May 21, 2022

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Transcript 2020

Glass Slippers
Glass Slippers wins the 2020 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (Coady Photography)

Transcript for the Nov. 7th, 2020 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.

  • Kevin Ryan
  • Terry Holdcroft
  • Tom Eaves

THE MODERATOR: We’re now joined by our winners of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, won by Glass Slippers. Incredible race from her. Kevin Ryan, I will get to you. First on this, trainer, your first Breeders’ Cup win but quite a record in the Breeders’ Cup already, only two starters, but just tell us a little bit about Glass Slippers. She’s so well traveled. Is that why you picked this spot out for her?

KEVIN RYAN: Yeah, look, it’s been a funny year for us, but we sort of, you plan the races out. She’s a filly that improves as the season goes on. When she won in Ireland, we sort of then planned to come here to give her the time. We wasn’t tempted to go to Ascot for Champion’s Day. We said, Let’s have a crack at the Breeders’ Cup. And being five-and-a-half furlongs, like we both agreed, that extra half a furlong would be massive for her. And she travels so well. I know she’s only been to France, but she seems to thrive when she goes away. She’s run at difficult tracks like Goodwood, and then she’s won at tracks like Chester, so she goes around the bend well. We were fearful of the bend, which was what didn’t worry me whatsoever.

THE MODERATOR: So many things that she can do that gave you the confidence to be able to handle this very full field today. And take us through the ride. Tom Eaves, what an incredible ride in that field.

KEVIN RYAN: Well, I think Tom had a word with Ryan Moore, and he’s sensible enough to know, if you’re going to speak to someone, speak to the man that’s been here, done it several occasions. And Ryan’s had a talent that if she, if they were going quick earlier and you had to take the time in there to go the shortest route. Thanks to Tom for doing that for us.

THE MODERATOR: And Mr. Holdcroft, Terry, owner and breeder of Glass Slippers, and that must be extra special, especially at the Breeders’ Cup. So just kind of tell us, you’ve been in this business for 40 years and now a filly like Glass Slippers.

TERRY HOLDCROFT: I think she’s the best one that we have bred and I think we are very lucky to have her, very lucky to keep her and not to have sold her. But I would like to thank Kevin and all his team, and Tom for all the hard work he’s put in with this filly. I mean, it’s, he’s put an incredible amount of time and detail into training this filly and we have had a program for her for the whole season and we have not budged from that program and thankfully, thank God, it’s worked out for us.

THE MODERATOR: And you mentioned that with the challenges of this year, being unable to travel to some of her other races this year, and then the decision to be able to come here to the Breeders’ Cup.

TERRY HOLDCROFT: Yes, well, it was a marvelous opportunity and we won the qualifying race in Ireland, the Group 1 in Ireland, which I was very pleased about, because we just missed it on the Arday for the second time. We just got, we just didn’t quite make it there, just finished second. So we have been wanting to go racing most of the time. So one of the reasons we have decided to keep her in training next season, provided she stays well and sound, and hopefully things in the U.K. might change and we’ll be able to go and enjoy watching her run.

THE MODERATOR: That was going to be my next question about keeping her in training next season. So that’s great for everybody. What about a repeat performance possibly at Del Mar? Kevin?

KEVIN RYAN: Yeah, look, it’s, you know, in fairness to Terry, the race in Ireland, he was very keen for her to go there and he was, I would probably have gone to Montauk. I would have gone to Montauk and Terry said that he wants to go there and it was vindicated by the performance and it’s probably led us to this. So well done, Terry, there. I do listen now and again (laughing.) Yeah, look, obviously, why not? Next year it’s great and thanks to Terry and Margaret that they’re going to keep her in training and as great as a filly of her class and is not going away to stud very early. We don’t get a lot of time with these horses and I’m very thankful that I’ve got another year with her and, of course, if everything goes right, we would love to come back.

THE MODERATOR: Well, yeah, it’s always good to have these superstars stick around. I’m going to get some questions sent down from the press box and at this time, Mr. Holdcroft, I’ll let you go and get some champagne and we’ll bring in jockey, Tom Eaves. I know you said you wanted something else a little stronger than this.

TERRY HOLDCROFT: I do. I do. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Kevin, this one is actually for the owner originally about not having sold. When you get a filly like this making those decisions of where to go with her in racing, but she seems to make it quite easy for you with her ability to travel well.

KEVIN RYAN: Yeah, look, she’s a great temperament and she doesn’t worry about things. So, when she does travel, she straight away she gets into her water, she gets on her food and so you have no worries that way. This is a lot further to come, but as soon as I seen her down the barn, I knew straight away that the traveling would take nothing out of her. And each morning she’s been getting on the track, she’s just been getting stronger and wanting to do a bit more. So she’s got a lot of right vibes.

THE MODERATOR: Now joined by jockey Tom Eaves. Tom, congratulations and just a beautiful performance by her, but a fantastic ride. Take us through this very short race.

TOM EAVES: Yeah, I mean, Kevin has given me loads of confidence before and no pressure. And I talked to Ryan before the race, someone I have a lot of respect for, and he sort of went over the race with me and said, if he was going, he would go down inside and hope for a bit of luck. And I spoke to Kevin coming out and he said, Yeah, you do what you think. And when you can go out and have a ride like that and it’s, you know, it’s great. And then thankfully it come out.

THE MODERATOR: It seemed like she made her way around this 14-horse field and going around the tight bend, as you mentioned, Kevin, but she just seemed to be able to be in all the right places for you at the right time. Is she just that easy to ride?

TOM EAVES: Yeah, she’s shown us all the right vibes since we have come here. And Kevin knows his horses like the back of his hand. And I come off the track yesterday and he said, We’re in business, I can’t be any happier. So when someone like Kevin tells that you it fills you with confidence. And we worked on the track the last few moments and she went around the bend lovely and switched the leads and everything like that and so little things like that just all come together. And we’re very happy and confident, but we’re quietly confident, that we would run a big race, and thankfully she’s won.

THE MODERATOR: Well she’s taken you all on quite a few travels, but this must be extremely special for you, Tom, a Breeders’ Cup win, on this very special filly.

TOM EAVES: Yeah. And then this has been absolutely genius. She was great all year and the last two runs have been amazing. And to bring her out here this time of year and to get a performance like that, I mean it’s beyond genius, what a training performance. Brilliant.

THE MODERATOR: Well, Terry said that we’ll look to see her next season as well. That must make you happy.

TOM EAVES: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to both of you. Very well done.

KEVIN RYAN: Yes, thanks very much to the Breeders’ Cup.

TOM EAVES: Yes, thank you.