Watch the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November.
By Peter Fornatale
Expert Eye's win in last year's Mile as Europe's first since 2014 and pulled one back in a race in which they currently trail their North American counterparts by five wins.
This year's renewal does not look a great one on paper and it's not too much of a surprise to see Circus Maximus favourite given his exploits this season. He seeks to give his trainer a first win in the race and conditions should suit. He has contested two of the races Expert Eye used as a springboard for his Mile win, matching his second placed finish in the Sussex Stakes and surpassing his third in the Moulin when seeing off Romanised to win his most recent start. That form looks the best on offer and he should be bang there at the finish provided he can get a good sit from stall nine.
He has fared better with the draw than Hey Gaman and Frankie Dettori will have to be at his very best to navigate a suitable trip for this runner, who is unproven at the distance and will need to improve for it.
Lord Glitters is similarly berthed but things should be a lot more simple for his rider, Jamie Spencer, who will surely drop his mount in behind and ride him for luck. Lord Glitters actually has some top-class form and might well get closer to Circus Maximus than he did in the Sussex, as this flatter track should suit him. He ran extremely well in the Dubai Turf behind the brilliant Almond Eye and his win at Royal Ascot in the Queen Anne this year gives him little to find. Provided the pace scenario is to his liking, he looks underbet.
Without Parole finished behind Lord Glitters when they met at Meydan and disappointed on his final start for John Gosden. He has since joined Chad Brown, so is in excellent hands, but winning a race of this nature first time up looks a Herculean asking on paper. That said, perhaps he’s had a respiratory issue and the Lasix can turn him around. You can cherry pick the best bits of his form and make a case – especially with the news that he’s been working well with his stablemate superstar Bricks And Mortar.
Another runner having their first run for a new barn is Trais Fluors, an ex-Andre Fabre runner who is now with Kevin Condon. He hasn't really done anything to suggest he is up to winning a race of this nature and is yet to fully prove himself on fast ground, so isn't difficult to pass over.
Formerly trained by Johnny Murtagh, True Valour is now in the capable hands of Simon Callaghan and did really well to win that day as he was returning from an eight-month layoff. He took his form to a new level there and may well have improved in his time away from the track, so could well hit the board from a decent post position.
Two other runners who have been drawn favourably are Suedois and Space Traveller. The pair met in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown with the latter named coming out well on top, showing a smart change of pace to reel in Matterhorn, who had got first run. This proved he stayed a mile and was arguably a career best, but he will need plenty of luck in running with his running style.
Suedois subsequently went on to contest the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes, a race he had won in 2017 and Wise Dan had annexed on his way to glory in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Mile. Suedois ran well there, given plenty to do but running on well at the end. He is eight now and has probably lost a step, while it’s possible he is better at seven furlongs with a stronger early pace – there will be few in the field who try as hard.
The victor in the Shadwell Mile was Bowies Hero, an in-and-out sort who looks a little short of the required standard. He loves the mile distance and has form at Santa Anita, but stall fourteen looks very difficult to overcome.
The Woodbine Mile is another race that Wise Dan landed prior to his Breeders' Cup Mile win, while Court Approval took the race before scoring in the Mile in 2017. This year's renewal was won by 45/1 longshot El Tormenta, who took his form to a new level by scoring from Got Stormy and Lucullan.
Despite his starting price, there didn't appear to be too much of a fluke about the win. El Tormenta did get a nice rail trip, but he travelled well and put the race to bed pretty well in the straight, not appearing to be doing a lot in front. He has a good record at the mile distance and the two he beat are consistent individuals, so there's no reason to doubt that effort.
Lucullan has since franked the form with a Grade 2 win at Belmont and looks to be improving nicely.
Got Stormy certainly has claims on her best races. Her trainer knows what is required to win the Mile with a filly, having scored with Tepin in 2015, and she ran a massive figure in the Fourstardave. She probably ran a bit unevenly at Woodbine but looks the sort to be better suited by quicker ground, particularly at a sharper track. Her 108 Beyer in the Fourstar correlates very well with the top-rated Europeans and she is a danger to all.
She is joined by another filly, Uni, who was behind her in the Fourstardave but has otherwise won every start since the beginning of 2018. She has run once since the Fourstar, landing the First Lady in career-best fashion, albeit well suited by having a strong pace to run at. She will need that again here as she is most likely going to drop in from a wide post, but she couldn't be in better hands and likely still has more to come.
VERDICT: In a competitive Mile, I’m going to take a shot with two longshots, LORD GLITTERS and WITHOUT PAROLE. I will also play them underneath with CIRCUS MAXIMUS on top in exactas.