Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has a strong team heading to the Breeders’ Cup including brilliant filly Magical who he has confirmed will run in the Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
Often the bridesmaid behind Enable – including in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf – Magical has managed to win three times at Group One level this season, landing the Tattersalls Gold Cup, the Irish Champion Stakes and last Saturday’s Champion Stakes at Ascot.
She is set to be covered by Coolmore stallion No Nay Never next year, but will first head to Santa Anita for the meeting on November 1 and 2.
O’Brien clarified his big race line-up after the release of the pre-entries for the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships after a discussion with Coolmore partners, John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.
“We have just had a meeting there with the lads. Magical is going to go to No Nay Never next year and if everything is well, it will be the Filly & Mare Turf that she would run in,” O’Brien told attheraces.com.
“She is an incredible mare, a very special filly with an unbelievable constitution, unbelievable mind and powerful and strong. She’s been second to Enable that many times and we’ve had her ticking over with the autumn in mind.”
O’Brien has confirmed Derby winner hero Anthony Van Dyck and Mount Everest will bid to give Ballydoyle a seventh victory in the 12-furlong (2400m) Turf, with Magical likely to be joined by Fleeting and Just Wonderful in the mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) Filly & Mare.
O’Brien said Anthony Van Dyck would be suited at Santa Anita and would appreciate a firm track.
“The only time he blotted his copybook was in the King George in Ascot on soft ground when we shouldn’t have run him.
“He’s a real fast ground specialist who gets a mile and a half well. We think the race will suit him.”
Fairyland and So Perfect are both pencilled in for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and Circus Maximus is a prime candidate for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile.
O’Brien will have a busy first day of the two-day Breeders’ Cup meeting with King Neptune in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, four entries in the Juvenile Turf – Arizona, Fort Myers, New World Tapestry and Royal Dornoch – plus Etoile and Tango in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, for which Precious Moments is first reserve.