Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori are regulars on the Breeders’ Cup Turf roll of honour.
Magician and Conduit did the trick for Moore, whilst Dettori struck with Daylami and Fantastic Light for Saeed bin Suroor before wins on the Meehan pair Red Rocks and Dangerous Midge.
The Italian is rejuvenated thanks in no small part to his association with John Gosden. The horse to put Frankie back in the limelight is of course Golden Horn. The jockey understandably loves the colt and is hopeful of ending the campaign on a high. Speaking recently he said: “He’s the sort of horse who thrives on his racing, he takes his races really well and I think he is getting better. He's very tough - most of the great ones are. He always has something to give.”
Brilliant in the Epsom Derby, Golden Horn was scintillating in the Arc, but conditions are likely to be less favourable at Keeneland. Gosden remained unfazed when saying yesterday: “It is soft, good to soft in places. We are in a period of hopefully 48 hours of dry weather. It will improve all the time. We are making it clear we plan to run.”
A season spent asserting that the colt was at his best on a sound surface suggests that he will be vulnerable on Saturday. There’s every chance that Ryan Moore will be best placed to capitalize.
Back on track after spending much of the season on the side-lines, Moore is ‘top-dog’ for Coolmore and has several high profile rides during the Breeders’ Cup. Aidan O’Brien’s filly Found, will be one of his better chances of success. She’s high-class, though has endured a rather frustrating campaign.
Her second place to Golden Horn in the Irish Champion Stakes gives her every chance in the ‘Turf’ especially if the favourite fails to run to form. Her last performance, when given plenty to do in the Qipco Champion Stakes confirmed her ability to challenge the colts at the very highest level.
Only two fillies have won the race since its inception in 1984, though O’Brien does have a good record with his three-year-olds. Son Joseph spoke yesterday of the filly, saying: “Found has handled a bit of juice in the ground before, so it mightn’t be as big a problem for her as for some of them. She takes her racing with a great attitude.”
Aside from the ‘Tussle in the Turf’, the two jocks have every chance of adding to their Breeders’ Cup winning tally. Both have mounts for Wesley Ward in the Turf Sprint, though Dettori has the plum ride on Undrafted. Moore then partners Legatissimo in the Filly & Mare Turf, whilst Frankie gets the leg-up on Miss France for Fabre.
Moore’s final ride is on Gleneagles in the Classic. He’s an intriguing challenger to the mighty American Pharoah. Untested competitively on dirt, and stepping up in trip for the first time, much appears to be against him. But this colt is a duel Guineas winner and O’Brien clearly holds him in the highest esteem.
Arguably two of the greatest jockeys in recent times are set for a thrilling weekend on the international stage. Their coming together is just one of numerous captivating Breeders’ Cup narratives.