Magic Attitude sets up for Breeders’ Cup

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Trainer Arnaud Delacour has his eyes set on the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in November after Magic Attitude made a winning start to her career in North America by taking the Belmont Oaks.

Bred in Britain, the daughter of Galileo had shown some smart form earlier this summer for French-based trainer Fabrice Chappet before making her trans-Atlantic move.

She returned from 219 days off to win the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp over a mile-and-one-furlong in May, before finding only the unbeaten Tawkeel too strong in the Group 1 Prix Saint Alary at Chantilly in June over a mile and a quarter.

Her final European start was a creditable fifth – beaten by just three-lengths – in the Prix de Diane back at Chantilly where she had started as a 50/1 outsider.

That run came behind subsequent Nassau Stakes winner Fancy Blue for the Donnacha O’Brien yard, while the second home was Jessica Harrington’s Group 1-winning miler Alpine Star.

The well-bred filly is out of Group 1-winner Margot Did and she couldn’t have started her US career in better fashion. Magic Attitude earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure en route to winning the Belmont Oaks from the William Mott-trained Antoinette, with Neigh Blanche back in third spot in one-mile-two-furlong dirt contest.

Her new trainer reported Magic Attitude to have come out of the race nicely, while Delacour felt she lived up to her name with one or two restless rivals around her in the starting gates at Belmont.

“It looks like she came out of the race very well, and she went back to Fair Hill and looked great [on Sunday],” Delacour said. “I was very happy with her. Even [when] the horse to her inside [Setting The Mood] was a little bit fractious in the gate and was rattling a little bit, and it didn’t bother her even a little bit.”

The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Keeneland on November 7 is a viable target now, with Delacour weighing up the option of getting one more run into the filly before that. The Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on October 10 could be that target, all being well.

“The Queen Elizabeth could be a spot to bring her back in, but it’s coming back a little quick, so everything would have to go right between now and then. But we’ll definitely look at the race,” Delacour added.

Meanwhile, the trainer paid tribute to Magic Attitude’s former handler in France, insisting the information passed on was absolutely ideal in getting the filly ready to race stateside.

“She came with very precise and accurate instructions for her training and the way she runs,” Delacour said. “Fabrice knew her well and gave us the right instructions, and everything has gone according to plan already.”

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