With the 7/2 unbeaten favourite Rushing Fall drawn wide in stall 11, there surely must be a bet in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar on Friday night.
Del Mar receives ten inches of rain all year, so we can expect rattling fast ground and a real emphasis on speed.
Low draws and prominent racing tactics will likely dominate because of the tight turns and short straight, so expect a fair few upsets over the next two days of top-class racing.
Regrettably, my long-time fancy for this race September has been dealt a wide draw and I can’t be confident of her chances as a 6/1 shot, despite my opinion she’s the best European in the race.
Aidan O’Brien also fields dual-Group One winner Happily, the choice of Ryan Moore, who has her best form on slow ground but has been given a nice draw in stall four.
She’ll win if she’s good enough, but she’s got to prove her speed and appreciation of this quick surface to land this, and after a long season I’m not sure 4/1 is great value – though it seems perfectly fair.
Americans have fairly dominated this race in recent years and the favourite looked pretty awesome on soft ground last time out, coming from way off the pace to win by a distance, but this is an entirely different ask on such a tight, quick track.
Trainer Chad Brown clearly rates both of his two chances, with Significant Form the other, but it’s the horse who chased the latter into second on his previous start, BEST PERFORMANCE, who might be the each-way value in the race with quotes of 20/1.
Second on herlast four starts when coming from off the pace each time, she’s clearly pretty good and will thoroughly stay the mile trip.
She looped around the whole field last time out and certainly lost as many lengths as the winning distance in doing so, so her best form may be disguised.
He’s drawn nicely in stall one and will need to break well to secure an all-important prominent spot on the rail, but if she can do so you’d be hopeful of a big run.
The other one I like who fits a nice profile for this race is Wesley Ward’s ULTIMA D, by the prominent sire of two-year-old speed machines Scatt Daddy, she beat Best Performance on her last start when racing prominently and kicking early to steal a few lengths before staying on to win.
The step up in trip is possibly a negative but she has the dream draw in five and will certainly be one of those who gets to the front early and grab that prime spot on the rail, so, with a 25/1 price tag and that solid form in the book, she looks a very good bet to get the weekend off to a flyer.
I try to avoid backing horses each-way when they have their stamina to prove, as if they don’t stay they usually finish tailed off, so we’ll be bold with the win-only bet.
Those comments don’t apply to Best Performance, though, as she looks the type to either hold her position well or pass horses late and into the places.
0.75pts each-way Best Performance @20/1, 21:25 Del Mar, Friday (Betfair Sportsbook, 1,2,3,4, 1/5)
0.75pts win Ultima D @25/1, 21:25 Del Mar, Friday (WillHill)