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ITV Racing Tips: Tough Tarnawa can sign off with second Breeders’ Cup Turf victory

| 05.11.2021

We are in for a long and, hopefully, satisfying night in front of the television as day two of the Breeders’ Cup features eight races covered live by ITV.

The action on the dirt and the turf from sunny Del Mar in California goes on past midnight, but the event rarely fails to deliver.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic, which climaxes the programme, features the Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, who is under a cloud due to a drug positive, and the Brad Cox stars Essential Quality and Knicks Go.

But in Europe, a victory for one of the international raiders is what will sustain viewers through a five hour plus programme.

The pressure is on the defending champions, Tarnawa in the Turf and Audarya in the Filly & Mare Turf, and Space Blues, who tackles the Mile.

Coverage begins at 19:30 on ITV4 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.

22:20 – Breeders’ Cup Mile

Only four European challengers go to post for a race in which the home team have held sway in the last ten years.

Charlie Appleby is here with Prix de la Foret winner Space Blues and 2,000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas and Aidan O’Brien saddles the 1,000 Guineas winner Mother Earth.

They can all run well but speed from the gate is so important in the US and on so many occasions that has cost the visitors.

Locally trained Mo Forza is the main US hope but Got Stormy, second in the race two years ago, can again be thereabouts.

The improver in the field is In Love, a Brazilian-bred who completed a hat-trick in impressive fashion at Keeneland last time. He might not have stopped winning yet.

23:40 – Breeders’ Cup Turf

This could be the final start of an illustrious career for Tarnawa. The Aga Khan-owned mare just failed to land the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, finishing second to Torqator Tasso, but a second victory in the Turf could provide a consolation prize.

She ran a blinder in Paris where the ground was heavy and now has to run on a firm surface. Dermot Weld has voiced concern about the ground at Del Mar and her wide draw but everything else about her is spot on.

She is the class horse in the field and showed in France what a fighter she is. Among those out to stop her are Rockemperor, one of a trio of Chad Brown runners, while it would be foolish to overlook Sisfahan, on the evidence of the Arc result.

The German Derby winner was only a length behind Torquator Tasso in September and is expected to appreciate firm ground.

00:40 – Breeders’ Cup Classic

No Europeans here but a nonetheless fascinating contest. The elephant in the room is Medina Spirit, the Kentucky Derby winner who is facing disqualification after testing positive for a banned substance.

Because of that trainer Bob Baffert is persona non grata, allowed to have runners only if he submitted his team to additional scrutiny.

Medina Spirit has earned his place since, winning twice more. Baffert has won four of the last seven Classics and is sure to have Medina Spirit tuned to the minute. But the Brad Cox pair Essential Quality and Knicks Go have led the division this year.

Godolphin-owned Essential Quality was fourth in the Kentucky Derby, but that was his only defeat. He is a real battler.

He may have to give way to Knicks Go, last year’s Dirt Mile winner, who has returned to the top of his game. He has been winning his races by clear daylight and, as long he can last 1m2f, is the one to beat.

ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 6th November

19:40 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

20:19 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

20:59 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

21:38 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Sprint

22:20 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Mile

23:00 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Distaff

23:40 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Turf

00:40 Del Mar – Breeders’ Cup Classic

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Author

Jonathan Lees