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Arlington Park ready for British invasion

Updated: Friday, 16 Aug 2013 18:28 | Comments

Dank looks likely to relish the step up in trip at Arlington Park
Dank looks likely to relish the step up in trip at Arlington Park

Jeremy Noseda admits Grandeur will need some luck if he is to triumph in Saturday's Arlington Million in Chicago.

The four-year-old has had the 10-furlong heat on his agenda since the start of the season after making a big impact on the American scene at the backend of last year, winning a supporting event at the Breeders' Cup before finishing second in the Hollywood Derby and triumphing in a Grade Two contest.

Grandeur has warmed up for this Grade One assignment with satisfactory outings at Newmarket and York, but being drawn widest of all 13 runners is far from ideal, according to Noseda.

"This has been Grandeur's target since late last year. I am delighted with him and can't believe that he could be approaching the race in any better shape," the trainer told his official website.

"The weather is forecast is good and the ground ideal for him. Unfortunately, his draw is 13 of 13, which on an American oval is not ideal. So, we are going to have to rely on racing luck and a top-flight ride from William Buick."

Buick, who won the race for John Gosden on Debussy in 2010, wrote in his At The Races blog: "Draw apart, I couldn't be happier with Grandeur. I gave him a spin on Newmarket's July course over seven furlongs last Friday and he felt really good. We just need a bit a luck and the sun to keep shining in Chicago."

Grandeur is one of five British-trained runners in the race long with Saeed bin Suroor's Hunter's Light, the Andrew Balding-trained Side Glance, Jane Chapple-Hyam's Mull Of Killough and Guest Of Honour from the yard of Marco Botti.

Saeed bin Suroor, the trainer of Hunter's Light, believes Grandeur is still the one to beat, despite his draw.

"Hunter's Light has pleased me so far, I've just got to America and he looks well," he said.

"He's not got a bad draw and he's a very honest horse, but this is a very tough race.

"I think Jeremy Nosdeda's horse (Grandeur) is the one to beat but he hasn't got a good draw so that might make it tougher. There are quality horses all through the race.

"Our horse always tries his best and ran well in Germany last time out."

Guest Of Honour is taking a big leap in class after winning a Listed race at Windsor and finishing third in the Summer Mile at Ascot, when Mull Of Killough was second.

Botti's wife and assistant Lucie told www.arlingtonpark.com: "He's a late maturing horse. After he won his Listed race this year, we gave him a break with a late campaign in mind.

"It's a step up, but he's run his races well and we think he should stay (the distance).

"It's his first big journey. We were a little bit disappointed it came up tough, but I believe he fits. He's very much still a young horse - that's why we've tried to keep him fresh and also expect a big campaign next year.

"It's a big step, but I think he's ready."

Last year's winner Little Mike leads the home contingent as he defends his title, while Richard Mandella's South American recruit Indy Point has attracted plenty of attention.

South African Mike de Kock saddles The Apache in the race.

The David Wachman-trained Duntle heads the European challenge in the Beverly D Stakes after being beaten just over two lengths behind Elusive Kate in the Prix Rothschild.

She has been campaigned up to a mile so far but will be trying a trip just short of 10 furlongs in America.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for owner the Flaxman Stables Ireland, said: "Duntle is in good form. David tells me she travelled over very well and that she came out of quarantine in good shape.

"It will be her first time going beyond a mile. It's a Grade One race, but she has got the credentials and we will see if she gets luck in running.

"It would be great if she gets the win at the top level."

The Michael Stoute-trained Dank and Paul Cole's Gifted Girl also take their chances, with the latter arriving in excellent form having won an Ascot handicap and a Pontefract Listed race, as well as finishing second in a Group Three, so far this year.

"She is doing great. She seems very happy and comfortable here. I think she belongs and will run well," said Cole's son and assistant Oliver.

"She shouldn't have lost at Epsom, but she didn't take the ground well. At Ascot she could have won by 10 and she won her last race easily.

"She's a good filly - a very good filly. The form is there, she just has to do it now."

"I think she'll be a big price. I love her chances here."

As well as Guest Of Honour in the feature event, Botti saddles Dandino in the American St Leger, a race he won with Jakkalberry last year.

The six-year-old has been holding his own in Pattern company in recent years but dips to conditions level for this richly-endowed race.

Lucie Botti said: "I think they both (Dandino and Jakkalberry) are similar because they ship very well, the travel very well in their races and they place themselves easily and can be midfield or come from the back - it doesn't really matter.

"Both are genuine horses. Obviously Dandino has been with us only since January, so we are still learning about him, but I think there's very little difference, except that Dandino is very kind and sweet and Jakkalberry isn't.

"Dandino is a proper gentleman, while Jakkalberry is feisty. I don't know who is better, at this stage."

After his American run, Dandino is set to head to Australia for a run in the Caulfield Cup before tackling the Melbourne Cup.

Noseda also has a second runner in action as he pitches Ascot handicap winner Yeager into Grade One company in the Secretariat Stakes.

"Yeager is a horse that we liked through the spring and felt that he possessed some quality. He has taken his time to start showing me what I expected but I feel the addition of a tongue-tie has brought a big improvement in his performance," said Noseda.

"I have been delighted with him since his Ascot win and his work suggests he is more than capable of doing himself justice in a race such as Saturday's."

Andy Oliver runs First Cornerstone in that event while Alain de Royer-Dupre fields Visiyani.

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