Horse Racing tips: Your best bets for Friday’s Breeders’ Cup action from the trading room floor

Day one at Del Mar and our American racing guru is all over the action.


* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

21:50 Averly Jane

Nothing original in the opening selection, where I’m siding with the Wes Ward favourite. He’s won the last two renewals of this 5f Grade 2 Juvenile Sprint and is triple-handed here with Averly Jane looking the clear pick. She’s four from four and transitioned from dirt to turf at Keeneland in October in emphatic fashion, winning eased down in a time faster than Golden Pal ran over the same course and distance the following day. She should be right on the pace which is where you want to be in turf sprints around Del Mar. At an each-way price with Paddy paying the extra places and guaranteed odds after 8am on Friday’s action, Derrynane is worth a play. Few will finish the race better and he can outrun his odds if getting the gaps.


22:30 Sequist (betting without Echo Zulu)

Echo Zulu has looked every ounce a superstar in the making and should really be winning this in what  is a disappointing six-horse field. What tempers the enthusiasm to take the odds on is the form of his trainer Steve Asmussen, who has had pretty much his worst October in recent memory. This filly has also yet to run over two turns on the track, which puts more emphasis on stamina, rather than the one-turn races that favour speed.

I’ve sided for Sequist in the betting without Echo Zulu market at a big price. She came from a mile off the pace and was very green on the bend turning for home when catching the eye last time. If the big three in the market go at it early, she could well pick up the pieces at a huge price.

Tip: Sequist in the ‘Betting Without’ Echo Zulu market 

23:10 Turnerloose

This is as wide open as the betting suggests in this Grade 1 two-year-old fillies races over the mile, but a chance is taken on Turnerloose, particularly with Paddy paying the 5 places.

Brad Cox’s (winning trainer of this last year) runner initially looked disappointing when being touched off in her trial for this at Keeneland, but on a second look there is plenty of encouragement to take from that. The ground at Keeneland would have been far softer than what she’ll get here and she looks every ounce a fast-ground horse. This race will also be half a furlong less on a sharper track (both an advantage to likely front-running tactics). She gets a plum draw in box four and is worth another chance at the prices and generous each-way terms on offer in a race where there doesn’t seem to be much early pace.

23:50 Oviatt Class

There could be a superstar here in the shape of Jack Christopher, but his breeding suggests two turns will be a problem (see Jackies Warrior last year). He’s also not been done any favours in stall one.

I’m hoping Oviatt Class gets the type of set up that Texas Red did when winning this in 2014. There  looks a good chance of that, with plenty in here that like to get on with it from the front. He was a huge eye-catcher behind Corniche when making massive late ground, despite the race being run to suit at a slow pace. The likely pace set up now should see him in a better light.

He represents huge each-way value.

00:30 Portfolio Company

Chad Brown’s runner was just touched off by a really good-looking horse in Annopolis (misses race with injury) in the trial for this when they pulled five lengths clear of the field.

Trainer Chad Brown can never be discounted on turf and this one seems to be improving with each run and I believe there’s more to come. I’d like a slightly lower draw than box 10, but he has early speed and should hopefully get a good position going into the first turn – and kick on from there!

Del Mar tips summary:

21:50 Averly Jane
22:30 Sequist (betting w/o Echo Zulu)
23:10 Turnerloose
23:50 Oviatt Class
00:30 Portfolio Company




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