he was in very good form and moving well.

“The dirt is still a bit sloppy, but better than it was and they are saying that there will not be much more in the way of rain. My horse has a lot of pace, he’s a good mover who travels and can quicken and while it is a shot into the dark, he has a great constitution. I think we will know after a couple of furlongs, if he’s travelling and happy, he is in with a shout.”

Co-Owner Michael Tabor was on hand to watch the dual Guineas winner stretch his legs and when asked about his chances in the Classic said.

“He is a real champion and a real star, but whether or not he will adapt to this surface we will just have to see, but he is a real champion.”

Europe’s leading chance in the $3 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf Golden Horn took to the turf track for the first time this morning with stable companion Cymric (Juvenile Turf). Trainer John Gosden with his trusted ‘going stick’ had been out onto the track prior to Golden Horn going on to the turf, and gave the all clear for him to do one circuit of the turf track at a steady canter with Frankie Dettori on board. When asked about the condition of the turf Dettori said: “The ground is soft. I am no local expert, so I do not know how much it will improve over the next few days.”

Speaking at the Quarantine Barn afterwards John Gosden said of Golden Horn “He probably has the most remarkable constitution of any horse I have trained. He shipped here weighing 2kg more than he did when he flew to Paris to the Arc, and he put the weight back on very quickly when he got home from his exertions in the Arc.

He has grown physically in the course of his three-year-old year and matured. Ideally I would like to be coming to a race like this with a four-year-old or five-year-old, but he’s retiring and going to stud, so this is our only shot at it. If he’d been staying in training I would probably have waited for Santa Anita next year.”

Irish challenger Found did a similar piece of exercise to Gleneagles in doing two circuits of the main track one at a jog and the other at a hack canter.

Trainer David Wachman, who flew into Lexington last night, was trackside to see $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf favorite Legatissimo stretch her legs alongside a pony out on the main track. The daughter of Danehill Dancer completed a couple of laps of the track at a steady canter before returning to the barn.

Ralph Beckett was once again on hand to lead out Secret Gesture on to the training track and instructed jockey Florent Geroux to do a steady canter for one-and-a-half circuits.

After watching his filly work Beckett said: “After the Beverly D I thought about going back for the Flower Bowl or the E P Taylor, but she wasn’t quite right, and hadn’t got over Arlington. It was a minor blip, and the main thing is that she knew she had won.

She’s a very athletic filly who can handle fast ground, but the evidence of the form book suggests she handles the soft, and that’s certainly relevant in this instance. I am happy with the way she travelled over and how she worked this morning.”

Freddy Head’s Queen’s Jewel and Andre Fabre’s Miss France also exercised out on the training track. They both trotted for a lap of the track before doing a hack canter for one more.

Bawina the remaining French challenger in the Filly & Mare Turf just walked for a circuit of the track before doing a very gentle trot.

Also-Eligible Talmada who is waiting for a defection in the $2 million event put in quite a strong piece of work out on the training track. Having gone two circuits at a jog alongside a pony she was then asked to step up the pace for a circuit and a half before going three-quarter pace down the straight.

Defending $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile Champion Karakontie went out on to the turf for the first time this morning, but prior to stretching his legs out on the turf he did a lap of the main track at a steady trot. Once on the turf the son of Bernstein did a lap of the track at a steady pace.

His trainer Jonathan Pease said, “He didn’t go very fast deliberately as it was a bit soft out there this morning. The ground is going to be softer than ideal for him and he could have done with a lower draw, but he seems well in himself.”

Also out on the turf this morning were Mondialiste and Time Test. David O’Meara’s charge Mondialiste went a lap of the track with jockey Danny Tudhope on board and appeared to be enjoying his surroundings.

Time Test, winner of the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket on his latest start, went two laps of the turf before schooling in the paddock and returning home. His trainer Roger Charlton was trackside to see the son of Dubawi was happy with what he saw.

Esoterique and fellow French raiders Make Believe and Impassable exercised out on the training track. The Andre Fabre pair of Esoterique and Make Believe both jogged a lap of the Polytrack before doing another circuit at a hack canter.

Impassable, with regular work rider Iva Milickova in the saddle, did a slightly stronger piece of work. Having walked and jogged for a circuit she then turned and completed two circuits at a steady canter.

War Envoy, the sole European challenger in the $1 million Dirt Mile also stretched his legs out on the Main Track alongside stable companion Waterloo Bridge (Juvenile).

Juvenile Turf contender Birchwood followed a similar pattern as the previous two days by going out on to the training track and jogging with a pony before doing a couple of laps and a gentle canter.

The Aidan O’Brien pair of Hit It A Bomb and Shogun went out on to the dirt and did exactly the same as Gleneagles and the other Ballydoyle horses.

Wayne Tanner, who has been looking after Nemoralia (Juvenile Fillies Turf) for Jeremy Noseda since she shipped to America, was pleased with what he saw as the daughter of More Than Ready did a canter of two circuits of the Polytrack. “She looks well and I am happy with her. We are not sure if she will handle the ground, but if she does she will be going into the race with a serious chance.”

Illuminate, who will be bidding to give Richard Hannon his first Breeders’ Cup win walked a circuit of the training track being led by a pony.

Alice Springs, the Irish challenger in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf went out onto the dirt jogged a lap before doing another circuit at a hack canter.

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