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Matt Chapman tips: World’s best horse Flightline chases immortality at star-studded Breeders’ Cup

BUCKLE up and prepare for lift off as supersonic Flightline seeks equine immortality.

The Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland features Euro stars like Highfield Princess, Nashwa, Tuesday and Modern Games.

Matt Chapman is looking forward to a big night at the Breeders’ Cup

But there is no doubt Flightline’s date with destiny in the Classic is the talk of the town.

I’m lucky enough to bring you all the interviews for the Breeders’ Cup on Sky Sports Racing. And on the ground Stateside there is an undercurrent of expectation about Flightline.

Some readers might not know  about the John Sadler-trained brute.
Flightline is the world’s highest-rated horse. He is unbeaten in five starts and last time in the Pacific Classic smashed up the Dubai World Cup hero Country Grammer by nearly 20 lengths.

In doing so he earned comparisons with Secretariat, widely considered the greatest American racehorse of all time.

Extraordinarily, some experts over here in Keeneland believe Flightline might have even more to offer.

This week I spoke to Sadler and asked if Flightline was in a different league to Accelerate, who he trained  to land the Classic in 2018.

Most trainers hate comparing generations or their star performers.

But Sadler did not pause, looked me in the eye, and said: “Yes.

“Accelerate was an Eclipse champion, but he’s not even remotely close to Flightline.”

Wow. Wow, with bells on.

The magical thing about today’s Classic is that it’s a deep field. Even without Flightline it would be an outstanding contest.

Taking on the hot favourite is Life Is Good, the winner of eight of his ten starts including a Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Pegasus World Cup in which he beat the 2021 Classic hero Knicks Go.

Then there are the Kentucky Derby one-two in Rich Strike and Epicentre.

Bob Baffert has the lightly raced and improving Taiba, while Olympiad has won seven from 11 for Bill Mott, the trainer of legend Cigar. Even a roughie like Hot Rod Charlie is a feisty individual.
Don’t miss this.

As we saw with Baaeed, anything can happen, but this could just be racing history. We will all remember where we were when Flightline won the Classic of all Classics.

The magical Highfield Princess takes on US giant Golden Pal in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. The former has improved out of all recognition, but this is a whole new ball game for John Quinn’s brilliant Nunthorpe winner.

The break will be crucial for Highfield Princess and Wes Ward’s speedball Golden Pal.

Nashwa has every chance in the Filly & Mare Turf for John & Thady Gosden and Hollie Doyle, although Irish raiders  Tuesday and Above The Curve are serious rivals.

This trip of just short of a mile and a quarter should be right up Nashwa’s street.

Many will expect the Europeans to bag the Turf and the money has really come for my hope Nations Pride, trained by Charlie Appleby.

It was very odd bookmakers initially favoured stablemate Rebel’s Romance in the betting despite No 1 rider William Buick being on the Jockey Club Derby winner.

Don’t ignore Mott’s mare War Like Goddess in this. I was next to her the other morning and she’s a giant, all muscle.

Mott likes her and the raiders are not the most talented we have ever sent over for this.

Appleby really likes Modern Games in the Mile, and who can blame him? He has been rather in the shadow of Native Trail and Coroebus this term, but he’s really very good indeed and loves to travel.

Kinross has a horrible draw in the same race, but Dreamloper is interesting for Ed Walker.

She has improved with every race and was in top shape when denying a former Breeders’ Cup Mile winner in Order Of Australia (goes again) in the Prix du Moulin last time.

I can’t wait. I’m just praying in the storm of the Classic Flightline has read the chart and lands safely.


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