Breeders Cup Classic Runner by Runner

1. Thunder Snow

Trainer – Saeed Bin Suroor

Jockey – Christophe Soumillion

Fairly quiet campaign since winning the Dubai World Cup at the end of March by 4 ½ lengths to West Coast. Poor run when last in the Juddmonte International at York, but back on his favourite surface now, and a return to his best form wouldn’t be a surprise.

2. Roaring Lion

Trainer – John Gosden

Jockey – Oisin Murphy

What a season this horse has had. Winner of the Juddmonte International, Coral Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes, and most recently - the QEII on Champions Day. Trainer strongly represented in the Turf with Enable, so the lion takes his chance on the dirt on what will be his final race before being retired to stud. Owes connections nothing more, and worth a crack at the $6 million purse.

3. Catholic Boy

Trainer – Jonathan Thomas

Jockey – Javier Castellano

Another horse – this time from the States, who has been enjoyed a sensational season. Completed a hat-trick of graded successes at Saratoga last time out in the Travers Stakes, where he beat Mendelssohn by four lengths and will surely hold a strong hand in the outcome to the Classic, if seen to his best.

4. Gunnevera

Trainer – Antonio Sano

Jockey – Irad Ortiz Jr

Eighth to Thunder Snow in the Dubai World Cup in March, and has since finished runner up to the Japanese raider Yoshia in a Grade 1 at Saragota two months ago. Not one to rule out entirely.

5. Lone Sailor

Trainer – Thomas Amoss

Jockey – James Graham

Winner of the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park a month ago, but may be slightly out of his depth here in top company.

6. Mckinzie

Trainer – Bob Baffert

Jockey – Mike Smith

Lightly raced 3yo, won the Pennsylvania Derby back in September in good style under Mike Smith. Is technically unbeaten (5 from 5), if you include the G2 San Felipe Stakes, where he was first past the post, but eventually placed second after a stewards enquiry. Will be hard to pass.

7. West Coast

Trainer – Bob Baffert

Jockey – John Velazquez

Another representing the popular Bob Baffert yard, who have such a great record here. West Coast was third in this race last year behind Gun Runner, who beat him again in the Pegasus back in January. Has only raced once since finishing second to Thunder Snow in the World Cup back in March, and that was runner up to Accelerate in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita in September. Cannot be ruled out.

8. Pavel

Trainer – Doug O’Neill

Jockey – Mario Gutierrez

Also second to Accelerate, this time in the G1 Pacific Classic back in August. Fourth in the Dubai World Cup over six months ago, and a few lengths to find on both of those performances.

9. Mendelssohn

Trainer – Aiden O’Brien

Jockey – Ryan Moore

Runaway winner of the UAE Derby at Meydan at the World Cup meeting. Failed to win since, and had excuses when last in the Kentucky Derby behind Justify. Did not relish the conditions whatsoever, and will want the rain to stay away. Has put that effort behind him since, and has placed in each of his last three starts. Finished third in most recent start in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park and has almost two lengths to find with Thunder Snow, who finished second. Certainly in with a shout, based on his Breeders Cup history: won the Juvenile Turf in great style last season.

10. Yoshida

Trainer – William Mott

Jockey – Jose Ortiz

Japanese raider finished a creditable fifth to Accidental Agent in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot in the summer. Switching back to the dirt has brought him back to his best, where most recently he won a Grade 1 at Saratoga.

11. Mind Your Biscuits

Trainer – Chad Summers

Jockey – Tyler Gaffalione

Beat Toast of New York in a Grade 3 here at the end of September, and also won the Golden Shaheen in Dubai earlier on in the season.

12. Axelrod

Trainer – Michael McCarthy

Jockey – Joe Bravo

Another lightly raced 3yo, finished second to the impressive Mckinzie at Parx in September, but was never on terms, and has a big mountain to climb here.

13. Discreet Lover

Trainer – Uriah St Lewis

Jockey – Manuel Franco

Beat Thunder Snow by a neck in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park; with Mendelssohn back in third. Was a big priced winner that day, and will be the same again here should he follow up that success.

14. Accelerate

Trainer – John Sadler

Jockey – Joel Rosario

Probably the standout horse in the field, however this is no given. Only been beaten by two rivals in last eight outings; all in Grade 1 or 2 company. Three easy victories on the bounce, and has had the perfect preparation for the Classic here.

15. Collected

Trainer – Bob Baffert

Jockey – Joseph Talamo

Possible pacemaker for yard’s younger and possibly better horses, however did finish a decent seventh in the Pegasus earlier in the year. Was second to Gun Runner in this race last year but was never near the winner.

16. Toast Of New York

Trainer – Jamie Osborne

Jockey – J R Leparoux

Now 7yo, great to see the old boy line up here, but his vastly outnumbered by better horses. Four lengths off Mind Your Biscuits in a Grade 3, but a massive step-up here.