Love gets Breeders’ Cup Turf nomination

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Love's trainer Aidan O'Brien

Europe’s leading three-year-old filly Love is set to contest next month’s Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland, according to trainer Aidan O’Brien.

The Ballydoyle supremo made a last-minute decision to divert Love from this weekend’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris amid the threat of heavy ground at Longchamp.

That means no clash with superstar mare Enable, who bids to sign off her career with an historic third Arc win for Frankie Dettori and John Gosden on Sunday.

Love had been jostling for favouritism for that race but the rainfall in France early this week caused O’Brien to rethink his strategy.

The Galileo filly has won all three starts this season. Impressive on her return, she won the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in June and was even more decisive stepped up to a mile and a half in The Oaks at Epsom the following month.

She completed a Group 1 treble when easily winning the Yorkshire Oaks in August, seemingly booking her ticket to France before the rain scuppered those plans.

The softening ground led O’Brien to the conclusion he had ‘no choice’ but to take Love out of the Arc, with stable jockey Ryan Moore unable to commit to the ride and later change his plans if she was withdrawn on raceday.

“We didn’t have any choice really because it would have meant a big fine if we withdrew her on the day and Ryan [Moore] wouldn’t have been able to ride anything else,” said O’Brien.

“It’s 4.1 on the going stick there at the moment and they’re forecast more rain for Friday and Saturday, so we didn’t have any choice with her really.”

The Coolmore-owned filly is set to head Stateside for the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on November 7th, with further travels possible over the winter. Love is set to remain in training as a four-year-old in 2021.

“I’d imagine Love will now go for the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which I think is a $6m race this year. Japan and Hong Kong could be considered after that. We’ll discuss it with the [owners] but I’d imagine the Breeders’ Cup will be the priority now – it’s one of the biggest grass races in the world.”

O’Brien has won a record six Breeders’ Cup Turf renewals, scoring with High Chaparral in 2003 and 2004 (dead-heat) as well as with St Nicholas Abbey (2011), Magician (2013), Found (2015) and Highland Reel (2016) in more recent times.

European runners have dominated the Breeders’ Cup Turf, though Bricks And Mortar did score a home win for Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz in 2019.

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