British and Irish stables enjoyed one of their best ever days at the Breeders’ Cup meeting on Saturday as Aidan O’Brien sent out an unprecedented 1-2-3 in the Breeders’ Cup Mile after earlier wins for Kevin Ryan’s Glass Slippers and James Fanshawe’s Audarya in the Turf Sprint and Filly & Mare Turf respectively. A clean sweep of the day’s events on grass was complete when Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa landed the Turf.
Then Authentic, the Kentucky Derby winner, brought down the curtain on the meeting with an authoritative success in the Classic under a copybook frontrunning ride by John Velazquez. The 4-1 chance was Bob Baffert’s fourth winner of the race in the last seven years.
O’Brien’s first ever victory in the Mile arrived in the most unlikely fashion, as the 73-1 outsider Order Of Australia finished strongly under Pierre-Charles Boudot to beat his stable companions Circus Maximus and Lope Y Fernandez.
Order Of Australia was due to run in a race on Friday’s undercard and only made it into the field for the Mile when William Haggas’s One Master was scratched two days ago. Boudot, meanwhile, took over in the saddle after Christophe Soumillon tested positive for Covid-19.
“It’s a dream come true,” Boudot said. “Order Of Australia is a fast horse, the mile is very good for him and the good ground was perfect. He gave me a nice turn of foot when he got to the front. He’s a tricky horse as he needs some help to concentrate.”
Glass Slippers was the first overseas runner to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, after Tom Eaves plotted a winning path from a tricky pitch against the rail halfway down the stretch. “Kevin knows his horses like the back of his hand,” Eaves said afterwards, “and when we came off the track [after exercise] yesterday he said: ‘We’re in business.’” “I talked to Ryan [Moore] before the race and he sort of went over the race with me and said, if he was going, he would go down inside and hope for a bit of luck.”
Boudot was also aboard Audarya, and again the beneficiary of remarkable good fortune as Ioritz Mendizabal, her regular jockey, also failed a Covid‑19 test before he was due to travel to the US. “It is only by chance to get these rides,” Boudot said, “and I’m sorry for Ioritz Mendizabal and Christophe Soumillon. “Audarya was amazing, a real warrior. It’s a difficult situation with Covid, but I was given two nice opportunities.”
Tarnawa’s win in the Turf completed a memorable day at the races for European stables, as Colin Keane – also replacing Soumillon – brought Weld’s filly with a perfectly timed run in the straight after turning in with only a couple of rivals behind him.