Breeders’ Cup updates: Alice Springs wins, Spain Burg to Juv Fillies Turf after sale

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October 1st, 2016

Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) candidate Alice Springs is likely headed to Santa Anita after a straightforward success in Saturday’s Sun Chariot (G1) at Newmarket.

Dispatched as the 13-8 favorite off her stunning victory in the Matron (G1) at Leopardstown, the Aidan O’Brien filly didn’t pull another showstopper, but found plenty to wear down Godolphin’s Always Smile by three-quarters of a length. Alice Springs had beaten Always Smile by a larger margin in her course record-setting Falmouth (G1), suggesting she was slightly below her tip-top best.

That’s just as well, since you’d rather leave something to build upon in advance of the shipping to California and the showdown with defending Mile queen Tepin. Alice Springs turned in the right kind of prep: good, solid, but not too hard.

Ervedya, sporting cheekpieces, finished mildly on the inside for third. Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget commented that she will now retire to the Aga Khan’s broodmare band. So take her off a potential Breeders’ Cup list.

Another French filly who had been listed as possible on the Breeders’ Cup website, Volta, was a disappointing seventh of eight. I haven’t seen any specific news on her, but doubt they’d press on to Santa Anita off that kind of effort.

The biggest disappointment happened pre-race, when South African standout Smart Call came up lame and got scratched. This was to have been her one and only prep for the Filly & Mare Turf (G1). The Alec Laird trainee will still try to make Santa Anita, according to Racing Post, but she faces an almost insurmountable task to peak in her return from a nine-month layoff. A real shame for a mare who could have proven her world-class on the international stage.

The other big Breeders’ Cup update came in Saturday evening’s Arqana Arc Sale, when two-year-old filly Spain Burg was sold to American interests for €1.5 million. That was the second-highest price of the sale, eclipsed only by record-setting Toulifaut (the favorite for Sunday's Prix Marcel Boussac [G1]) at €1.9 million.

Jamie Lloyd Bloodstock snapped her up on behalf of Reeves Thoroughbreds, the nom de course of Georgia Horse Racing President Dean Reeves. That name may ring a bell, thanks to his partnership in 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) hero Mucho Macho Man.

Spain Burg captured the September 23 Rockfel (G2), a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), and her new ownership will take up that offer.

Alice Springs photo courtesy of Coolmore via Twitter

Spain Burg photo courtesy of Arqana via Twitter