Breeders' Cup Friday selections: Strike Silver (11/1) and Uncle Benny (20/1)

The Breeders’ Cup, America’s biggest meeting, kicks off today over at Churchill Downs and there’s a typically strong European team for the two days.

I prefer backing the home team in these races, particularly over distances of a mile and under, as they simply go a different pace to European races due to the early importance of track position on the tight turning tracks.

Time and again our bookmakers have our known quantities overly short in the betting compared to the Americans, so there’s often plenty of value on offer.

One such discrepancy appears in the first big turf race of the meeting, the inaugural Juvenile Turf Sprint where over in America STRIKE SILVER is forecast to be a 4/1 favourite on the Morning Line yet our bookmakers in Europe have him a top priced 11/1.

He’s got a good inside draw and the only potential negative I’m seeing is the softer ground after a lot of rain has hit the track.

I’m happy enough that unknown is factored into his price and his last-to-first victory last time out was very impressive – watch below.

I wouldn’t want to be each-way betting if he is delivered so late again, but I’m confident he’s overpriced.

The other one I’ll give an honourable mention to is the filly So Perfect from Aidan O’Brien’s yard.

She’s got solid European Group One form and won’t mind the cut in the ground so seemingly has a lot in her favour; however I’m not convinced this is her trip and a wide draw does her no favours.

1pt win Strike Silver @11/1, 19:21 Churchill Downs, Friday

With Anthony Van Dyck drawn out in stall 14 and racing on ground over which his trainer has sounded caution, he’s a very vulnerable 3/1 favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on day one of this years all-star American meeting.

I’m taking him on with UNCLE BENNY whose draw in stall two gives him a great chance of upsetting his 20/1 quotes.

The unbeaten son of Declaration Of War – who so nearly won the Classic a few years ago – came from last to first on his most recent start, meeting some trouble early on in what was a fairly remarkable run.

I’m not sure how he’ll cope with this ground but his sire won on heavy and he shouldn’t be too inconvenienced – in fact the softer going may punish those who race up with the pace and set this one up for a closer.

Inexperience could be the main negative here but he looked very fast and very talented last time, while this does represent a step up into unknown territory trip-wise.

For that reason he’s a bit of a boom-or-bust win-only bet.

Current and Forty Under are two others who look interesting from the home team, particularly the former although inconvenienced by a wide draw and potentially the ground.

Forty Under could be one to race prominently and not stop, but neither are as big a price or well drawn as Uncle Benny and that makes things easier.

1pt win Uncle Benny @20/1, 21:22 Churchill Downs, Friday

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