Breeders Cup Turf Trends

Enable Arc

Breeders Cup Turf

The Breeders’ Cup Turf – one of the feature races at The Breeders Cup Meeting this weekend at Churchill Downs, is run at 1 ½ miles on the grass course. Aimed for horses 3-years-old and older, the race attracts the best horses on the turf from around the globe to compete for a $4 million purse.

Last year, Talismanic won the Breeders Cup Turf for Michael Barzalona and Andre Fabre, who claimed his first Turf victory since 2005. This success also denied a hat-trick of wins for Aiden O'Brien, who could only manage a close third with Highland Reel.


The first thing to mention, is that this is possibly the race where many British racing fans will recognise most of the horses in the field. American racing is known for many dirt track meetings, but the best in the world on the turf usually originate from England and or the rest of Europe.

Europe and in particular Ireland, have a very good record in this race in recent years. Aiden O'Brien - denied a hat-trick of wins last year, has won four of the last seven runnings, and four of the last fourteen winners have been ridden by his retained rider, Ryan Moore. American trained horses have only won four of the last fourteen outtings, with the other ten belonging to Europe.

As for favourites, this is another race where they struggle - so it currently does not look good for dual Arc sensation Enable. Nine of the last fourteen favourites did place, but only one of them took first prize.

More formidable stats include that the previous 13 winners from a possible 14 had raced in the last eight weeks. The same number had also won at least three races coming into this meeting. 11 of the last 14 had won a Grade/Group 1 before, with 10 of those winning at the Turf distance (1m4f).

The draw is always a big part of every race, and 10 of the last 14 winners have been drawn in stall 5 or higher. 10 of the last 14 winners have also been either aged 4 or 5.

Europe dominate this years field, which will be headlined by John Gosden's wondermare Enable. Waldgeist, Magical, along with last year's winner Talismanic are also all prominent in the market.

Previous Winners:

2017 – Talismanic
2016 – Highland Reel
2015 – Found
2014 – Main Sequence
2013 – Magician
2012 – Little Mike
2011 – St Nicholas Abbey
2010 – Dangerous Midge
2009 – Conduit
2008 – Conduit
2007 – English Channel