Detailed day-by-day horse racing reports and information on the Breeders’ Cup, available from Geegeez. Read about the horses, races and events here.

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Trends

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Trends

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Trends

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Trends

Another newish race, with five previous runnings to consider. If ever a race at the Breeders Cup looked like a European benefit, this one mile turf race for juvenile fillies is it. Strange then that it took until the fifth iteration for Europe to record a win, and perhaps even stranger that the  British and Irish axis is still awaiting its turn in the victors' circle.

It's not for want of trying. In 2008, two Irish fillies boarded a plane and one of them, the 14/1 shot Heart Shaped (trained by Aidan O'Brien), just failed by a nose to get up. The following year, there were again two Euros, one more O'Brien horse and a German challenger. Despite the Irish filly being 6/4 favourite, she could do no better than eighth with the Deutsche, Junia Tepzia, trailing home last of the twelve.

Over the Churchill we went in 2010, and for this third renewal there were four Euro raiders. The best finish was from AOB's Together, in a disappointing fifth. Messrs Hannon, Gosden and Meehan were out with the washing.

Three years in, and eight runners in, and Europe had yet to register. Worse, their last two sets of entries didn't even trouble the superfecta judge.

To 2011, and a triple whammy attack on the race from Europe, with one each from Ireland, UK and France. Elusive Kate was the UK representative but she left her race in Paris, and it was AOB's Up which enjoyed the best finish of the three, in fourth place. At least that pesky superfecta judge had to call some 'away team' in his 1-2-3-4.

2012 saw two things happen: one, the Breeders Cup roadshow returned to Santa Anita; and, two, a new rule banned the use of Lasix in the juvenile races. That latter rule, which remains in place for 2013 but will then be rescinded, seems to favour the Euros who never use raceday medication.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Join the Geegeez Breeders Cup Syndicate by clicking this link.

With hindsight then, it probably offered the best chance of a European winner, and so it proved as the east side of the pond registered its maiden win, courtesy of Mikael Delzangles' French filly, Flotilla. She was far from the most fancied of the Euro quintet, however.

Indeed, Sky Lantern, subsequently to prove herself top class, was sent off 5/2 favourite before disappointing under a misjudged inside ride.

One of the key challenges to a European win does seem to be lack of track craft from the foreign jockeys, who simply don't know how to ride the tight inner oval. If you have a very good horse - as in the case of Sky Lantern - the key is to go wide, and use the camber to slingshot into the stretch. Guaranteed a run out wide, no momentum is lost, and tiring foes ahead come back to their field. Hopefully this year we'll see less hard luck stories.

If you're not sure what I mean, watch this rerun of last year's race, and then replay the home stretch. You just have to come wide into the straight if you're coming from off the pace.

Key Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Trends

With just five years data to look at, these trends are not definitive, but there are some interesting angles. Firstly, no matter how much we feel that Europe should be doing better, and irrespective of last year's fillip, the fact is that from seventeen attempts so far, Europe has just one winner to America's four.

Moreover, that winner was not the strongest fancy in the raiding party. This is a race in which hard luck stories abound, with a big field of inexperienced horses hurtling around tight turns and down a short run-in. The average payoff is just over 10/1, so try not to get drawn into a European sucker bet. Even if a short-priced Euro does win in 2013, it's not a value play according to the brief history available.

Although only two horses had won their previous start going into this, four of the five winners had either won the last day or been within two lengths of the winner.

All four US winners had won over at least a mile on turf.

Join the Geegeez Breeders Cup Syndicate by clicking this link.

Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Key Prep Races

There are five 'Win And You're In' (WAYI) races for this contest, two in Europe and three in North America. Lucky Kristale won the Lowther Stakes, but won't be risked on the fast Santa Anita course; Rizeena won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and has since run second in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket.

Across the pond, Llanarmon won the Natalma Stakes at Woodbine, perhaps the key prep for the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. She gets an automatic pass as a consequence, but she wasn't far ahead of Spanish Flower, Appreciating and Madly Truly, all of which were within a length of the winner.

In the Ms Grillo Stakes, Testa Rossi just nosed out Sky Painter for the WAYI berth, but again there's nothing between them on this evidence. And finally, in the Jessamine Stakes, Kitten Kaboodle rolled away from favourite, Zinzay, and the rest, winning by almost five lengths.

Join the Geegeez Breeders Cup Syndicate by clicking this link.

Breeders Cup Marathon Trends

Breeders Cup Marathon Trends

Breeders Cup Marathon Trends

Breeders Cup Marathon Trends

The Breeders Cup Marathon is one of the new races added when the Breeders Cup moved to a two day event. It is unusual inasmuch as it doesn't really suit any of the entries! Specifically, very few US races are run over such an extreme distance as a mile and three quarters; and no European races are run on dirt surfaces.

So the domestics have an advantage with the surface, and the imports have the legs. But which horses are best suited overall?

There have been five renews of the BC Marathon so far, three of them at Santa Anita and two at Churchill Downs. But the race conditions have changed, and changed again, making trends analysis tricky.

In 2008, the inaugural Marathon was run over a mile and a half on Pro-Ride, a synthetic surface which was akin to the polytrack known well to European horses. No shock then, that Muhannak, a winner at Kempton and Dundalk, brought home the bacon.

A year later, it was still Santa Anita and still Pro-Ride, but this time the race was run over a mile and three-quarters, arguably even further favouring the Euro raiders. This time it was Man Of Iron's turn to claim the prize for Aidan O'Brien. It may be noteworthy that neither of these Euro winners was the first choice of the away team.

In 2010, the Breeders Cup roadshow moved to Churchill Downs, and to proper fast dirt. Just two Euros shipped this time, Precision Break and Bright Horizon, and they could fare no better than seventh behind Eldaafer, a first home winner.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Join the Geegeez Breeders Cup Syndicate by clicking this link.

Churchill was again the venue in 2011, and it was again the home team which prevailed: Afleet Again to be precise. This time a trio of Euros made the flight, including a first French foray, but they filled three of the last four places. Indeed, the only thing preventing a 'reverse clean sweep' was the sad breaking down of favourite, AU Miner.

After two bad reversals for Europe, it was hoped that a return to the warmth of Santa Anita last year would revitalize their prospects. Alas, no. With the Pro-Ride now a distant memory, replaced by the same kind of fast dirt that had demolished foreign hopes in Louisville, the two Irish entries - the only two from Europe - both pulled up.

But there was a new twist to the Marathon story as it was Calidoscopio, an Argentinian runner with proven dirt and distance form, that bagged the spoils in most unlikely fashion. It's a race well worth a watch, as the winner was almost tailed off with a circuit to run.

The key points to note in that race were, firstly, that the Irish runners hated the ground, and it will be interesting to see which - if any - European horses make the trip this time. And second, horses unused to this sort of distance went off too fast and were caught by a one-paced dirt stayer in the shape of Calidoscopio.

So, if we can find a horse with dirt and distance form, we have almost all of the required elements for a Breeders Cup Marathon winner.

Other Breeders Cup Marathon factors to note

Although Man Of Iron won this in 2009 as a three-year-old, the older horses have the edge overall with two 4yos, a 5yo, and the veteran Calidoscopio doing the business aged nine last year.

Three of the five Marathon winners have been non-US horses: two from Europe and one from Argentina, and it does look a race in which the American horses are ripe to be taken on, despite the European dislike of a fast dirt surface.

Four of the five Marathon winners won last time out, and the other was a running on second, beaten less than a length, so favour a strong last race.

Three of the five winners had a mile and a half-plus victory to their names already, and one other had won over half a furlong shorter than that. Look for stamina at least for a mile and a half.

Join the Geegeez Breeders Cup Syndicate by clicking this link.

Key Prep Races for Breeders Cup Marathon

It's difficult to say which races might be key preparatory events for the Marathon, though there is one 'Win and You're In' (WAYI) race, the Clasico Belgrano in Argentina, won by Ever Rider. The short-priced favourite there, Soy Carambolo, disappointed but would be a player if he was entered in the Marathon.

A win at Dundalk, and a run in the Diamond Stakes there, featured in both the European Pro-Ride winners' profiles. But the world has turned since then, and the poly-to-dirt angle that this would now represent is less likely to pay a dividend. Jim Bolger's Parish Hall won it this year, with the Ballydoyle favourite, Afonso de Sousa, in third.

Join the Geegeez Breeders Cup Syndicate by clicking this link.

Your first 30 days for just £1