Silva Eyes Breeders’ Cup

A globetrotting year for the daughter of Kodiac

Zalim Bifov’s Listed UAE 1000 Guineas winner Silva will take another step in her next start, according to conditioner Pia Brandt.

The Gr3-winning bay filly will head to Southern California for a two-race campaign that will include either the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (2000m, Nov. 2) or Gr 2 Goldikova Stakes (1600m, Nov 3) at Santa Anita Park before a tilt at the Gr1 Matriarch (1600m, Dec. 1) at Del Mar Racetrack.


“She is doing quite well and we have her back in form,” Brandt said. “At the moment, she is 50-50 between the Goldikova and the Breeders’ Cup. After that we will likely stay for another Grade 1, the Matriarch. I like international racing if you have the right horse for it.

“There are very good horses in the (Breeders’ Cup) and obviously (heavy favourite) Sistercharlie,” she continued. “While it absolutely depends on the pace, my filly is quite handy in the race and the (2000m) distance will be no problem at all for her. In Dubai, winning the Guineas, she was in front early and quick out (of the gate). Then we had a terrible draw in the Oaks and she took up a little bit too much.”

It has been a globetrotting year for the daughter of Kodiac.

The Irish-bred commenced the season riding high off a conditions win in December over the Deauville all-weather and showed up at the Dubai World Cup Carnival as an intriguing 3-year-old from capable connections. She proceeded to decimate local fillies in her first try on dirt, the aforementioned UAE 1000 Guineas, winning by nearly double-digit lengths and shocking subsequent UAE Oaks (G3) and Al Bastakiya (Listed) winner Divine Image.

Things did not go so swimmingly afterward for the bay filly, as she was eighth of 11 in the Oaks and did not race again during the DWC Carnival. Always regarded highly, she was next seen attempting Group 1 company for the first time in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), but trailed virtually throughout.

On the shelf again, she returned in August on the Deauville grass and was a good fourth over a mile of very soft going in the Prix de Lieurey (G3), vastly outrunning her 50-1 odds. In the process, she lost by one length and finished vying with highly regarded fillies Fount, Twist ‘N’ Shake and Commes.

Last out, she came bursting back to form with a two-length, gate-to-wire win over well-intended John Gosden trainee Duneflower and recent G1 performer Spirit of Nelson in the Prix Bertrand de Tarragon (G3). Said 1800m victory over older fillies and mares gave Brandt the confidence to step her up once again.

“We had a little issue after she won at Meydan in the 1000 guineas and couldn’t really get her back as she was before the race and it was very irritating,” Brandt explained. “That’s why she ran bad in the Oaks. She had a bad post outside, also. When we ran her in the French 1000 Guineas, she didn’t perform at all and after that she took it quite easy (during the summer). Now she’s okay and she’s back (to form). Her win was very good and she really had to run.

“She is leaving the 26th and will do her work at home before that,” she continued. “She has had a long season and is (fit). We will decide on the race then.”

Brandt’s lone Breeders’ Cup starter was flashy grey mare L’amour de Ma Vie, a three-time DWC Carnival runner who won the 2014 Balanchine (G2) over 1900m on turf. She would go on later that season to finish 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) behind Untapable. She was ridden by Maxime Guyon, who most likely will have the mount on Silva.

“That time, we ran on the dirt and didn’t run the filly for the filly; more for Santa Anita,” she said, implying that she would have, in hindsight, preferred to run in the next-day Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) or Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). “(Like L’Amour de Ma Vie), Silva has a lot of experience with knowing how to travel and be abroad. Dubai probably helped her (with that).

“She’s a small filly, but she has such a big heart and good mind,” Brandt concluded. “She can handle all that pressure. That will help us.”

Brandt also confirmed that she is hoping to send “a few” horses to the 2020 DWC Carnival.

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