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Season Over? Not For Me

It might be getting darker earlier and colder, but there's still plenty of top quality flat racing left in 2012. Jon da Silva aka @creamontop has caught the international racing bug and takes aim at that big event on the other side of the Atlantic - the Breeders Cup.

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For many UK punters the flat season ends about when Frankel narrowly holds off Cirrus by 4 lengths - relatively narrow for him that is. However for a few of us and the rest of the world we've merely had the Hors d'Oeuvres.

Melbourne is building to The Cup probably the only race that has its own public holiday not to mention a slew of Group 1s at the Spring Carnival. Japan its Cup. America its Breeders Cup which surprisingly they refer to as The World Championships. Hong Kong will have its Cup day as well. There are a host of others as well in Singapore and the Canadian International to boot.

The Canadian International will feature Imperial Monarch, under rated previous winner Joshua Tree and Reliable Man all good 2nd tier Group 1 horses. The card also features the Neartic Stakes which Bated Breath was runner up in last year and the E P Taylor for fillies with Sun Chariot winner Siyouma.

These three races themselves are all Win and You're In for the Breeders Cup. Where Europe can normally count on winning 1 but more likely 2 or all 3 turf races for older horses from a Mile upwards. However this year the Euros may face more difficulties than just tracks that don't suit, medication which may benefit but is also a risk being the first time some will have tried it and unfamiliar grass surfaces. They also face a formidable trio compared to the usual crop of Canadians, Bleeder ex-pats from Europe and hacks.

In the Mile Wise Dan the actual best horse not called Cirrus or Frankel or Nelly. The 132 Timeform rated monster hacked up from Cityscape in the Woodbine Mile and took last weekend's Shadwell Mile in a canter. Some suggestion he will struggle to hold his form and always a chance he tries his hand in the Classic on dirt where he is equally as good. Nonetheless if he runs his best only Excelebration will have claims from Europe. BTW If entered Summer Front in the Mile [Turf] would be among my betting interest. This is his trip and 33s and above is Each Way value. Indeed so much of a rag is he he's not even quoted at present.

Weakest of the three but in the weakest race, Filly and Mare Turf, Marketing Mix denied by I'm a Dreamer in the Beverley D largely thanks to a beautifully timed ride by Hayley Turner. She has since trotted in at Santa Anita. The Fugue may be well suited to the sharp track but it's not her home.

Finally in the Turf Point of Entry who may have been moderate crawling over rain softened ground to beat the remains of Treasure Beach the other day but is better judged on his stroll in the Sword Dancer. There he gave the unreliable and ironically named Brilliant Speed a worse beating than he got in the Turf behind St Nicholas Abbey last year.

Sadly you can't just take my word for it as the bookies go 3s, 11/2 and 3s respectively. Two of them favourites the other 2nd favourite. Still I can help with the main going descriptions where firm can mean anything from firm to good. Good which is soft side of good to actual soft and yielding which covers the rest. I dedicate that to Richard Hannon Jnr who said the going is always firm (assuming English firm) when talking of an over watered sand based track last year.

The race of the meeting and maybe the year on paper is the Ladies Classic [Dirt] with Royal Delta the Queen of the Dirt against unbeaten Awesome Feather and My Miss Aurelia. This would be a race on its own but add in Questing the former Gosden inmate who ran ludicrous fractions early and still finished well in the Alabama putting 9 lengths into easy Spinster winner In Lingerie - Questing gave 7, lost a head to My Miss Aurelia as well. Not to mention Love and Pride who with 10 pounds less beat Royal Delta. Plus several other grade 1 winners like In Lingerie and It's Tricky. Questing is the likely destination for my wagering.

Arguably Ascot is just the beginning of the rest of the year's flat racing.

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