California Chrome is not the only horse at Santa Anita on Saturday who will put their reputation as an iron horse on the line as Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Found and Highland Reel line-up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Where the Classic will be California Chrome’s seventh race since his seasonal debut in January, Found will defend her crown on what will be her tenth run this year and her stablemate his eighth.
Found’s form has stepped up a gear this autumn and she backed up her gusty success in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on the first Sunday in October by finishing a gallant second to Almanzor in the Champion Stakes in Britain two weeks later at Ascot.
“She is a remarkable filly and without doubt the toughest that I have ever trained,” O’Brien told reporters at morning track work.
“When you watch her winning the Arc, you can see her strain every sinew in her body and she has a relentless will to win.
“It was also handy for us that the Ascot race was slowly run and ended up being a sprint up the straight. It was not gruelling for her by any means and she came out of it particularly well.
“She’s tactically quick, stays well and is the most genuine mare we’ve ever had. She doesn’t hold back anything and that is very unusual.”
In the past 12 months Highland Reel has run in Hong Kong twice, finished fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic, run three times in England, once in his native Ireland and then finished second to Found at Chantilly.
“Every race he runs to a very high mark and you are never sure when he’s going to put in a massive one again,” O’Brien added.
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