Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

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The Independent Online

It might seem a bit rum for someone who cannot find a winning horse in Britain to think about backing ones in America but tonight's nine Breeders' Cup races have a magnetic pull on even the most iron-willed punter. It helps that Santa Anita has replaced its dirt track with a synthetic surface. Five of tonight's races are on Pro-Ride, four on turf.

At this distance, we're guessing, but risking $2 a race from the armchair can be fun – OK, sad. Anyway, after talking to my man, Arizona Hank, the following ideas came up.

Delightful Kiss (6.10) is the choice in the Marathon ahead of Britain's Sixties Icon but one of ours, Fleeting Spirit (6.50), can win the Turf Sprint. Slew's Tiznow (7.30) wins the Mile, while the Turf Mile goes to French-trained Goldikova (8.15). Despite a wide draw, Midshipman (8.55) is the pick in the Juvenile Colts, while another wide-out, Bittel Road (9.35), can win the Juvenile Colts Turf. Cost Of Freedom (10.15) bags the Sprint, and the huge purses for the last two races can go to Red Rocks (11.00) in the Turf, and American wonder-horse Curlin in the Classic (11.45).

Fourteen hours earlier, England start their Rugby League World Cup campaign against Papua New Guinea. The tournament has a byzantine qualifying system and everyone knows that hosts Australia will triumph – but we back our boys (10 win, 6-1 generally) for a pre-Ashes shock.

*Our experiment with the NFL underdogs failed – the Chiefs really are useless – but the theory stands after the Rams smashed the Cowboys. My Cesarewitch pick, Mighty Moon, is still out there, somewhere.

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