Afsare is one in a Million
Friday 17 August 2012
Luca Cumani has high hopes Afsare can give the Newmarket trainer a second success in the Arlington Million in Chicago on Saturday night.
The Newmarket-based Italian shot to prominence in 1983 when Tolomeo and Pat Eddery got up in the last strides to land the third running of the Million, beating hot favourite John Henry.
Cumani said: "We've been there a few times since we won with Tolomeo which was a remarkable day because he beat the American star of the time, John Henry. We haven't managed to do as well, but I think we go there with a good chance in Afsare."
He added: "He has run very well all year and seems to have found some consistency. He should be suited by the mile and a quarter there and the short straight. He's got a very good turn of foot."
Afsare was last seen going down narrowly to Sri Putra at York, and in May was beaten just under three lengths by Crackerjack King in an Italian Group One.
He renews rivalry with the latter, who is now trained by another Newmarket-based Italian in Marco Botti, a former assistant of Cumani.
Crackerjack King has had just one run since switching to Botti, finishing a creditable fifth to Nathaniel in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
Botti said: "I thought he ran a respectable race at Sandown. It was his first race in England and the ground went too soft for him. When they quickened, he got a bit tired in the ground.
"He will find better conditions this time and I think he has come on since he ran at Sandown. In my opinion, he looks in better shape now, so we are very hopeful."