US pedigree can finally bring O’Brien Breeders’ Cup Classic win

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Aidan O’Brien has certainly sent no shortage of superstar horses to the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the past.

Galileo, George Washington, Giant’s Causeway, Henrythenavigator, Rip Van Winkle and So You Think are among the Group 1-calibre horses that have previously failed for O’Brien in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Based on what has been seen so far, there is no reason to suggest that Declaration Of War is any better than those to have failed before him, despite a pair of Group 1 triumphs in the Queen Anne Stakes and Juddmonte International Stakes.

Although the form book doesn’t give him a better chance, the fact that Declaration Of War has a US pedigree does and this is the chief reason why he should be backed at 8/1 to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The sire of Declaration Of War can count a Group 2 victory on the dirt of Saratoga in 2006 among his achievements.

Meanwhile, O’Brien believes his horse possesses many of the same characteristics of Giant’s Causeway, who has come the closest to giving the trainer a first Breeders’ Cup Classic victory when second by a neck in 2000.

There is an argument to be made that the Classic has been more of a long-term target for Declaration Of War in comparison to previous O’Brien runners and given that this will be his last race before retirement, he should be trained to peak in the contest.

Furthermore, like Declaration Of War, each of the last three winners of the Breeders’ Cup Classic have been aged four.

The race has not been a lucrative one for European runners in the past with just two victories in 29 renewals, but this record can certainly be improved upon with a horse that has shown the pace to win at the highest level over the shorter distance of 1m.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.