[b]Kieran Packman files his final update from the Breeder's Cup 2010 at Churchill Downs.[/b]
Everyone experiences that split second each morning when you first wake and you're not aware what day it is before your faculties click into gear. I suspect [b]Mike Smith[/b] will have wished he could click pause during that briefest of moments as he wakes to a defining morning after the night before.
So fleeting are moments in sport which are then replayed, dissected and debated for years to come. How many times will Smith replay last night's[b] Classic[/b] in his mind's eye?
For what it's worth, I'm not an attendee of the 'worst ride of all time' school of analysis. There were worse rides just in that race, particularly aboard the front runners who went off at quarter horse speed.
[b]Timeform look back on a weekend on which the Flat jockeys' title returned to the North, while there were top-class performers on show over jumps in Ireland, and on the Flat in America...[/b]
A new champion Flat jockey was crowned at Doncaster on Saturday, a total of 191 winners good enough to secure [b]Paul Hanagan[/b] the title by two from Richard Hughes. Neither of the two title-chasers added to their win tally at Doncaster on Saturday, where Dane O'Neill partnered the John Dunlop-trained Times Up to land the last major prize of the Flat season, the November Handicap.
The star of the show over jumps on Saturday was Kauto Star, who made a successful reappearance in the JNWine.com Champion Chase over three miles at Down Royal. As when winning the race in 2008, [b]Kauto Star[/b]...
[b]Timeform's Kieran Packman has made it to Churchill Downs and gives us his observations, from the track and the taxi he took to get there...[/b]
[b]Thursday Novermber 4[/b]
Burger Soup. I know, sounds lovely doesn't it. Advertised on local radio here with the oh so compelling strapline [b]'chunks of burger in a soup'[/b].
Other observations from my opening twenty-four hours Stateside? Remembering to turn right into the right lane isn't as straightforward as you might think, the roadkill is buffalo-sized (in fact, thinking about it...) and Krispy Kreme donuts on the backstretch are well worth the hype many of my fellow British attendees have given them.
Far more importantly, I was lucky enough to clap eyes on a number of the major players for this weekend's big prizes. [b]Zenyatta[/b]...
[b]Timeform's Kieran Packman keeps us updated on all the latest happenings in Kentucky...[/b]
[b]Wednesday November 3[/b]
Manchester Airport departure lounge and I can report that the long-standing British tradition of a pre-flight pint is being maintained by plenty of hardier constitutions than my own, the fact it's 730am apparently no barrier.
Security wasn't anywhere near as bad as feared and I've spent the obligatory £30 in WHSmith. So, all boxes ticked, Kentucky here we come.
This is my first trip to a Breeders' Cup and it seems I've landed on one that could go down in history. [b]Precision Break[/b] has a chance in a 'championship' event. Amazing scenes. Plus [b]Zenyatta[/b] and [b]Goldikova[/b] provide a stimulating sideshow.
It's little surprise to learn that the...
[b]Can Zenyatta sign off one of the greatest careers in North American racing history with a second win the Breeders' Cup Classic, or is there something else in the field waiting to spoil the party?[/b]
If there's one reason above all others to side against [b]Zenyatta[/b] in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic, then it's probably the fact that this year's race is taking place at Churchill Downs, on a traditional dirt surface as opposed to the pro-ride track at Santa Anita, the venue for the two most recent Breeders' Cups.
In her unbeaten nineteen-race career, Zenyatta has run just twice on a dirt track, on both occasions in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. She first ran at Oaklwan in April 2008, taking on a field of five other fillies and mares, including the 2007 Breeders'...
The Breeders' Cup was founded in 1982 by [b]John R. Gaines[/b], a leading thoroughbred owner and breeder. Since the inaugural running at Hollywood Park 26 years ago, the Breeders' Cup has established itself as the season-ending championship of racing. From its inception in 1984 through to 2006 it was a single-day event but, starting in 2007, it was expanded to two days.
Often billed as [b]'The Ryder Cup of horse racing'[/b], the Europeans tasted success against their American counterparts at the very first Breeders' Cup meeting as Alain de Royer Dupre sent over the Aga Khan's [b]Lashkari[/b] to win the Breeders' Cup Turf. The following year, in the same race, Britain had their first Breeders' Cup winner as the Clive Brittain-trained [b]Pebbles[/b] came from last to first under Pat Eddery....