Breeders' Cup turf fine for Workforce's needs

Connections of Workforce are slightly happier than they were about ground conditions at Churchill Downs ahead of the Derby and Arc winner's bid for glory in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf.

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute, Prince Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe, and big-race jockey Ryan Moore walked a full circuit of the turf course after Workforce had jogged two circuits.

Stoute, who inspected various parts of the track with his stick, said: "The track is in wonderful shape with a nice cover of grass, but the ground is a bit faster than we had hoped. Each day they are watering it, so let's not confuse the issue, the horse is in great shape."

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Moore compared the ground favourably to how it had been on Tuesday, and said: "Today there wasn't any wind, so the moisture has stayed in.

"It's good to firm and what we would call fast ground in England."

Coral left Workforce unchanged as the 6-4 favourite for the mile-and-a-half contest following his latest workout.

Meanwhile, Freddie Head played down fears about the draw for Goldikova when she goes in search of a hat-trick in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Saturday. The incredible mare will start from stall ten of the 11 runners at Churchill Downs, but as she was one place wider when victorious 12 months ago, her French handler does not see it being a problem.

"I think everything is going perfectly to plan. In fact, it's a bit like a soap opera for her with everything looking too good to be true," said Head.

"She's put on weight, is a stronger filly and all the willingness she has shown through her career is still there.

"She is still fresh and doesn't seem tired or sick of racing and training.

"With the draw, maybe I would have liked to have been inside a bit more, but we will manage.

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"It was the same last year and I remember winning on Miesque from a high draw."

Regarding race tactics, Head added: "I shall leave it entirely to Olivier Peslier, but with this filly you can do more or less anything you want.

"Last time at Longchamp she led before letting another horse go by and quickening up again. It really all depends on the pace of the race."

Asked about the going at the track, the trainer continued: "I have no concerns, unless it becomes very soft. The faster the better for her.

"It's a top-class field with Paco Boy and Gio Ponti, who is a champion on turf in the US. It's a great match-up."