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Mogul and Magical Favorites For Breeders' Cup Longines Turf
Six-time Longines Turf winner Aiden O’Brien believes this year's favorite, Mogul, is well-prepared for Breeders' Cup success after he withdrew from the ParisLongchamp earlier in October.
According to O'Brien, Moguls's chances of Breeders’ Cup success in the Longines Turf race next weekend at Keeneland Racecourse, Kentucky, improved because of the horse's omission in Paris. Mogul was pulled from the ParisLongchamp after he tested positive for banned substance zilpaterol, which contaminated feed before the race and led to three horses dropping out of the event.
Mogul's withdrawal has allowed O’Brien to spend more time specifically training the horse for the Breeders' Cup Longines Turf race, which takes place on Saturday, November 7 and returns a winning prize of $4,000,000.
Upon reflection, O'Brien felt the tough ground at the Arc in Paris would have slowed Mogul, affected his condition and hindered any preparation for the Breeders’ Cup. The Irish trainer thinks Mogul's pace and acceleration will be more suited to the tight turns at Keenland while the additional training time has helped the horse adapt to the narrow one and half-mile course.
Mogul will enter the Longines Turf race on the back of excellent form in one mile to one mile and quarter courses but this will be only his third Grade 1 race of 2020. The three-year-old thoroughbred has four wins over the past nine races including a first-place finish at Goodwood in July 2020. Mogul also won the Prix de Paris in September before the feed contamination issue ruled him out of further races at the Arc. He remains the clear favorite to win the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Turf with TVG offering odds of 9/4.
However, O'Brien's second entry in the Longines Turf this year is 5-year-old Magical, who comes into the race with previous Breeders' Cup experience. O'Brien will hope Magical can improve on her 2018 second place Turf finish when she forced a dramatic end to the race, closing in on eventual winner Enable. Magical retired from last the 2019 Breeders’ Cup a week before the event as she ran a temperature before travelling to the U.S. TVG are offering 5/2 odds on Magical making her the outside favorite to win the race.
The 5-year-old will enter this year's Breeders' Cup following strong form in Grade 1 events. Magical finished third in the Champion Stakes at Ascot earlier in October and placed first in three out of five overall events throughout 2020.
Extended rest for Mogul presents a great opportunity for O'Brien to win his seventh Longines Turf event and his 13th overall at the Breeders' Cup. The Irish trainer entered six winners in the Turf since 2002 including his most recent win in 2016 when Highland Reel finished first. Overall, O’Brien has 12 wins at the Breeders’ Cup in various events.
However, while Mogul will certainly be the horse to beat in the 2020 Longines Turf, Magical offers a more experienced selection and the 5-year-old presents an excellent outside bet to challenge at Keenland on November 7.