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Taking The Mystery Out Of Wagering On Breeders’ Cup Turf Races

For years, the compilation of turf events that are part of the Breeders’ Cup World Championship series could also be labeled as international races of mystery.

These turf events bring together top North American horses alongside elite foreign entries and while punters on either side of the Atlantic could read the lines in the program, frequently they were left with the dilemma of putting a wager down on a horse they’d never seen race, or horses they’d never seen race against each other.

That’s no longer going to be the case beginning with the 2024 edition of the Breeders’ Cup events. Thanks to an agreement between the Stronach Group’s 1/ST, North America’s preeminent thoroughbred racing and pari-mutuel wagering company, and the UK Jockey Club, a series of cross promotions will see the best turf horses from America and Britain making transatlantic journeys to face each other on the track.

Here’s How It Will Work

These crossover races will take into account potential entrants in two of the six turf events on the Breeders’ Cup schedule – the Turf and the Turf Sprint. 

In the Turf division, the winner of Santa Anita’s Charles Whittingham Stakes (Grade 2, $200,000, 10 furlongs) on May 4 will receive an automatic entry and a travel incentive to run in the Coral-Eclipse (Group 1, £750,000, 10 furlongs) at Sandown Park on July 6.

The winner of the Coral-Eclipse will receive an automatic entry and a travel incentive to run in the California Crown John Henry Turf (Grade 2, $750,000, 10 furlongs) on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita Park.

In the Turf Sprint division, the winner of Pimlico’s Jim McKay Stakes (Listed Stakes, $100,000, 5 furlongs) on May 18 will receive an automatic entry and a travel incentive to run in the My Pension Expert July Cup (Group 1, £600,000, 6 furlongs) at Newmarket on July 13.

The winner of the My Pension Expert July Cup Stakes (Group 1, £600,000) will receive an automatic entry and a travel incentive to run in the California Crown Eddie D Turf Sprint (Grade 2, $750,000, 6.5 furlongs) on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita Park.

“By pairing two of the UK’s most famous and prestigious Group One contests in the summer with a quartet of valuable North American turf contests in the spring and autumn, we feel we have the perfect race schedule for transatlantic runners,” Matt Woolston, the Jockey Club’s assistant racing and international director said in a statement.

“In addition, British and other European trainers now have the chance of an incentivised trip to North America in the autumn for races at Santa Anita Park’s exciting new California Crown meeting.

“We feel we have highlighted a race schedule that incentivises runners to travel across the Atlantic.”

How It Helps Bettors

This transatlantic series will be pitting the best of the best in both of these divisions from each side of the pond against each other in top-flight racing long before they go postward at the Breeders’ Cup. Punters will be able to see how these top horses rate when staring each other down on the track. Such an opportunity has rarely been offered in previous years in the various turf divisions.

The Breeders’ Cup Turf is dominated by Irish horses. They have won 16 of the past 31 Breeders’ Cup Turf races. Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the race a record six times, all with Irish-bred horses. Overall, 21 of the past 26 winners of this race have come from outside North America.

When betting the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, late closers tend to do well. Seven of the past 10 winners came from at least 12 lengths off the pace at the half-mile pole.

Top UK online betting sites such as Bet365Betfred, SBK, Mr Play Sport and Betvictor will all be offering wagering on the Breeders’ Cup turf races. So you won’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home in order to have a punt on any of the races.

View the best US sites for online horse betting here.