Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Tips & Analysis, Del Mar, 4th November 2017

Del Mar has the honour of hosting its first ever Breeders’ Cup this week and racing fans are expected to flock to the Southern Californian venue. The two day championships has a climatic finale with the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, arguably the most prestigious contest in the entire American racing calendar.

This year 11 runners will take to the stalls on the speedy dirt track at Del Mar for the mile and a quarter long contest, including last year’s champion Arrogate. Up for grabs is a huge $6m purse which makes this race one of the most lucrative in world racing.

Trends To Look Out For

Bob Baffert has enjoyed an immense amount of success at the Breeders’ Cup over the years. The Classic is a race he has won on the past three occasions and the famous trainer has four entries this time around including the second, third and fourth favourites. The 64-year-old commands a lot of respect and you should pay particular attention to his horses given his recent success.

When it comes to form, you are looking for a horse who won, or at least came in the top three in a Grade 1 or 2 race last time out. This is something shared by all the last 10 Classic winners. In the betting trends, this race has not been one for the favourites, the brilliant American Pharaoh being the only one to triumph this decade. Huge upsets haven’t been frequent either though, with 20/1 winner Drosselmeyer in 2011 being the only recent example.

Betting Tips

Main Pick – Gun Runner at 2/1 with Coral

Alternative Tip – Collected at 7/1 with Ladbrokes

Although many favourites have failed to deliver here recently, it’s still very hard to look past Gun Runner. He was beaten by Arrogate at Meydan in March but conditions were muddy then and not suited to a horse that relies so much on his pace. Taking a look at his record on fast going and he’s won his last five consecutive outings, the last three of which were Grade 1 contests. The four-year-old has claimed these high quality races in such commanding style too, winning by very large margins, no more so than his 10 and a half length win in the Woodward Stakes two months ago. That sort of form is hard to ignore.

Only Tiznow has been able to win this race twice before and it looks like a record which will be preserved. Arrogate (5/2, Betfred) has been out at Del Mar twice this season, soundly beat in the first attempt despite being a huge 1/20 favourite and then a beaten favourite once again when half a length off the winner in August. Last year’s Classic victory came on the back of a very impressive performance in the Group 1 Travers Stakes but this time Bob Baffert’s horse doesn’t seem to be in good enough shape.

We spoke before about how Baffert’s entries command respect though and while Arrogate doesn’t offer too much appeal at the prices, Collected does. The four-year-old was the horse that pipped Arrogate at Del Mar in August to claim the Pacific Classic Stakes, the second Group 1 win of his career. It was a particularly important win because it was his first mile and quarter test and during it, he showed great resilience to stave off late pressure. With superb form this year, four wins from four, plus a Classic winning jockey and trainer, he makes for the perfect outside bet and we see him being right in the mix come the post.