British and Irish-trained horses to watch at the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships

The British Flat racing season has reached its peak, with Champions Day at Ascot bringing the curtain down on another fantastic campaign that has been filled with spills and thrills. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom for fans of the sport, as the top British and Irish trainers and horses are set to make the trip across the Atlantic Ocean for a crack at some of the biggest races at the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

With over $30 million up for grabs in prize purses and awards, it’s no surprise that horses from all over the world head stateside for the meeting, which will take place at Del Mar in California this year. So, with several British and Irish-trained horses in contention for some of the big races, let’s take a look at a few to keep an eye out for at the meeting. Read on to find out more!


Unbeaten in all five of his races this season, Baaeedlooks set to head to San Diego as the favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, a race that could well feature its fair share of British-trained horses. The William Haggas-trained horse started his inaugural campaign with a couple of wins at Maiden and Novice level, but quickly upped the stakes, winning the Sir Henry Cecil at Newmarket before winning the Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. The three-year-old’s most impressive victory though came last month in Paris, when he won his first Group 1 in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. The miler will likely head to Champions Day for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes before making the trip across the pond, and a victory at Ascot could see him become an even more convincing favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.


It goes without saying that this certainly hasn’t been the two-year-old season renowned Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien had in mind for his exciting filly Tenebrism. The American-bred horse won a maiden at Naas on her debut back in March, going clear in the final 110 yards to beat GaireOsArdby over three lengths, but she suffered a setback in that victory and wasn’t seen again until a recent reappearance at Newmarket. The 181-day break didn’t seem to faze Tenebrism though, as she surprised almost everyone, including O’Brien, to win the Cheveley Park Stakes — one of the biggest races for two-year-olds — from a huge 14/1. She could round off her season with an outing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, which she is the favourite to win in the horse betting, and she is already heavily fancied to win next year’s 1,000 Guineas back at Newmarket.


After a fantastic season last year, in which Tarnawawon all four of her races, including two Group 1s at Longchamp — the Prix Vemeille and the Prix de l’Opera— and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland, the Dermot Weld-trained horse has largely failed to hit the same heights again this year. Tarnawa started the season traditionally late, winning the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown, but was then narrowly beaten by St Mark’s Basilica on her return to the Dublin-based course for the Irish Champion Stakes. Still short-priced at odds of around 4/1 for the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the five-year-old was again just beaten to the post by surprise winner and 80/1 shot Torquator Tasso. Weld blamed the rainfall for her defeat at Longchamp and claimed there is a ‘definite possibility’ that Tarnawa will head to Del Mar to defend her Breeders’ Cup Turf crown.

The John and ThadyGosden-trained Mishriff, who recently won the International Stakes at York, is also worth watching as he could go head-to-head with Tarnawa in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, while Prix de la Foret winner Space Blues, trained by William Buick, could give Baaeed a run for his money in the Mile. O’Brien’s trio of Mother Earth, Snowfall and Love could also make the trip stateside.


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