Three Europeans to Note for the Breeders’ Cup

By Donn McClean
 |  3 mins
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Three Europeans to Note for the Breeders’ Cup

Breeders' Cup Betting Tips

Tarnawa Breeders’ Cup Turf 7/4 10Bet
Pearls Galore Breeders’ Cup Mile 12/1 10Bet
Audarya Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf 6/1 Betfred

The Breeders’ Cup is not the Ryder Cup of racing. It’s an American event, hosted by America, to which Europe is invited and welcomed. But it is a home gig for the Americans, so it’s not easy for the Europeans to go over there and come home with the spoils.

That said, the European challenge this year looks solid, with top new bookmakers offering around 7/2 that there will be five or more European-trained winners. Here are three European horses who might be worthy of particular note.


Race: Breeders’ Cup Turf

Trainer: Dermot Weld

Rider: Colin Keane

Last year was pretty remarkable, when Tarnawa’s intended rider Christophe Soumillon tested positive for Covid-19, and Colin Keane was drafted in at the 11th hour, a Breeders’ Cup rookie, never even been to America before, and duly drove her home in the Turf. She was Dermot Weld’s first Breeders’ Cup winner too.

It’s not going to be easy for Tarnawa to repeat the feat. For starters, dual Breeders’ Cup Turf winners are a rare breed. Only Conduit (2008 and 2009) and High Chaparral (2002 and his 2003 dead-heat with Johar) have won back-to-back renewals in the 37-year history of the race.

As well as that, Tarnawa has drawn stall 13 of 14. Only compatriot Japan is drawn higher. And the ground may be faster than ideal and the track may be tighter than ideal.

But the positives out-weigh the negatives quite considerably. Fundamentally, Dermot Weld’s filly is top class. She won all her four races last season, three of them Group/Grade 1 races, including the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland.

She has only won one of her three races thus far this season, the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown, in which she danced in, but she has arguably put up the two best performances of her life in defeat in her last two runs. Second to St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion Stakes, second to Torquator Tasso in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last time, when she had Hurricane Lane and Adayar and Sealiway and Snowfall behind her.

The Aga Khan’s filly didn’t start off her 2021 campaign until August, so she goes into the race fresher than most of her rivals, and she will have Colin Keane for company. She could have enough in hand to overcome her wide draw.

Back Tarnawa at 7/4 with 10Bet here

Pearls Galore

Race: Breeders’ Cup Mile

Trainer: Paddy Twomey

Rider: Billy Lee

Pearls Galore also has a wide draw to deal with in the Mile, stall 12 of 14, but you can be sure that rider Billy Lee and trainer Paddy Twomey will concoct a plan that will reduce the negative impact of their filly’s draw as much as possible.

The Breeders’ Cup Mile has been the plan for the Invincible Spirit filly for little while. It came onto the radar during the summer when she won the Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary, and it came into being when she finished second to Space Blues in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day.

She has two lengths to make up on Space Blues on their running in France, but the ground was softer than ideal for Paddy Twomey’s filly that day. She did well to finish second. She should be much happier on the faster ground that she will encounter on Saturday. As well as that, she is a nimble filly who has lots of speed but who stays a mile. Her trainer has long-since believed that Del Mar’s tight turns and fast ground could suit her well, and she could out-run her odds by a fair way.

Back Pearls Galore at 12/1 with 10Bet here



Race: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

Trainer: James Fanshawe

Rider: William Buick

Audarya could also out-run her odds in the Filly & Mare Turf. James Fanshawe’s filly finished off her race well to win last year’s renewal of the race, when it was run over nine and a half furlongs at Keeneland. She will be stepping up to 11 furlongs on Saturday for the first time, but she stays 10 furlongs well and, out of a mare who won over a mile and a half, there is every chance that she will stay Saturday’s trip all right.

She only finished fourth in the Prix de l’Opera on her latest run, but she travelled like the most likely winner through her race that day, she looked set for victory when she cruised into the lead on the far side on the run to the furlong marker, before the heavy ground found her out and she was run down by the closers out wide.

She should be happier on the faster ground on Saturday, and it is probable that she will be ridden more patiently on this occasion.

She is another who is drawn wide, in stall 12, but she raced from stall 11 at Keeneland last year when she won this race. It is probable that her trainer has had this race in mind for her since this day last year, and she could be set to put up a career-best performance.

Back Audarya at 6/1 with Betfred here


Donn McClean, for many, is the face of horse racing in Ireland. He is the chief horse racing writer for The Irish Sunday Times and appears regularly on RTE's horse racing coverage as well as Racing TV. An accomplished author, Donn recently added Champion, written with the late Pat Smullen, to his list of horse racing books. You'll find Donn's musings across the world of Horse Racing here at

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