Four of the six Breeders’ Cup Challenge races this week were held overseas with three contested at York Racecourse and one at Deauville, earning fee-expenses paid trips to the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar to the winners of each race.
The 2021 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Del Mar on Nov. 5 and 6.
There were two “Win and You’re In” races conducted at Del Mar on Saturday. Tripoli won the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1), stamping a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Astronaut pulled off the upset in the Del Mar Handicap (G2) and earned a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
Here is a recap of the four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races contested across the pond:
Perfect Power (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint)
Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum’s Perfect Power (IRE) showed an electric turn of foot to win the Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville on Sunday and captured his second Breeders’ Cup Challenge race this year in the Juvenile Turf Sprint Division. In June at Royal Ascot, Perfect Power won the Norfolk Stakes (G2) and secured an automatic starting position into this year’s US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California on Nov. 5-6.
Perfect Power scored his first Group 1 success when powering to victory in the 6-furlong Darley Prix Morny at 3/1.
Settled near the rear of the 14-runner field under Christophe Soumillon, the 2-year-old son of Ardad (IRE) out of the Frozen Power (IRE) mare Sagely (IRE), showed all his class when battling past 14/1 Trident (FR) in the final stages of the race to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Third place went to trainer Alan King’s Asymmetric (IRE) who returned at 4/1.
Perfect Power completed the race in 1:10.81 on a course rated as good to soft.
Perfect Power Wins Darley Prix Morny
Winning trainer Richard Fahey said: “I’m just delighted, it looked a very solid race there today. Christophe gave him a very confident ride, and it got tight for two strides or so, but he came through it, which was great. It’s been a frustrating enough year, but this is just what the doctor ordered, it’s why we do it and why we’re in the game.”
The Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (G1) at Newmarket on Sept. 25 is next on the agenda for Perfect Power. Fahey added: “He’ll definitely go for the Middle Park next. It’s not often you make a plan for a horse, but the two races myself and Sheikh Rashid mentioned were the Prix Morny and then the Middle Park, and it’s very nice to have one in the bag already.”
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Perfect Power to start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, which will be run over 5 furlongs on the turf course at Del Mar. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Winter Power (Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint)
King Power Racing Co Ltd’s Winter Power (IRE) produced a brilliant display in the Coolmore Wootton Basset Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at York on Friday. The victory secured Winter Power a guaranteed start in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
Winter Power becomes the third horse to gain a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint this year, joining Casa Creed, the Jackpocket Jaipur Stakes (G1) winner at Belmont Park on June 5 and Dream of Dreams (IRE), who won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot on June 19.
A blistering pace was set by Frankie Dettori on Golden Pal but Winter Power, under Silvestre De Sousa, quickened past him at the 2-furlong pole and kept up the gallop all the way to the line to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Emaraaty Ana (GB), a 40/1 hope, chased her down to finish second with the 3-year-old son of Cable Bay, Dragon Symbol (GB), finishing back in third at odds of 4/1.
Winter Power, a 3-year-old daughter of Bungle Inthejungle (GB) out of Titian Saga (IRE) by Titus Livius (FR), completed the 5-furlongs in 56.72 on a course listed as good-to-firm.
Winter Powers Takes Nunthorpe Stakes
Winter Power’s win gave local trainer Tim Easterby his first Group 1 success since Fayr Jag (IRE) won the Golden Jubilee Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in 2004. Easterby believed his filly was in perfect condition going into the race and so it proved. He said: “She’s an incredible filly. She had come right for today. I wasn’t too worried about any other horses today; I was just focused on my filly. She’s able to relax now in races and we can then use her speed. The best sprinters have that ability to kick half-way through the race and she’s got that.”
When asked what it means to win a Group 1 at his local track, Easterby simply said: “It’s the best. What more can you get?”
It was a first Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes win for Winter Power’s jockey Silvestre De Sousa who was full of praise for his filly. He said: “She’s unbelievably fast. I don’t think I’ve sat on anything as fast as her. When it’s a flat track like York, she gets away from the gates very quickly. It means the world to ride the winner of the Nunthorpe in the King Power silks.”
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Winter Power to start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, which will be run at 5 Furlongs on the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Snowfall (Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf)
Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s outstanding filly Snowfall (JPN) made a quality field of seven look ordinary, to run out as a comfortable winner of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) on Thursday. The victory secures her a guaranteed start in the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
Snowfall, a daughter of Deep Impact (JPN), becomes the fourth horse to gain a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf this year, joining Queen Supreme (IRE), who won the Cartier Paddock Stakes (G1) at Kenilworth in South Africa on Jan. 9, Gran Alegria (JPN) winner of the Victoria Mile (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan on May 16 and Reina de Mollendo (ARG), who claimed the Gran Premio Pamplona (G1) in Peru on June 26.
Dual Classic heroine Snowfall had already won the Cazoo Oaks (G1) and the Juddmonte Irish Oaks (G1) by a combined 24 ½ lengths and today cleared away under Ryan Moore to win by 4 lengths as the 8/15 favorite. Albaflora (GB) chased her home in second at 16/1, with 150/1 shot La Jaconde (IRE) a further 2 ¾ lengths behind in third. Wonderful Tonight (FR) appeared not to handle the quick ground conditions, finishing fourth, as her four-race winning sequence came to an end.
It was a sixth Darley Yorkshire Oaks win for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who was delighted with his filly’s performance. He said: “Snowfall is a lovely filly. She’s really laid back now and she’s starting to really thrive and put on weight. We think she’s going to be really ready for the autumn. Physically she’s doing really well and is putting on weight. She matured very well over the winter and being by Deep Impact (JPN) and out of a Galileo (IRE) mare, she has a great pedigree and she was always going to improve from last year.”
Snowfall Wins Yorkshire Oaks
When asked where Snowfall will head next, O’Brien said: “I’ll see what the lads want to do but it’s very possible she could take in another race before the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), perhaps on Arc trials day. If not, we’d be happy to take her straight to the Arc.”
It was a third Darley Yorkshire Oaks for jockey Ryan Moore who after the race was glowing in his praise for the 3-year-old filly, saying: “She’s exceptional and has improved since I last rode her. It was a true-run race but it fell apart quickly and she was left in front. She handles all ground conditions.”
Snowfall, a daughter of Deep Impact (JPN) out of the Galileo (JPN) mare Best In The World (IRE), completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:26.61 over a course listed as good.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Snowfall to start in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, which will be run at 1 3/8 Miles on the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Mishriff (Breeders’ Cup Classic)
The John & Thady Gosden-trained Mishriff (IRE) cruised to victory in the 1 ¼-mile Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York and secured an automatic starting position into this year’s US$6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
Winner of the Saudi Cup (G1) and the Longines Sheema Classic (G1) this season, Prince A A Faisal’s Mishriff settled in behind runners before taking the lead off the pacesetting Mac Swiney (IRE) in the home straight, then easily pulled away from the field to secure a devastating six-length victory.
A first domestic Group 1 win for both horse and rider, Mishriff, the 9/4 favorite, saw off a top-class field of six under jockey David Egan. Alenquer (FR) battled on well to place second for trainer William Haggas, with Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) winner Love (IRE) a half-length behind back in third.
Mishriff Dominates in Juddmonte International Stakes
Winning trainer John Gosden said: “At a mile and a quarter he’s a brilliant horse. He’s done nothing wrong and has now come to his very best. I think we’ve seen the finished article. He went as a three-year-old to run in the Saudi Derby and then the Saudi Cup at four, so this year was always going to be a winter campaign then back for the summer. This is the race we’ve talked about since last summer before making him a stallion for Europe.”
When asked about future plans, Gosden indicated that the “Win and You’re In” Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at ParisLongchamp and the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) could both be on the agenda for his globetrotting colt: “I would be inclined to look towards the Arc and Champions Day, and I would not be ruling out the 1 ½ miles at the Breeders’ Cup either.”
Mishriff, a 4-year-old son of Make Believe (GB) out of the Raven’s Pass mare Contradict (GB), completed the race in 2:09.92 on a course rated as good. The John Gosden-trained Raven’s Pass won the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Mishriff to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run over 1 1/4 miles on the dirt track at Del Mar. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.