Aidan O’Brien took all 12 of his Breeders’ Cup runners on to the turf and training tracks at Santa Anita on Thursday morning, giving his Turf duo Found and Highland Reel a first experience of the course since their arrival.
O’Brien is optimistic the Coolmore team can enjoy one of its best two days at the self-styled Olympics of horse racing.
He said: “Roly Poly (Juvenile Fillies Turf) was a bit spooked by the whole thing, but apart from her they were all really good. Highland Reel is a pro, Found is a pro, and we have with those two a great chance on Saturday.”
O’Brien – who needs four more top-level wins to equal the late Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 in a calendar year – then ran through some of his other runners.
He added: “Alice Springs (Mile) has really thrived since she got here. She looks an absolute picture, will like the fast ground and has a lot of speed.
“Washington DC (Turf Sprint) has been running very well over five furlongs and won over seven furlongs on Polytrack at Dundalk. I’m looking forward to him as he loves chasing a fast pace.
“He will need a bit of luck late in the race, but he’s in great form.
“I hope Intelligence Cross (Juvenile Turf) will get the mile, although I can’t be sure because all his form is over six furlongs. With Lancaster Bomber it’s exactly the opposite, we know he will stay and I expect him to be doing his best work late.”