Fancied fillies and mares do not have the greatest track record in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the last decade and this is the big obstacle that The Fugue has to overcome if she is to round off a brilliant year at Santa Anita.
The Fugue is 7/4 to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which would complete a hat-trick of successive Group 1 triumphs, following her victories in the Yorkshire Oaks over 1m4f and the Irish Champion Stakes over 1m2f.
Her Breeders’ Cup appearance is over the former of these trips and is in a race where European entrants have a fine strike rate, with 10 victories since 2000.
However, it has not been a contest where it has paid to follow the female sex, with their last winner being Miss Alleged in 1991.
Five females have lined up in the last decade and they have not been there simply to make up the numbers, with four of this quintet being sent off at a starting price of 6/1 or shorter.
Yet, all five have finished unplaced.
Despite this, The Fugue is still worth backing to end this plague, given the lack of real creditable opposition.
Fellow European raider Magician (5/1), flopped on his only previous start over the distance and is by no means a guaranteed stayer.
Last year’s Turf 1-2 also return for another bite of the cherry, with Little Mike (8/1) bidding to emulate High Chaparral and Conduit in winning the race in consecutive years.
But, he has only triumphed in one of his last five starts and this trip does seem to be at the end of his stamina levels.
Preference is for last year’s runner-up Point Of Entry (4/1), who may well have won 12 months ago had he not encountered interference in running.
His preparations have been hampered by the break of a bone in his leg, which means he arrives at Santa Anita on the back of a longer-than-ideal lay-off.
But, his trainer Claude McGaughey has not had a horse finish outside of the places in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the past decade, boosting his each-way claims.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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