Racing: Lit De Justice ready to gain the right verdict in the Sprint

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The Independent Online
Europe does not have an outstanding record in the Breeders' Cup but as the series stages its 13th running today at Woodbine, there are signs that a successful policy has been identified: keep entering until there is no space for North American runners.

In the Turf, the visitors supply half the 14-strong field and their challenge is at least as effective in calibre as it is in quantity. But it is not simplicity itself to locate the winner.

Shantou and Dushyantor have similar form, as do Pilsudski and Swain, while Luna Wells and Wall Street do not look good enough. That leaves Singspiel, with whom you can omit the factor of travelling sickness and ability to cope with the track as he won here on his last outing. Michael Stoute's colt is the most reliable bet, though the value may lie with Talloires.

By the time of the race, the Europeans should know the way the fates are flowing as Mark Of Esteem goes into the Mile as hot as a branding iron. The horse has journeyed well and impressed at the trackside, and if he loses, there will be no recriminations. There will not be anything, just disbelieving silence. If Mark Of Esteem is to be troubled, it may be by Da Hoss, and at least if he wins for Michael Dickinson Britain can claim victory of a sort.

In the Sprint, Iktamal may well avoid the irritant of dirt being sent back into his face as he is likely to get left so far behind that the curtain of sand will have dropped. By the time he gets going, the race will be over and the winner may well be the horse that was backed into the starting stalls, Lit De Justice.

The finale is the Classic and even those who bet on other horses will recognise that if Cigar does not triumph, it will soil the flavour of the whole day.

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