How to Predict the Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic


It’s the most prestigious horse racing meeting in the USA, and of the Breeders’ Cup World Championship events, it is the Breeders’ Cup Classic that deservedly takes headline honours.

Arguably the premier thoroughbred renewal in American racing, the Breeders’ Cup Classic is also the notional fourth leg of the ‘Grand Slam’, which also features the Triple Crown races the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

The prize purse is a rather handsome $6 million – only the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the Pegasus World Cup and the Dubai World Cup pay better, and if you know how to pick the winner it can also be a lucrative event for bettors too.

Due to its high-quality nature, a very strong field will assemble at Santa Anita Park for the 2019 edition, and that is reflected in close betting odds where plenty of value is available: Mckinzie, the favourite to take the spoils, is still available at a lofty +700, for instance.

So is there any way to adequately handicap the Breeders’ Cup Classic field, and are there any useful pointers for picking out the winner?


A Trio of Trends to Follow

On the face of it, the Breeders’ Cup Classic is a tough race to handicap. Taking the past ten years of the event into consideration, we have seen ten different horses triumph, nine different trainers and only one jockey – Mike E. Smith – has led his mount to multiple victories.

Indeed, it is a good idea to take on the advice of time-served professionals who understand the unique machinations of elite-level racing. There’s a huge community of horse racing pundits and tipsters online, for whom picking winners is their day job rather than just a hobby. For instance, you can utilise online resources such as the Betfair horse racing betting tips, which have been tracked as profitable across a number of years. If you want to maximise your betting potential, using such services is a smart play.

However, if you want to get a headstart then you can always do your homework with these Breeders’ Cup Classic stats and trends.

Making the Grade

Each of the last ten Breeders’ Cup Classic champions has won a Grade 1 race prior to their victory in the ‘big one’.

Of course, this comes as no great surprise. We expect the winner of the Breeders to be a top-class horse, and taking down a Grade 1 renewal is evidence of that.

This is an auto-play for handicappers – if a horse has never shone in a Grade 1 before, don’t expect them to step up to the plate at Santa Anita this time around either.


Age DOES Matter

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is only available to horses aged three or above, so you won’t find any juveniles entered.

But it’s a race where older horses tend to struggle to keep up with the pace, and while there has been a smattering of five-year-old champions – Accelerate last year being one notable – this is a renewal where three and four-year-olds tend to prosper.

There’s no place for ageism in modern society…except where the Breeders is concerned.

Don’t Fall for the Fallacy of the Favourite

The sportsbooks are manned by some of the sharpest operators around.

So they set their odds according to their in-house ratings of each horse, and then the market’s money determines whether those prices are ‘correct’ or not.

With a race as competitive as the Breeders’ Cup Classic, it comes as no great surprise that identifying a favourite is such difficult work. And that’s why the most fancied horse, according to the bookies, doesn’t always take care of business.

Indeed, in the last 12 editions of this race, only nine favourites have prevailed: that’s a trend well worth following, as are those listed above, when handicapping the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

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