Breeders’ Cup Turf (21:33 Keeneland, Saturday)
1. Arklow (Brad Cox/ Florent Geroux)
Showed very smart form when winning the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont last year, but was only eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (had finished fourth 12 months earlier). Didn’t need to be at his best to win the Kentucky Turf Cup last time and likely to come up short.
2. Magical (Aidan O’Brien/ Ryan Moore)
High-class mare who finished runner-up to Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2018. Has proved better than ever this season and landed a seventh Group 1 when overhauling Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. Was slightly below her best when only third in the Champion Stakes at Ascot last time, but the form of her Leopardstown success is the best on offer and this splendidly tough and reliable mare should give a good account.
3. Tarnawa (Dermot Weld/ Colin Keane)
Came up short when tried in Group 1 company last season but has returned a different model this term, winning on all three outings, including at the highest level the last twice. Showed a good turn of foot to win the Prix Vermeille over a mile and a half, and then did well to win the Prix de l’Opera when dropping in trip to a mile and a quarter, coming from further back than ideal off a steady pace. That change of gear will be a big asset around this sharp course, and she may still have more to offer.
4. Mehdaayih (John Gosden/ Joel Rosario)
Finished only fourth in the Fillies’ And Mares’ Stakes at Ascot last time, but she shaped much better than the result, weakening inside the final furlong after making an eye-catching move on the turn for home in a race that thoroughly tested stamina. That was her first start for four months so she may have been slightly short of peak fitness, and this sharper test will suit. Needs to improve on even the pick of her efforts from last year, but should not be dismissed at a big price.
5. Donjah (Henk Grewe/ Clement Lecoeuvre)
Smart performer in Germany who returned to her best when a narrow winner of the Group 1 Preis von Europa at Cologne in August. Respectable fourth to Barney Roy at Baden-Baden last time but others hold stronger claims.
6. Lord North (John Gosden/ Frankie Dettori)
Progressed rapidly last season, notably winning the Cambridgeshire Handicap, and took another step forward on his reappearance to land the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Haydock. Upped his game further to make the Group 1 breakthrough in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, producing a rare turn of foot to draw three and three-quarter lengths clear, and that is one of the strongest pieces of form on offer. Flopped in the Champion Stakes last time and needs to prove he stays this far, but is a big danger if bouncing back.
7. United (Richard Mandella/ Flavien Prat)
Very smart performer who was a close-up second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf. Has won or finished runner-up on all six subsequent starts, showing admirable consistency, and arrives on the back of a victory in the John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita in September. Entitled to respect but has a bit to find with the leading European raiders.
8. Red King (Philip d’Amato/ Umberto Rispoli)
Is on a roll and completed the hat-trick in a Grade 2 at Del Mar in August, getting the better of United. Has plenty to find on form, however, and he is likely to struggle at this level.
9. Channel Maker (Bill Mott/ Manuel Franco)
Very smart performer who has returned to form of late, bolting up by five and three-quarter lengths in the Sword Dancer Stakes before landing the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (also a Grade 1) by two and a quarter lengths. Has been revitalised by the switch to front-running tactics and is clearly in great heart at present, but the Europeans have a stronger level of form.
10. Mogul (Aidan O’Brien/ Pierre-Charles Boudot)
Took his time to get going this season, failing to meet expectations in the King Edward VII Stakes or in the Derby, but he showed smart form to win the Gordon Stakes and then bounced back from a slightly underwhelming effort in the Great Voltigeur when producing a career-best effort in the Grand Prix de Paris, making a breakthrough at Group 1 level. Showed more speed than previously to brush his rivals aside, which bodes well for his prospects here, for all others have stronger form.