/ Racing

Aidan O'Brien's Excelebration handed favourable draw for Breeders' Cup Mile

Updated: Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012 11:27 | Comments

Excelebration and Joseph O'Brien surging clear to win the QEII on 20 October
Excelebration and Joseph O'Brien surging clear to win the QEII on 20 October

Excelebration has hardened as favourite for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita after being handed stall six of nine in Monday's draw.

Aidan O'Brien's four-year-old touched down in California as many people's idea of the European 'banker' of the meeting following his brilliant display in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

French star Moonlight Cloud fared less well in the draw and will break widest of all in stall nine.

Trainer Freddie Head is aiming to win the race for the sixth time in all, having ridden Miesque to two wins in 1980s before saddling the incredible Goldikova to win the race three times.

Both Sky Bet and Ladbrokes cut Excelebration to 5-4 from 6-4 following the draw.

Sky Bet's Richard Horner said: "There should be no excuses from stall six. He is this year's European banker after his impressive Ascot victory and the bookmakers' evening will be made if he is beaten."

The chief American hope is multiple Grade One winner Wise Dan.

His trainer, Charles Lopresti, was satisfied after his charge drew stall two.

"It seems like he's won from every hole there is," Lopresti told ESPN.

"I would have rather had probably (stall) four to six if I could get it, but I'm glad there's only nine horses in there.

"He's going to have to run the race of his life, I'll tell you, but then whoever wins the race will have run the race of their life. There's some really nice horses in there and you've got to consider all of them."

The Graham Motion-trained Animal Kingdom (stall five) makes his first appearance since February having suffered a fractured ilium.

"Animal Kingdom being in the middle like that is perfect," said Motion.

"I can't wait to run him again; I'm just excited to have him back on the track. When you have a horse like that, to have him on the sidelines is very frustrating.

"The reason we're running is because everything up to this point has gone so smoothly.

"It's a very competitive race but I'd made up my mind to point for this race and it's not like I'm going to change my mind just because of the competition."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use