A’Ali finessing sprinting at a work-out in Wolverhampton ahead of $1m Breeders’ Cup race
- Two-year-old A’Ali has been preparing for the Breeders’ Cup in Wolverhampton
- The Midlands base has been used to work on sprinting by trainer Simon Crisford
- A’Ali will be one of seven European runners in the $1million Juvenile Turf sprint
Trainer Simon Crisford has tried to prepare his speedy two-year-old A’Ali for the Breeders’ Cup demands of sprinting around a bend at Santa Anita next week with a work-out at Wolverhampton.
A’Ali will be one of up to seven European contenders – over half the line-up – in the opening $1million Juvenile Turf sprint a week on Friday hoping to give the overseas raiders a flying start at the 36th running at the meeting dubbed the World Cup of Racing.
Around 35 horses trained in Europe should secure starting berths, almost half of them trained by Aidan O’Brien, who has King Neptune in the five-furlong Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Frankie Detorri’s ride A’Ali is preparing to race in a $1million Juvenile Turf sprint next week
The line-up also includes Band Practise (Archie Watson), Dr Simpson (Tom Dascombe), Dream Shot (James Tate) and A’Ali’s stablemate Al Raya.
But hopes will be strongest in Frankie Dettori’s mount A’Ali, winner of the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster.
Ed Crisford, assistant trainer to his father, said: ‘Santa Anita is a tight track. He has never raced around a bend before we took him to Wolverhampton last week to get him used to that whole process. That will be the key.
‘He has been an incredibly consistent colt this season over five furlongs. His only disappointing run was in the Prix Morny over six furlongs on heavy ground.’
Twenty vets will be on duty on Breeders’ Cup race days with pre-race veterinary inspections ramped up at Santa Anita following the death of 34 horse during either racing or training since last December.
The fatalities meant the track was closed for evaluation in March and there was even a meeting of the Breeders’ Cup board before it was confirmed Santa Anita would host the fixture for the 10th time.
A’Ali (pictured right at Royal Ascot) has been working on sprinting at a Wolverhampton base
With anti-racing group in California also stepping up pressure, a sense of nervousness hangs over the meeting.
But O’Brien, who runs Anthony Van Dyck (Turf), Circus Maximus (Turf Mile) and Magical (Filly & Mares’ Turf), said he has sought no extra assurances about the track before drawing up his big team.
He added: ‘We know everyone is doing their best and they will have the track the best they possibly can have it.’
O’Brien confirmed that Magical, winner of the Champion Stakes at Ascot last Saturday, will be retired after Breeders’ Cup and be mated with sire No Nay Never. Dettori’s only other currently confirmed mount at the meeting is John Gosden-trained Fanny Logan in the Fillies & Mares Turf. There is a first Breeders’ Cup mount for Sean Levey.
The jockey who won Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Richard Hannon-trained King of Change, partner the same trainer’s Billesdon Brook, his 2018 1,000 Guineas winner who produced her best run of the season when winning the Group One Sun Chariot Strakes at Newmarket at the start of the month, in the $2m Fillies & Mare Turf.
Also making his Breeders’ Cup riding debut is David Egan. He rides Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Ambassadorial $1m Dirt Mile.
Trainer Simon Crisford (right) has looked to work on the two-year-old’s sprinting round bends