Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-by-runner guide as Tarnawa eyes repeat win in 2021

Can Tarnawa defend her Breeders' Cup crown at Del Mar?


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The Breeders’ Cup Turf is one of the most valuable contests at the Breeders’ Cup 2021 and a whole host of familiar names are set to go to post at Del Mar.


Tarnawa came out on top in last year’s renewal and is back to defend her crown a month after a near miss in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The likes of Teona, Yibir and Broome will also be recognisable to British and Irish viewers while the home challenge has been dealt a blow after Domestic Spending was declared a non-runner opening up a spot for Aidan O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet.

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Trainer: Chad C. Brown Jockey: Javier Castellano Age: 5 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Reliable sort who has taken his racing well and produced a career best to land the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont 28 days ago. Should give a good account, but liable to find at least one too good.



Domestic Spending



Trainer: John A. Shirreffs Jockey: Victor Espinoza Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Won maiden at Santa Anita in March and Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap. Runner-up 3 times at Santa Anita in between, but he’s well out of his depth at the top level.


Trainer: Chad C. Brown Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz Age: 5 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Dual winner this term, including the United Nations Stakes at Monmouth in July. Just respectable effort last time, and others have more class.


Trainer: Philip d’Amato Jockey: Ricardo Gonzalez Age: 7 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Consistent operator who was just touched off by United in the John Henry Turf Championship Stakes at Santa Anita 35 days ago. Uphill task at this level, though.

Walton Street

Trainer: Charlie Appleby Jockey: James Doyle Age: 7 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Well-travelled 7yo who landed the 8-runner Canadian International at Woodbine (12f, good) 49 days ago by 5¾ lengths from Desert Encounter, keeping on well. This is a stiffer task, though.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Frankie Dettori Age: 5 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Tough operator who doesn’t always break on terms, that the reason for a sub-par showing at Longchamp a month ago. Should be thereabouts if he gets a reasonable break from the stalls.


Trainer: H. Grewe Jockey: Cristian Demuro Age: 3 Weight: 8st 10lbs

Very smart colt. Latest win at Hamburg in July. Respectable efforts at the top level on both starts since, and he’s unexposed compared to most, so he’s a player.


Trainer: Charlie Appleby Jockey: William Buick Age: 3 Weight: 8st 10lbs

Going the right lately, underlined by his impressive success in the Jockey Club Derby at Belmont last time. Likely to have been primed for this, and further improvement would put him right in the mix.


Trainer: Christophe Clement Jockey: Joel Rosario Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Came up short in the hat-trick bid at Belmont last time, albeit far from disgraced, and he saw off Japan to land the Sword Dancer stakes at Saratoga on his previous outing. Not a forlorn hope.


Trainer: Roger Varian Jockey: David Egan Age: 3 Weight: 8st 7lbs

Free-going, but progressive filly who provided a shock when battling on to see off Snowfall in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp 55 days ago, More to come, and strong pace should suit.


Trainer: D. K. Weld Jockey: C. T. Keane Age: 5 Weight: 8st 11lbs

High-class and thoroughly consistent mare who would probably have won the Arc with a clear run last time. She has the best form and hardly ever underperforms, so she’s the one to beat.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Ryan Moore Age: 5 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Smart horse. Seven wins from 20 Flat runs. 2 wins from 6 runs this year. 5¼ lengths sixth of 7 to Rockemperor in Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (21/10) at Belmont (12f, firm) 28 days ago.

Bolshoi Ballet

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Ryan Moore Age: 3 Weight: 8st 10lbs

Belmont Derby winner who hasn’t been quite at the top of his game since and has a bit to find regardless.

Channel Maker

Trainer: William I. Mott Jockey: Luis Saez Age: 7 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Smart front-runner who put up a bold showing when third in last year’s renewal. Not the same force through this campaign, but may well bounce back.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Frankie Dettori Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Fifth in this last year before going on to win the Honk Kong Vase. Hasn’t been firing on all cylinders this season, though. RESERVE.

Friar’s Road – RESERVE

Trainer: Michael W. McCarthy Jockey: Umberto Rispoli Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Smart colt who was better than ever when third Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship Stakes at Santa Anita last time. Likely to be outclassed in this, though. RESERVE.


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