You would be hard pushed to find a horse more deserving of elite-level European success than Found.
Although a winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year, Aidan O’Brien’s four-year-old filly had taken bridesmaid honours in six consecutive Group 1 contests in Europe heading into the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
A Chantilly victory over stablemate Highland Reel ended the sequence of runner-up honours, with her 14 top-level starts now bringing a record of three wins and nine seconds. Found has still only finished out of the first three once in 19 career runs, when hampered in the Arc 12 months ago.
The big question now is whether Found will find more Breeders’ Cup success next month, having been priced up at 6/4 to win the Turf? Here are four things to consider:
The Breeders’ Cup Turf double-up history
Back-to-back victories are certainly nothing new to either O’Brien or regular jockey Ryan Moore in the Turf.
O’Brien saddled High Chaparral to consecutive triumphs in 2002 and 2003, while Moore was on board Conduit for Sir Michael Stoute for his wins in 2008 and 2009.
The Arc/Breeders’ Cup double up
No Arc winner has previously gone on to taste further success at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in the same year.
Found’s victory last term was done despite running in three Group 1s in the seven weeks previous and these took place in three different countries.
She clearly has high powers of recovery and gets over any travelling tiredness quickly, so may be a better fit than most to end this statistic.
Change of track
The Breeders’ Cup changes venue this year from Keeneland in Kentucky to Santa Anita in California.
However, both are synthetic venues so this shouldn’t prove much of a problem, while neither should the three-hour time difference.
The lure of the Breeders’ Cup Classic
O’Brien is still to win the Classic and has regularly sent his best turf horses to the race despite it being run on dirt. Galileo, George Washington, So You Think and Dylan Thomas are among those to have tried and failed.
Being run on dirt and over 1m2f, instead of the 1m4f of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Classic isn’t the best fit for Found, but if O’Brien thinks she represents his best chance for victory, don’t be surprised to see her switch races.
The alternative would seemingly be to send quadruple Group 1 winner Minding to the Classic, keeping Found to complete a double in what is shaping up to be a much weaker race on paper.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing