The Breeders Cup is an annual horse racing carnival that takes place in the USA in November. The Breeders Cup was inaugurated in 1984 with the grand title 'Breeders Cup World Championship', a self-proclaimed attempt to establish a definitive list of horse-racing champions at the end of each Flat racing season. While the Breeders Cup has never quite been accepted as such, it is nevertheless a valuable and hugely entertaining race meeting that is awaited with relish by horse-racing fans in both North America and Europe alike.
The Breeders Cup was expanded to a two-day event in 2007 to reflect the meeting's popularity. Typically the highlight of the two days is the Breeders Cup Classic, a 1m 2f event won by some of the giants of North American racing. Sunday Silence (who went on to be a phenomenal sire in Japan) in 1989, Cigar in 1995 (who at the other extreme proved infertile!), and Curlin in 2007 are three of the most memorable winners of the race. The 2009 Breeders Cup Classic winner Zenyatta was an extremely popular winner too, and a rarity for a Breeders Cup Classic winner in that she is a mare.
European challengers in the Breeders Cup formerly had a shocking record. However over the past few years something seems to have clicked with European trainers - more specifically, British trainers - and that has led to an increase in European success. In 2008 for example five European-trained runners won at the Breeders Cup meeting, including the 2000 Guineas runner-up Raven's Pass, while in 2009 the European-based trainers accounted for six challengers.
European trainers will be hoping to keep that good run going in the 2010 Breeders Cup.