Breeders' Cup day two selections: Shekky Shabazz (12/1), Villa Marina (12/1), Old Persian (4/1)

5f Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Turf) (3yo+)

This looks a fun race and it could feasibly go to any of the runners. The drop in trip to 5f from previous years is absolutely crucial to unlocking this race as it won’t be won by stamina – this will be all about maintaining speed from stalls to post and the one best equipped looks to be SHEKKY SHABAZZ. He’s an out-and-out 5f specialist, breaks rapidly and is all speed, so if he can get loose on the front he should have every chance turning for home. 12/1 odds are good.

1pt win Shekky Shabazz @12/1, 19:33 Santa Anita, Saturday

1m2f Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1) (3yo+ Fillies & Mares) (Turf) (3yo+)

Group One winning machine Sistercharlie is rightly a warm order for this, which doesn’t look the deepest race. I’m not sure she’s bumped into a truly top-class European horse before, though, and there’s seven from that continent taking her on this evening. The one I like the most is VILLA MARINA, who won the Opera on Arc day on heavy ground but looked at home on a firmer surface when a non-stayer behind Star Catcher in the Vermeille. She has a turn of foot and travels well so might take well to racing in America and I simply think she’s been underestimated at 12/1.

1pt win Villa Marina @12/1, 20:54 Santa Anita, Saturday

1m  TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Turf)  (3yo+)

Read why Paul is backing Uni in the Turf Mile.

1pt win Uni @5/1, 22:20 Santa Anita, Saturday

1m4f Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade 1) (3yo+) (Turf) (3yo+)

Given hot favourite Bricks And Mortar has never raced over this trip, his price cannot be any good and he’s got to be taken on. The Europeans in competition are proven stayers, headlined by Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck who travels well but lacks a turn of foot. I think he could be vulnerable to being outpaced in the key moments and I much prefer the chance of Godolphin’s OLD PERSIAN, who stays this trip well but will appreciate the slightly easier and faster 12f round Santa Anita. He loves quick ground, racing prominently and has pace, so with a cosy Group One win in Canada taking him into this race he can win this at 4/1.

1pt win Old Persian @4/1, 23:40 Santa Anita, Saturday

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