Kinross looking to stretch incredible winning streak to five in the Breeders' Cup

Ralph Beckett-trained Kinross can cap a fine season and take his winning streak to five when he lines up in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.

The five-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal season and has looked unstoppable since beginning his victorious run at York in the summer.

A win at Doncaster soon followed and having bagged Group One glory in the Prix de la Foret, he successfully dropped back in trip to double his top-table tally at Ascot in the British Champions Sprint Stakes.

European raiders have a fine record in this race and have taken home the prize at three of the last four Breeders' Cups. Kinross is part of a strong travelling contingent once again, although connections respect fellow UK-trained runner Modern Games, who heads the betting.

"The horse has got here in magnificent form, he couldn't have travelled any better and he couldn't be any better in himself," said Jamie McCalmont, racing manager to owner Marc Chan.

"The course is definitely good to firm, but he has performed on that ground this year. Modern Games is the horse to beat that's for sure, but we wouldn't be embarrassed to finish second to him.

"Since Dubai (early 2021) he's never really run a bad race - even though he finished down the field at Ascot (British Champions Sprint, 2021), he wasn't beaten that far at Royal Ascot (Platinum Jubilee Stakes, 2022). He was unlucky to get beaten at Goodwood, similar in his first race of this year at Haydock and I'm lucky to be involved with such a horse."

If Kinross is to strike in Kentucky, the five-year-old and his regular partner Frankie Dettori will have to overcome being posted wide in stall 13. However, McCalmont does not have to delve too far into the record books for examples of that being far from a burden and is confident the draw will have no bearing on the result.

He added: "I think if you look at the likes of Karakontie (2014) and Six Perfections (2003), they both won from 13 or 14 and it's better than being stuck down the rail that's for sure. I don't worry about the draw at all and he's more than capable of working that out.

"It's a privilege to be here and it's been a long year for him so it could be one race too many, but let's keep our fingers crossed and he's in great form."

It is not just the Kinross team who believe Modern Games has a fine chance of adding a second Breeders' Cup race to his CV and his all-conquering handler Charlie Appleby rates him as the "best of our runners at the meeting" as the master of Moulton Paddocks looks to improve his own stellar record at the end-of-year showpiece.

"He's been there, he's done it, he is the ultimate professional," Appleby told the Godolphin website.

"He looks great here in the barn. We sent him on the turf for a canter (Wednesday), just to let him get a feel of the track.

"There are no negatives with him. Physically, he is a neat horse. He has a nice draw and the two-turn mile at Keeneland is going to suit him. He is a typical Dubawi in that at this stage of his career he is strengthening all the time.

"He is stronger and better now than he was when he was third in the French Derby in June. I feel he is the best of our runners at the meeting. He has plenty going for him."

Todd Pletcher's Annapolis is the shortest priced of the home challenge with Chad Brown's pair of Regal Glory and Domestic Spending also respected.

Fellow US-trained entrants Smooth Like Straight and Ivar finished second and third respectively behind Space Blues at Del Mar 12 months ago, but there appears to be much stronger depth to the overseas team this year.

As well as Kinross and Modern Games, it also includes Aidan O'Brien's 2020 champion Order of Australia, Foret and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up Malavath, Charlie Hills' Pogo and Ed Walker's Dreamloper - who is set to head to the sales after her lap of the Lexington turf.

The daughter of Lope De Vega beat Order Of Australia by more than five lengths when winning the Prix du Moulin in the summer and Walker is upbeat on her chance.

"She's doing great, and I think we got lucky with the draw," said Walker.

"Round here straight into that bend you don't want to be high, and we drew three.

"It's a potentially big result because I truly think if she breaks and has a good run round, she will prove hard to beat.

"Her coat has grown but it's still gleaming, and the girl that rides her and adores her Molly Stratton is very happy with her.

"There is no rain forecast, which means she will have her ground, and it's good to hear Kieran Shoemark has been passed fit to ride her. It's been a very good relationship between jockey and filly."

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