Moss Tucker claims Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race on Day Two of Irish Champions Weekend
Jim Gluckson/Breeders’ Cup
CURRAGH, Ireland ― The Charlie Bit Me Syndicate’s Moss Tucker (IRE) made it to back-to-back wins at The Curragh with a determined success on Sunday in the Al Basti Equiworld, Flying Five Stakes (G1). The 5-year-old son of Excelebration (IRE) narrowly got the better of the Clive Cox-trained Get Ahead (GB) to win by a half-length at odds of 16-1. The victory earned the Ken Condon-trained 5-year-old an automatic berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
The Al Basti Equiworld, Flying Five Stakes (G1) was one of two Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races to take place at The Curragh on the Sunday card, along with the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 80 Graded/Group stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
After a dramatic start to the Flying Five Stakes, in which short-priced favorite Highfield Princess (FR) exited the stalls in awkward fashion, the field soon split into two groups. Moss Tucker was prominent throughout and, as the race entered the closing stages, the field soon came back together with the Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds-owned Equality (GB) leading to the 1-furlong marker. Moss Tucker showed tremendous grit to first outbattle Equality before getting the better of Get Ahead at the finish. Equality finished 1 ¼-lengths back in third. Highfield Princess never threatened the leaders and finished fifth.
Moss Tucker, ridden by Billy Lee, was making just his second start at the top level having finished fifth in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1) last October in France.
He came into Sunday’s race off a 2 1/4-length win in the 6-furlong Rathasker Stud Phoenix Stakes (G3) over the course on Aug. 12.
Condon said: “It’s been a great story with this horse, how he’s progressed and kept improving. The heavens opened about an hour and a half before and you’re thinking that’s going to help us a little bit. He’s the kind of horse you would want to be going into battle with. We were having a quiet time so to have a horse like him that can be competitive in these races, that’s what we all get up for in the morning.”
Moss Tucker completed the 5-furlong contest in a time of 1:00:89 on a course listed as good to soft.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winners of the Challenge Series races to start at this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 23 to receive the rewards.