Racing: Lone Star trip just right for Ouija Board

Texas is bigger than England and France put together, but they have not used much of it to construct Lone Star Park which stages the Breeders' Cup for the first time today.

Texas is bigger than England and France put together, but they have not used much of it to construct Lone Star Park which stages the Breeders' Cup for the first time today.

It is the tightest of tracks at Grand Prairie, featuring a runway (straight) of just 930ft. Many closing horses will run out of real estate today. The definitive areas will be the turns and, in particular, the final one. The sweeping, spiral, banked bends lend a sort of wall of death effect to the action. The technique is to get going early into the turns to ensure a slingshot effect out of them.

The marque event, for Britain at least, is the Filly & Mare Turf, an event won 12 months ago with Islington. Her jockey, Kieren Fallon, is back on another favourite in Ouija Board (8.45), who has 5lb in hand on official ratings. As the unusual distance of 11 furlongs will be too far for most of the American fillies (none of whom are outstanding anyway), Ed Dunlop's filly has only a fellow European to worry about.

Yesterday was third in this last year for Aidan O'Brien and has enjoyed a better rhythm to the Breeders' Cup this season, if not for the right reasons. Her appearances have been restricted by a near fatal bout of colitis in the spring.

The Irish trainer's best prospects appear to be in the Turf, a race Europe has won for the last five years, while O'Brien himself is on a hat-trick after the twin efforts of High Chaparral. The home side sends out Kitten's Joy, who is considered a world-beater here even if he has proved to be only a North American-beater. Powerscourt (9.55), who has run well over inadequate trips this season, can show where the balance of power lies.

O'Brien sends out Mona Lisa in the Juvenile Fillies (a race destined for Sweet Catomine, 6.55), but the real Ballydoyle enigma, Antonius Pius, goes in the Mile. He could do anything. More reliable is Pascal Bary's Six Perfections (7.35), who is back to defend her crown and whose season has been geared to replicating the back-to-back feat of Miesque for connections.

Another French filly to consider is Nebraska Tornado (6.20) in the Distaff, who has been placed in Group Ones this campaign, efforts which appear superior to the mush of form among her American counterparts. André Fabre's filly is considered the equal of a previous winner of the race in Banks Hill.

Team Europe's entry of Scandinavia and Wilko in the Juvenile looks insufficient. Proud Accolade (9.20) can beat the overbet Roman Ruler in that. Another favourite to tumble may be in the Classic, in which Pleasantly Perfect looks vulnerable to the form and fairy story of Funny Cide (10.35).

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