Adrian McGuinness is backing A Case Of You to produce a “huge run” as his first ever contender at the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Del Mar in November.
The three-year-old was last seen winning the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on October 3, a race that secured his ticket to the $1million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
A tilt at the Prix de l’Abbaye was a late decision for the trainer, who was inspired to supplement A Case Of You for the race after his half-length defeat at the hands of Romantic Proposal in the Curragh’s Flying Five Stakes.
The Longchamp contest saw the costly decision to head to France justified however, and gave the colt another shot at gaining a ‘win and you’re in’ place at the Breeders’ Cup.
“Straight after the Flying Five we said we had to go to France,” McGuinness said.
“It wasn’t a case that you had to put your hand in your pocket, he’d earned his money to go there and we decided that we had to go.
“It was either the Abbaye or Ascot, we felt if Ascot got very heavy it would be a real testing slog, so we decided to supplement him for France even though that was sharp.”
The race was a tense watch for McGuinness with Corine Barande-Barbe’s Air De Valse making all of the running and A Case Of You only just catching her on the line to prevail by a short head in a photo finish.
“There was somebody standing beside me in the stands who thought I had gone mad,” McGuinness said.
“The last half a furlong I knew he was coming. I came off the stands and thought ‘I hope it’s not another second in a Group One’, because after being second in the Flying Five I thought ‘will I ever be that close again?’.
“It was a long minute or so before it was called, the joy and the celebrations after it though were unbelievable.”
The decision to take up the slot in Del Mar was an easy one for McGuinness, who was disappointed to have missed the earlier chance at the Curragh.
“We did think of the Breeders’ Cup after the Flying Five, a ‘win and you’re in’, and it was pity we were only second,” he said.
“He’s only had three races since June, once we were told we’re a ‘win and you’re in’ it was a no brainer for us.
“It’s a great thrill for us to have a horse to go there, it’s brilliant for us to get out there and see what it’s all about.”
A Case Of You has produced some of his best performances on softer going, but the ground on his Flying Five run was good and McGuinness is sure he will handle the Del Mar turf.
“They tell me it’s not flint hard,” he said.
“It’s quick but there is lovely sponge in the surface out there.
“The ground in the Flying Five wasn’t slow that day, he handled it well, and I think he’ll handle it.
“He handles soft ground, but I think he’ll be better on nice ground.
“I think if the horse produces what he is capable of doing, it will take a good horse to beat him.
“The draw is key, we’d love a low draw which would be massive help to him, I’d be confident that he’s going to run a huge race out there.”