Stoute leaves it late with Workforce

MICHAEL STOUTE will leave it “as long as we are allowed to” before making a final decision about Workforce’s participation in tonight’s Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Workforce completed his preparation for the race with a canter around the turf course with work rider Paul Grassick on board, watched by Stoute and travelling head lad Stuart Messenger.

Straight after the work Stoute consulted Mick Peterson, the track surface consultant for Breeders’ Cup.

Peterson expressed his concern that any moisture from watering was being eradicated by a drying wind.

Stoute, as upfront as he has been all week about the state of play over Workforce, said: “We are still concerned about the ground and what the weather will do.

“We will play for time and make a decision in the morning. The deadline is 7am.”

The European raiders were left trailing as Eldaafer took top honours in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs last night.

Aidan O’Brien was looking for his second successive win in the race following the triumph of Man Of Iron 12 months ago and saddled Bright Horizon, while Paul Cole’s Precision Break also made the trans-Atlantic journey.

The latter showed up well for a long way but was spent force from the turn for home, while Bright Horizon never threatened, although he was hampered leaving the back straight.

Eldaafer was always travelling strongly in the hands of John Velazquez and outpointed Prince Will I Am after a stirring finish.

There was controversy afterwards however, as Prince Will I Am and Javier Castellano were disqualified from the runner-up spot and placed 10th.

Calvin Borel, rider of the initial fourth home A. U. Miner, had to be restrained after the race after trying to attack Castellano.

Bright Horizon’s jockey, Johnny Murtagh, said: “It was quite a rough race. I followed the winner but my little horse is not used to this. He’s done well all year, but he is not a dirt horse.”

American runners also dominated the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, with Todd Pletcher's More Than Real proving too strong for hot favourite Winter Memories.

The latter travelled strongly throughout but had nowhere to go soon after the turn for home as More Than Real and Garrett Gomez kicked for home.

She managed to keep up the gallop all the way to the line to take victory, with Winter Memories second and Kathmanblu third.

O’Brien’s Together fared best of the European raiders in fifth.

Dubai Majesty proved much too good for her rivals in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Produced to lead soon after the turn for home by Jamie Theriot II, the five-year-old quickly put the race to bed.

Brian Meehan’s Theyskens’ Theory could only finish sixth as Awesome Feather maintained her unbeaten record in the hands of Jeffrey Sanchez in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

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