Grandeur tops the market for Saturday’s Arlington Million
The Arlington Million may not carry quite the same prestige as it did in the 1980’s but it is still one of the biggest international races on the calendar. Past winners include John Henry (twice), Tolomeo and the gallant gelding Teleprompter.
In more recent years, Godolphin were successful in 2003 with Sulamani and Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien enjoyed success through Powerscourt (2005) and Cape Blanco (2011). Last season Afsare’s pre-race antics may have cost him the race has he charged home late to finish second to Little Mike.
The winner is back again this year to defend his title but his recent form has not been encouraging. Since springing a 25-1 surprise in the Breeders’ Cup, Little Mike has finished unplaced twice in Dubai and was a beaten favourite at Monmouth park last month.
This race will have been the target for Little Mike so it would be no surprise to see him return to his best on Saturday. The favourite is Jeremy Noseda’s Grandeur who showed his well being when forcing Mukhadram to pull out all the stops at York recently.
Grandeur progressed through handicaps last year before racing successfully in America, winning the Twilight Derby at Santa Anita and the Hollywood Turf Cup. Jane Chapple-Hyam sends Mull Of Killough over for the race after his fine second to Aljamaaheer at Ascot.
The seven-year-old enjoyed Group 3 success last season in the Darley Stakes at Newmarket and was a fair fifth in Singapore in May. Joseph O’Brien has been booked for the ride and the trainer is optimistic of a bold showing.
Godolphin rely on Hunter’s Light who was a disappointing favourite in the Dubai World Cup having won his previous three starts impressively. Andrew Balding’s Side Glance ran a career-best when fourth in the World Cup and takes his chance in Saturday’s line up.
Marco Botti’s Guest Of Honour completes the British raiding party after finishing third at Goodwood. He had earlier finished second in the Newbury Spring Cup before winning a listed race at Windsor.
Indy Point is the big hope of Argentina having won the second and third legs of the Argentine Triple Crown last season. The imposing chestnut was last seen finishing second in the Group 1 Gran Premio Internacional in December.