While we are focused on the Breeders’ Cup, across the pond they are already thinking about next year’s 2000 Guineas and the Derby, thanks to St. Nicholas Abbey’s impressive victory in the Racing Post Trophy over the weekend. The 2-year-old Montjeu colt is 3-for-3 so far – if nothing else, he’s already accomplished considerably more than the last colt named for a Barbados landmark. While no American-based 2-year-olds have (so far) suggested future brilliance, there’s a long time between now and next Spring.
But there is still plenty of European interest in the Breeders’ Cup – Zacinto is back on for the Mile, while Mastercraftsman may take the Dirt Mile (this leaving the way clear for Rip Van Winkle in the Classic). Godolphin and Ballydoyle may be the biggest largely-European teams represented (and we will take a closer look at their entries later), but there’s plenty beyond them – Dermot Weld is likely to send out Famous Name in the Dirt Mile, while Henry Cecil has Middday in the Filly & Mare Turf, Father Time in the Marathon and Twice Over aiming for the Classic. Jeremy Noseda has Awesome Act primed for the Juvenile, while his outstanding mare Fleeting Spirit is going for the ‘dirt’ Sprint. And, of course, Freddie Head has both Goldikova (pictured) in the Mile and her pacemaker, Only Green, in the Filly & Mare Sprint.
That’s not to say the US contingent is lacking firepower; while another major name has definitely been ruled out (Indian Blessing), Einstein and Summer Bird are both looking sharp, and even unlucky-of-late Mine That Bird worked a bullet over the Santa Anita surface. Zenyatta also had a good workout – tomorrow we should discover which in race(s) they’ve opted to pre-enter her.
Finally, of course, comes the news that Sea the Stars will, as predicted, stand at stud in Ireland. He’ll be at the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud, where last year’s Arc winner, Zarkava, will pay him a visit. It will not be the first time an Arc winner has been bred to an Arc winner – Urban Sea, dam of Sea the Stars, was sent to Lammtara, producing Melikah (winner of the Pretty Polly stakes, and now a broodmare). Urban Sea was also sent to Peintre Celebre, a breeding that resulted in the unheralded Emily – so it’s no guarantee of success.
Check back later in the week for more on Breeders’ Cup pre-entries…