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Glass Slippers records famous success in Turf Sprint

Glass Slippers gave Europe a first ever victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint when striking for North Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan at Keeneland.

Winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye in 2019 and just touched off from a poor draw in last month’s renewal, the four-year-old filly showed just how much she thrives in the latter part of the campaign with a dramatic success.

Glass Slippers – who landed the Flying Five at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend – was not the best out of the gates and Tom Eaves was happy to place her towards the rear of the field, but near the rail.

Up front, Bombard and Into Mystic shared the early pace with Wildman Jack, Texas Wedge and Leinster joining in as the runners approached the top of the stretch.

At that point, Eaves started to make his move on Glass Slippers, who was helped when a gap appeared as the early trail-blazers started to go back.

Glass Slippers responded in game fashion and galloped on strongly all the way to the line, scoring by half a length from Wet Your Whistle with Leinster third.

Ryan – having just his second Breeders’ Cup runner – said: “It’s been a funny year for us in the UK, and with this filly you have to plan her races out as she is a filly who improves as the year goes on.

“We knew she goes round a bend very well, as she had won at Chester, and Tom had a word with Ryan Moore who told him to take his time and opt for the shortest route. Being over five and a half furlongs that extra half a furlong was massive.

“She has always been a good traveller and thrives wherever she goes, although she had not been this far, but through the week as she was drinking and eating well we got happier with every passing day.

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“It’s great that she will be back for another season next year and if things go to plan I would love to come back to run in this race at Del Mar.”

Ryan’s only other Breeders’ Cup runner, East, was second to Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2018.

“This is what we do the job for and I’m very lucky to have had some very good horse,” he went on.

“I wasn’t able to attend my first Breeders’ Cup, but it’s great to come out here and this filly is very special.”

Delighted owner Terry Holdcroft said: “I’ve been breeding horses for over 40 years and she is the best I’ve ever bred.

“It’s lovely that we kept her and didn’t sell her. Kevin has put an incredible amount of time and detail into training the filly.

“We had a programme at the start of the year and we didn’t budge from it. We won a qualifying Group One in Ireland and only just missed out on the Abbaye and one of the reasons to keep her in training is that things might change – we haven’t been able to go racing at home and it was such a great opportunity to be able to come here and watch her run.”

Eaves said: “Kevin knows this horse like the back of his hand and he told me he couldn’t have been happier with her. I didn’t chase the pace and waited and rode my luck. There was a lovely gap for us rounding the turn.

“This is a day I will never forget.”

Monomoy Girl justified her short price when winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff for a second time.

The five-year-old took the prize in 2018 but was restricted to only three starts in the interim, winning them all.

Brad Cox’s mare showed she was as good as ever when overcoming a wide berth to regain her crown and give her trainer a fourth Breeders’ Cup win of the weekend.

Her main rival Swiss Skydiver ruined her chance when she stumbled leaving the stalls, though the Preakness winner did her best to get into the race on the turn for home.

However, she could not maintain her challenge and weakened in the straight as Monomoy Girl and Florent Geroux lifted the prize from Valiance and Dunbar Road.

It was also redemption for Geroux as he had been unshipped from Starship Jubilee on leaving the stalls in the Filly Mare & Turf.

Cox said: “She is a champion. I’m very proud of her and I thought she was better than she had ever been coming into this and she proved that was her trip.

“It was a very fast time on a fast racetrack. She’s just a tremendous filly. I thought we were in a good spot at the eighth pole and Florent did a fantastic job.

“I’m very fortunate to be part of her – I think we’ve seen greatness.”

Monomoy Girl is due to go to the sales, but asked if that decision might be reversed, co-owned Sol Kumin said: “We will go out and enjoy tonight, get on the phone and put up a game plan and figure it all out, but ultimately it will be concentrating on what is best for her.”

Fellow co-owner Stewart Grant said: “Considering that she had some training issues, most people would have packed it in and sold her, but we love to race and with a very special team headed by Brad we were able to put her together again.

“Her career speaks for itself, with all the Grade One wins, two Breeders’ Cups and an Eclipse award.”

As for Swiss Skydiver, trainer Kenny McPeek said: “She stumbled at the start and Robby (Albarado) said after she left a little awkward that he kind of got stuck down inside and she was struggling down in there.

“But Monomoy Girl is a great filly, she’s deserves all the fame status.

“We’ll regroup and get a programme together for next year and come back at them again.”

He added: “There’s a very good chance (be back as a four-year-old). I’m a little worried about her finish, that’s uncharacteristic of her but we’ll go over her thoroughly and see what we’ve got.

“I think physically she’s probably fine but it wasn’t her day.”

Audarya flies the flag for Fanshawe at Breeders’ Cup

James Fanshawe is relishing the prospect of sending out his first Breeders’ Cup runner when Audarya contests Saturday’s Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf.

The daughter of Wootton Bassett was winning a handicap on the all-weather at Newcastle as recently as early August, but has made huge progress since by claiming a surprise Group One win in the Prix Jean Romanet before finishing a close third in the Prix de l’Opera.

Fanshawe is well aware of the task facing his charge in America, but is adamant she is not there just to make up the numbers.

He said: “It’s a very different track to what she’s been racing on – it’s round two bends and much tighter.

“She’s a very well balanced filly, so I don’t think that will be a problem, and what will suit her is a truly-run race.

“At this time of year you’re just hoping your filly is in the same form as she has been for her last two races, as you’re going into the winter and some thrive and some start to hibernate.

“She seems well and is showing no signs of that. I hope she’ll run a very big race.”

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British hopes are also carried by John Gosden’s Terebellum.

Impressive in the Group Two Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in early June, the Godolphin-owned four-year-old was subsequently narrowly denied Group One glory in both the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

However, she could finish only fifth on her latest appearance in the Sun Chariot.

Gosden said: “It was very, very soft ground for Newmarket in the Sun Chariot. They seldom called it heavy and that was the description they were giving on the day.

“She found that a little bit too testing. Like most horses, she likes what we call good ground.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Peaceful and Cayenne Pepper, from Jessica Harrington’s yard, represent Ireland.

Following three successive runner-up finishes, Cayenne Pepper ran out an impressive winner of the Group Two Blandford Stakes at the Curragh in September.

“I think it probably was a career-best last time,” said Harrington.

“I was convinced she was a mile-and-a-half filly, but in the Irish Oaks and in the race at Cork (Give Thanks Stakes), she was in front until the last half-furlong and got run out of it.

“Bringing her back in trip for the Blandford, and winning it like she did, I really was absolutely delighted with her.”

Kevin Ryan is looking forward to saddling Glass Slippers
Kevin Ryan is looking forward to saddling Glass Slippers (PA)

Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup action gets under way with the Filly & Mare Sprint, for which Bob Baffert’s Gamine is the likely favourite.

The following race is the Turf Sprint, in which Kevin Ryan is set to saddle dual Group One-winning filly Glass Slippers, who was last seen finishing second when bidding for back-to-back wins in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

Ryan said: “She’s a top-class filly and the Breeders’ Cup is a very important meeting – it’s nice to have a filly that is good enough to run there.

“She comes out of her races very well – she’s very tough and genuine.

“She’s one of the best I’ve trained. She’s just been a very progressive filly who has kept on improving and I’m very privileged to have her to train.”

Chad Brown’s Complexity and the Brad Cox-trained Knicks Go are among the leading contenders for the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, while George Weaver’s Vekoma and Steven Asmussen’s unbeaten colt Yaupon lock horns in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Cox’s Monomoy Girl is a hot favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, ahead of Kenny McPeek’s Swiss Skydiver.

Safe Voyage one of the big hopes as Yorkshire trainers target Breeders’ Cup

Three Yorkshire trainers have their eyes on a first Breeders’ Cup success at Keeeneland this weekend.

John Quinn, Kevin Ryan and Nigel Tinkler fly the flag for the white rose county in the United States’ biggest racing Festival.

Quinn unleashes his fine stable stalwart Safe Voyage in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile on Saturday.

The seven-year-old is a dual Group Two winner this season and was a close third in the Prix de la Foret on his latest start.

John Quinn has high hopes for Safe Voyage
John Quinn has high hopes for Safe Voyage (Edward Whitaker/PA)

The Settrington trainer revealed he has had this race mind for some time.

He said: “Early in the spring, we thought the Breeders’ Cup could suit Safe Voyage. He’s got some very good form going left-handed.

“His best form before this season was over seven furlongs, but he then won and dug deep when he won over a mile at Leopardstown, so the mile at Keeneland will hold no fears for him.”

“He finished third in the Qatar Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp last time and has been in good form since that race at the start of October. He’s come out of that race well.”

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Having a first Breeders’ Cup runner is a dream come true for Quinn – and Safe Voyage is not going to just make up the numbers.

“This is our first Breeders’ Cup runner and it’s wonderful for us. We’ve been training a long time and he has a live chance. It’s something we all aspire to.”

Glass Slippers, Ryan’s contender for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, was also in action at ParisLongchamp where she was second in her bid to win the Prix de l’Abbaye for the second year running.

The four-year-old filly gained her place when winning the ‘Win and You’re In’ Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

Ryan’s first Breeders’ Cup runner was East, who was second to Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2018.

Kevin Ryan relies on Glass Slippers in the Breeders' Cup Sprint
Kevin Ryan relies on Glass Slippers in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (John Walton/PA)

“The Breeders’ Cup has been on our mind all season. She won the ‘Win and You’re In’ race at the Curragh and also ran well in the Abbaye from a bad draw,” said the Hambleton handler.

Ryan would not mind some rain in Kentucky this week for his filly. He said: “She’s very versatile as far as the ground is concerned, but I think she is a better filly with some cut in the ground.”

Tinkler has faith in Ubettabelieveit, who heads to the Juvenile Turf Sprint on Friday with a progressive profile.

The Kodiac colt burst on the scene when winning the Listed National Stakes at Sandown in July and improved on that to lift the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster in September. His only blip was in the Gimcrack Stakes at York that was run in testing conditions.

“I think he’s definitely improving. I think he’s better now than when he ran at Doncaster,” said the Malton handler.

“We then took him to Sandown where he ran very impressively and won very easily again. We then took him to York for the Gimcrack, which is over six furlongs.

“The ground was soft, bordering on heavy. He just didn’t like it – he ran too keen. Fortunately, the jockey was quite lenient with the horse, and gave him a very easy race, and he bounced back well to win the Flying Childers at Doncaster.”

On ground conditions at Keeneland, Tinkler is hoping for no more rain.

“At the moment I think the ground is fine. It does drain very well at Keeneland apparently, but soft ground would be a concern,” he said.

Nigel Tinkler feels Ubettabelieveit is improving
Nigel Tinkler feels Ubettabelieveit is improving (Steve Davies/PA)

It will also be a landmark day for the young jockey Rowan Scott who will keep the ride on Ubettabelieveit.

Tinkler said: “Rowan Scott, who rode him when he won the Flying Childers, will keep the ride. He’s a good lad.

“Nothing really phases him, so I don’t think the occasion will be a big thing for him. He’s very level-headed and he’s young. I don’t have any qualms about putting him on.”

Glass Slippers adds to top-level haul in Flying Five

Glass Slippers stayed on in determined fashion to add the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh to her Prix de l’Abbaye success of last season.

Kevin Ryan’s filly had chased home Battaash at Goodwood last time out, having finished fifth behind the same horse at Royal Ascot.

She was actually one of the first off the bridle as Nunthorpe runner-up Que Amoro and Keep Busy went at it hammer and tongs from an early stage.

With two furlongs to run Que Amoro was back-pedalling, but the John Quinn-trained Keep Busy was still at the head of affairs with Maid In India and another Quinn runner, Liberty Beach, also in there fighting.

But Tom Eaves was beginning to get a tune out of Glass Slippers (9-2) against the far rail as they approached the final furlong and she hit the front with 100 yards to run. Keep Busy, running in Doreen Tabor’s silks for the first time, was a game second, with Sonaiyla staying on for third.

A’Ali and Make A Challenge, two of the favourites, never threatened to get in a serious blow.

Speaking from his North Yorkshire base, Ryan said: “She’s so tough and genuine, but she has a lot of class.

“She loves it when they go really quick, but the ground was tacky today so she’s done well to cope with that. I’m absolutely delighted.

“Darren Bunyan has done a marvellous job with her the last 48 hours, it’s not easy handing it over to someone else, but he’s produced her in tip-top shape so I’m very thankful to the Curragh and Darren.

“It was Terry Holdcroft’s (owner of Bearstone Stud) decision to miss the Nunthorpe and give her a bit more time and he’s obviously been vindicated.

“She’s an amazing filly, so simple to train and makes my job very easy. She’ll go back for the Abbaye now.”

Eaves said: “She’s been a great filly for everyone involved and has been extremely good to me.

“It’s a great training performance by Kevin and she seems to come right at the back end of the year. It’s a great result for everyone.

“Kevin didn’t rush her and we were pleased after the run at Goodwood that she was heading the right way again.”

Stat of the Day, 22nd August 2020

Friday's pick was...

2.45 York : Yazaman @ 9/2 BOG 6th at 3/1 (Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, weakened inside final furlong) 

Saturday's pick runs in the...

4.10 York :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

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Ben Macdui @ 3/1 BOG

...in the 10-runner, Listed, Julia Graves Roses Stakes for 2yo over 5f on Good ground worth £17,013 to the winner...

Why?...

As is often the case, the race card is our starting point...

...as it shows a 2 yr old with 2 good results (bt by 0.75L at Gr 3 LTO) and a trainer/jockey partnership to keep the right side of. You can see this for yourself, so I won't labour those points, other than to remind you that A/E & IV numbers the further North of 1.00 you can get, the better! This is explained in more detail in our excellent user guide within My Geegeez.

So, what supporting evidence to the pick can I tell you that you might not already know?

Well, we could look at why trainer Kevin Ryan is a featured trainer in another of my unimaginatively-named microsystems (LateSeas2yo), which as you've probably guessed is centred around a group of trainers who do well towards the back end of the season with their "babies". I like to keep my angles' names simple.

To this end, I like to focus on the following : Kevin Ryan + 2yo + Flat + 5f-1m + 11-45 dslr + July-September, which since the 1st July 2016 has produced 57 winners from 220 (25.9% SR) and 180.26pts (+81.9% ROI) of level stakes profit at an A/E of 1.38 and these include of some relevance today...

  • 55/174 (31.6%) for 194.81pts (+112%) in races worth less than £20,000
  • 48/141 (34%) for 209.46pts (+148.6%) in fields of no more than 10 runners
  • 46/100 (46%) for 64.43pts (+64.4%) at odds of 5/1 or shorter
  • 46/171 (26.9%) for 120.24pts (+70.3%) in non-handicaps
  • 39/138 (28.3%) for 129pts (+93.5%) at 11-25 dslr
  • 31/104 (29.8%) for 56.39pts (+54.2%) were placed LTO
  • 20/59 (33.9%) for 120.48pts (+204.2%) with Kevin Stott in the saddle
  • 15/44 (34.1%) for 0.62pts (+1.41%) with LTO runners-up
  • and 9/37 (24.3%) for 26.88pts (+72.7%) here at York

I know that many of you like me to then combine some of the above into a composite angle, but this does dilute the sample size, of course.

However, if we just focus on the first three pieces of data, we find that those sent off at 5/1 or shorter in fields of 10 or fewer runners in races worth less than £20k are 38 from 80 (47.5% SR) for 49.06pts (+61.3% ROI) profit, with Kevin Stott riding 15 winners from 27 (55.6%) for 29.14pts (+107.9%)...

...pointing us towards... a 1pt win bet on Ben Macdui @ 3/1 BOG as was available at 8.05am Saturday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 4.10 York

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!