The lasting memory for European racefans of Breeders’ Cup 2007 is inevitably the loss of George Washington in what appeared a river of mud at Monmouth Park. The failure of the overseas team to make the winners’ rostrum in any of the races – the first time since 1998 – will be seen as incidental; but tragedies happen in this raw sport and more often than not to thoroughbreds without the charisma and race-record of Aidan O’Brien’s charge, the one they called Gorgeous George. Whether the images of that night and the loss of such a big name will deter the champion trainer and others from tackling these valuable contests is debatable but on balance unlikely.
Prior to the 24th Cup series some public discussion had been aired back and forth across the Atlantic as to whether Britain could host the event to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics. A riposte was quick to arrive from senior figures i
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