The flat season has continued to provide some stunning performances around the world. Whether it be Australian wonder mare Winx continuing to deliver and extending her unbeaten run. Or the likes of Roaring Lion who has been a revelation all year culminating in another group 1 victory recently in the Irish Champion stakes in which he was well supported via the Volt casino review. Is he now the likely winner of the Cartier Horse of the year? Looking ahead what are the three racing fixtures that cannot be missed for fans?
Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Europe’s Premier racing fixture takes place over the weekend of October 6th and 7th in 2018 in which it returns to the newly renovated Longchamp racecourse. The main race itself has a steep history and is a targeted event for trainers around the world. This year’s edition has all been about the returning filly Enable and whether she would be back to defend her title.
Enable put in a faultless season in 2017 dominating on every start including in this very race. She had been on the side lines for nearly a year before returning at Kempton. Her comeback run was breath taking as she beat the ever reliable Crystal Ocean very easily as she looks to retain all her ability. Can she be beaten? She now heads to the Arc as a very strong favourite and if she can put in a similar performance to last season then the rest are likely running for places.
The improving three-year-old Sea of Class could put it up to her as she continues to progress with each run and could not have a better pedigree for the race. There is no doubt this is a must watch and has to be the race of the season.
At the same fixture another horse to watch out for is Battaash in the Prix de L’Abbaye. He is returning to defend his crown and last season put in a jaw dropping display to destroy a high class field. The question is which Battaash will turn up on the day? At his best he is almost unbeatable and is one of the most exciting sprinters of the last decade.
The Breeders Cup’ takes place between the 2nd and 3rd of November at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky. As always it is set to be a well-attended event with horses travelling over from around the world. Having started back in 1984 it has continued to grow with prize money for many of the races now varying from $1 million to $6 million.
The turf races have been dominated by the travelling UK and Irish so they are usually the ones to look out for. This year maestro trainer Aiden O’Brien as always is set to have a strong team heading over. This is likely to include the likes of Just Wonderful, US Navy Flag and possibly even St Leger winner Kew Gardens. Every horse he takes over is likely to be fancied to run a big race for connections.
The final race is the Melbourne Cup that takes place on the 6th of November at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne. It is Australia’s most prestigious fixture which is why it is known as the race that stops a nation. With prize money now reaching A$7,300,000 this comes as no surprise.
The race itself has a deep tradition in Australia with the first race held back in 1861. It is still amazingly a handicap (likely to change in the future) and is the richest two-mile handicap in the world and one of the richest flat races in general. This is why it is a targeted race for connections around the world.
Horses travelling over have had a lot of success in recent years and none more so than the Irish with Joseph O’Brien training the 2017 winner. This was when his horse Rekindling charged down the straight to land the race from his father’s Johannes Vermeer in second. Then in third was another Irish horse in the Willie Mullins trained Max Dynamite. Can the Irish do it again in 2018?
The Godolphin operation have been having a stellar season and head over with several live chances including the Charlie Appleby trained Cross Counter who looks set to go off favourite. His owners have set him the task of a Derby and Melbourne cup victory and with the former coming earlier in the season, can this now follow suit to top off a memorable season.