Belmont ratings swell Lake's prospects

The cast list for the Breeders' Cup, the New York spectacular that will bring the Flat season to a climax at Belmont Park on Saturday week, was unveiled yesterday.

British stables have assembled a team of eight for this, the 12th edition of racing's world championships and, after Barathea's victory in the Mile 12 months ago, confidence is high that the squad will not return empty-handed.

Top of the bill will be the contest between America's Cigar, unbeaten in his last 11 starts, and Godolphin's Halling, unbeaten in eight, for the Classic, the richest of the seven races and run over a mile and a quarter on dirt.

There was also official confirmation that at least one of the supporting players - Harayir, Hever Golf Rose, Lake Coniston, Owington, Sayyedati, Soviet Line,and Tamure - should be respected by their American rivals when Lake Coniston was rated as clearly the top horse in the Sprint according to the meeting's handicappers.

Britain's leading speedster, who has not raced since flopping at Haydock last month, is rated 6lb clear of America's best, Classy Mirage, and 8lb ahead of Hever Golf Rose.

A spin around a bend on Lingfield's all-weather track has satisfied his trainer, Geoff Lewis, that Lake Coniston can cope with the Belmont turn. "If he can put Haydock behind him and produce his best form, he will win," Lewis said.

"He's been working great and is in good mental shape. You should have seen him turn round my paddock this morning flat out. He made Belmont look like Newmarket."

Despite that confidence, Lake Coniston is quoted at 5-1 for the Sprint and Ladbrokes see the possibility that there will be no British success as an odds-on chance. They bet 4-6 no British winners, 11-10 one or more. A single victory is 11-8 and they then offer 8-1 two wins, 50-1 three and 750-1 four.

The British runners form part of a group of 17 Europeans, the fewest since 1990. They include Ireland's Ridgewood Pearl, a leading contender for the Mile, seven from France and one from Germany.

Belmont Park has proved a rewarding track for Europeans. Five years ago Royal Academy captured the Mile under Lester Piggott, In The Wings took the Turf and Dayjur nearly won the Sprint. Paul Cole's Ibn Bey also finished second in the Classic.

Halling is rated a 5-2 chance by both Ladbrokes and Coral to go one better. Cigar is 4-6. "This is absolutely the heavyweight championship of the world," the senior handicapper, Geoffrey Gibbs, said. "I don't ever recall a race of such marvellous quality in depth. To try and call a winner is impossible."

Breeders' Cup Classic: Coral: 4-6 Cigar, 5-2 Halling, 10-1 Freedom Cry, Heavenly Prize, 14-1 Celtic Arms, French Deputy, Peaks And Valleys, Unaccounted For, 16-1 others.

Turf: Coral: 4-1 Freedom Cry, 9-2 Northern Spur, 6-1 Hernando, 7-1 Awad, Turk Passer, 8-1 Carnegie, 10-1 Tamure, 12-1 others.

Mile: Coral: 4-1 Fastness, 5-1 Cherokee Rose, Dove Hunt, Ridgewood Pearl, 10-1 Harayir, Mighty Forum, 12-1 Shaanxi, 14-1 Sayyedati, 16-1 others.

Sprint: Coral: 7-2 You And I, 4-1 Not Surprising, 5-1 Lake Coniston, 6-1 Hever Golf Rose, 7-1 Classy Image, Our Emblem, 10-1 Golden Gear, 12- 1 Lit De Justice, 14-1 others.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower