Jockey Tom Eaves expects lightning to strike twice as he begins his bid to repeat his $ 1 million glory at the Breeders’ Cup in California.
- Tom Eaves won the Breeders’ Cup last year in California aboard Glass Slippers
- He became the first European challenger to win the Turf Sprint in the history of the race.
- In a shorter course this year, the task appears to be even more difficult for the couple.
Jockey Tom Eaves flies to California on Monday in hopes of climbing a racing Everest for the second time at the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday.
Eaves and Glass Slippers beat American sprinters in their own backyard last year by becoming the first European challenger to win the $ 1 million Turf Sprint in the race’s 13-year history.
The 40-year-old Wigan-born rider on his Breeders’ Cup debut achieved one of the season’s highlights with a ground-saving run and hugging the rails in the five-and-a-half stadium race at Keeneland.
Jockey Tom Eaves flies to California on Monday seeking even more Breeders’ Cup success
But with Saturday’s half-furlong race shorter at the tight Del Mar circuit, the task faced by Kevin Ryan-trained Eaves and Glass Slippers, who finished third behind fellow Turf Sprint, A Case of You in the Prix de L ‘Abbaye in Longchamp. on your last run, it appears to be even steeper. Eaves said: ‘It was a day that I will never forget last year. All went well. We got off to a good start, which is very important in America, and a lovely round. All the holes came at the right time, what they have to do in those big races and the filly was brilliant that day.
“The pace was strong, which was what I expected, but it was still the same as in any race, you have to get into the rhythm. It’s five stadiums instead of five and a half on Saturday. That said, Glass Slippers show a lot of speed.
“Kevin is very happy with her and she has had three good races this season. It was too soft for her in France. ‘
Glass Slippers’ opponents include their Ryan-trained stablemate, Haydock Sprint Cup winner Emaraaty Ana. If Glass Slippers win, it would expand an astonishing statistic for Eaves, who rode their first winner in 1999.
Opportunities at the highest level do not present themselves too often for the highly skilled pilot on the northern circuit. But he has achieved five victories in Group One and all have gone abroad.
Eaves said: ‘I travel well like the filly! I don’t care where they are as long as we have them.
A great week of international action kicks off early tomorrow morning (4am UK time) as the Andrew Balding-trained Spanish Mission is the only England-trained rider at the Melbourne Cup in Australia.
Joseph O’Brien runs the 2020 winner Twilight Payment and is the sole representative from Ireland.
Meanwhile, Joe Tizzard hinted that next month’s Ladbrokes Trophy Hunt at Newbury could be the next race for Fiddlerontheroof after he won a competitive Colin Parker Memorial Hunt at Carlisle yesterday.
Fiddlerontheroof won once, but finished second five times last season, including against Anglerfish in the Brown Advisory Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
After the gelding beat Pay The Piper a long and fourth ridden by Brendan Powell, Tizzard, who helps his trainer, Father Colin, said: “We may want to take advantage of his (handicap) mark.”
The goal of the Ladbrokes Trophy Hunt has also been described as tempting by coach Dan Skelton for Shan Blue, who was 20 lengths ahead when he fell three in Saturday’s Charlie Hall Hunt at Wetherby.