A second Godolphin victory at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships was provided by Talismanic who produced the best performance of his career to capture the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf on Saturday, 4 November.
The mile-and-a-half Del Mar, USA, race was contested by 13 runners and Talismanic, trained by Andre Fabre in France and partnered as usual by Mickael Barzalona, raced in fifth on the inside.
The four-year-old colt improved into fourth turning into the straight and was switched out to make his challenge. Moving up to third, Talismanic soon challenged the leader and went to the front just inside the final furlong. He ran on well to hold off Beach Patrol by half a length, with a further neck back to the third, the 2016 winner Highland Reel.
Talismanic set a new course record for the mile and a half on turf at Del Mar, passing the post in 2m 26.19s.
Joe Osborne, the Godolphin Chief Executive, remarked: “Talismanic is trained by a master trainer in Andre Fabre who knows what it means to win at the Breeders’ Cup.
“The horse’s last run (third in the Prix Foy), behind Dschingis Secret and Cloth Of Stars, was very good and he was peaking at the right time. So we came here optimistic.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin added: “I have just spoken to Andre Fabre and he is delighted – very happy.
“Andre was confident of a good run beforehand and the colt has looked particularly well this week.
“This race has been in mind for a long time and the Prix Foy run was up with the best European 12-furlong form.
“Talismanic, who has an admirable temperament, was always travelling really, really well today and looked full of running. Mickael was very cool and rode a perfect race.
“This is Mickael’s first time in America and he has won a Breeders’ Cup race on his first attempt.
“Talismanic is entered in next month’s G1 Hong Kong Vase (10 December) and that race is a strong possibility.”
Mickael Barzalona commented: “This is great – it is the first time I have been here and a lovely place.
“I am very pleased that connections wanted me to ride this horse again. He is quite a superstar at home and he looked so well here. He is such an easy horse to ride.
“Andre is a master – it was great to be apprenticed to him. He gave me the chance to ride good horses and I have to thank him.
“I cannot believe it. I am thrilled to have won my first Breeders’ Cup race. I expected the horse to run well, but I’m not sure I thought I would win.”