Gun Runner is expected to reappear again early in the New Year when he should line up in the richest race in the world, the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The purse for the second running of the 1800m contest will be $16 million in 2018 where a small field of the world’s leading thoroughbreds will be racing to follow in the footsteps of Arrogate who was victorious in the inaugural race earlier this year.
Steven Asmussen’s runner won his fourth consecutive race in the Breeders’ Cup Classic just a few weeks ago when he prevailed by just over two lengths in a dominant display at the World Championship meeting.
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It has been an incredible 12 months for Gun Runner as he has won five of his six outings. His only defeat on the calendar year came in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan where he had to settle for second place behind Arrogate. If everything goes well at Gulfstream Park in a couple of months, he is likely to return to the UAE for another shot at the feature race of the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
The bookmakers make Gun Runner the odds-on favourite at -125 to start 2018 in the best possible way by winning the Grade One race in January. If you are having a bet on the race or on any or major races in 2018 including the Grand National, look out for the best free bets and promotions before opening a new account.
West Coast Leads The Charge Against Gun Runner
Three-year-old West Coast has improved his reputation with each run this season and, according to the betting, he is the biggest threat to Gun Runner’s chances in the Pegasus World Cup. Bob Baffert’s runner finished third behind the champion at Del Mar where he was beaten by just over three lengths.
West Coast’s first Grade One victory came in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga back in September. He upset the odds on the occasion as he was not one of the fancied runners in New York where he made all in the 2000m contest.
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The son of Flatter followed his Saratoga win up with more success at the top level in the Pennsylvania Derby. Under the hands of veteran jockey Mike Smith, the pair made their move with 400m to go and soon went clear of their rivals to record a seven-length margin of victory in his last run before the Breeders’ Cup.
Connections will have been pleased with the way their horse performed in the Breeders’ Cup Classic as, although he was unable to find enough improvement to get the better of Gun Runner or Collected in the race, he was the highest finishing three-year-old and he came home ahead of the defending champion Arrogate. West Coast’s owners will be hoping that their runner has yet to peak so there could be more to come at Gulfstream Park in January.
The 2018 Pegasus World Cup is also likely to feature Collected, Forever Unbridled, Gunnevera, Seeking The Soul, and Sharp Azteca, and will take place on January 28.