Over two days, Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November, Breeders' Cup XXXIV (or just plain '34') will comprise thirteen Championship races. The slightly lop-sided split has four races on Friday and nine (yes, nine!) on Saturday, culminating with the Breeders' Cup Classic. There, the world's highest rated racehorse and the defending Classic champion, Arrogate, will bid to repair a slightly tarnished reputation in his final race.
There will be the usual liberal spread of British, Irish and wider European interest, headed by a typically strong Aidan O'Brien team; and, while some of those will be expected to win, it is worth noting that the likes of Roly Poly and Hydrangea - five G1 wins between them this season - were way down the field when well fancied last year. Of course, those of us in the know looked beyond the obvious and sided with the locals, including 14/1 advised on the winner, New Money Honey.
SO HOW DO YOU GET IN THE KNOW?
I'm glad you asked! With my Breeders' Cup Compendium, of course. It's a treasure trove of facts, figures, opinions and tips. Inside you'll find:
Key Race Trends: all the noteworthy trends for each event.
Profile Grids: every runner in every race mapped against the trends, including pace and odds (UK vs US morning line with a comparison to highlight possible value). This will be updated with stalls positions and final fields after the draw on 31st October.
Pace Profiles: each race is broken down by the likely overall pace, pockets of pace (i.e. clusters of speed), and individual pace observations for specific runners.
Key Trials: this section contains links to the key races in which Breeders' Cup contenders advertised their claims. Most of these videos are in stunning high definition, and some of the performances are spectacular!
Race Summaries: a walkthrough of the form for each race, highlighting the major players.
Main Contenders, Other Possibles, and Race Selections: the horses in each race I feel are most likely to play leading roles; and, where applicable, some bigger priced horses that could outrun their odds. Finally, for each race, a trend and a form selection.
In my opinion, the best use of the Breeders' Cup Compendium is to look through the trends and race replays and trust your own judgement. You'll get a nice price about pretty much any horse you like, so it's worth chancing your arm. Of course, if you'd rather follow me in, you can do that. Two years ago, those who did so copped a very pretty penny with big-priced winners galore. Last year was potless yin to 2015's pot-full yang, and such is the nature of the game.
I'm comfortable backing plenty of longshots at a meeting which is deep on talent, but one can go a fair time between drinks with such an approach (as anyone who has waded through Royal Ascot and / or the Cheltenham Festival can attest).
So it's up to you. Go it alone, or follow me; or do a bit of both. Your call. But what is for sure is that with this guide you'll be better informed than 99%* of punters in Britain.
(*figure made up, literally, on the spot, but probably very close to the mark)
Here's an example of one of the trends grids from last year:
The result? New Money Honey beat Coasted. They were two out of only three full green lines on the trends. The other one, Victory To Victory, was a non-runner! The winner was a 9/1 shot with the British bookies, but was advised in the guide at 14/1. The exacta paid £127.40 for a pound.
If you want a heads up on Breeders' Cup, this is the guide for you...
HERE'S THE RELEASE SCHEDULE
My Breeders' Cup Compendium will be released in phases, mirroring the release of pre-entries, the post position draw, and the eve of the event. Here's how that looks:
Wednesday 25th October (evening) - v0.1 pre-entries into trends grids, all odds updated
Tuesday 31st October (evening) - v0.3 final fields and draw positions into trends grids, all odds updated
Thursday 2nd November (evening) - v0.5 Friday complete and Saturday main races complete
Friday 3rd November (morning) - v1.0 All races complete
You'll be able to download the updated versions from the download page - see below.
I'LL MAKE IT EVEN EASIER FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED
The Breeders' Cup Compendium 2017 costs just £12.50, that's less than £1 per race. For a full rundown of all you could ever need to know about each event.
If you're not sure whether you want this, I'm going to make it even easier for you. I've put the link to download the guide FOR FREE on the next page. You can download it without paying if you like. Just tell me where to send it.
If you love the guide, and/or appreciate the gesture, and you're in a position to pay for it, then that's great.
It takes me about 120 hours to pull the Compendium together. When the results go our way, that's vindication enough, but the same amount of energy and effort go into the publication when things go against us, too. Anyone can give you the name of a horse and be lucky or not; what you have here is hand-cranked hard labour win, lose or draw.
For value hunters, getting in early is the way forward. Bookies are a bit 'left and right' at the moment, and I've already struck a few ante-post tickets taking advantage of some glorious disparity in their markets. These will tighten up as we get closer to post time and, naturally, as there is more certainty around the likely runners, post positions, and so on.
The first release of the Breeders' Cup Compendium is available now for just £12.50. Or free. But if you like it, do consider paying for it. Thanks!
Regardless, enter your email address below and I'll send the report across directly!