This Saturday evening is the 36th Running of the Arlington Million Festival and ten European raiders are set to line up across the three Grade One turf contests. In the Grade One Secretariat for three-year-old’s, five Irish runners will face the starter with Aidan O’Brien’s duo of Hunting Horn and Lucius Tiberius leading the challenge. Aidan himself has won this race a record four times and he will have to beat his son Joseph O’Brien who runs Ming. Mick Halford’s Platinum Warrior, and Dermot Weld’s Bandua, along with the best of the American-trained runners, which appears to be Chad Brown’s Analyze It, also line up.
In the Grade One Beverly D, for fillies and mares, Aidan O’Brien and Mark Johnston bring two three-year-old fillies in Athena and Nyaleti to the contest. Just remember only one three-year-old has ever won the Beverly D (Euro Charline for Marco Botti in 2014). They face a strong US contingent led by Chad Brown’s four-strong team, and Brown has won this race for the last three years. In the feature event, the Grade One Arlington Million, there are three European challengers led by Aidan O’Brien’s Deauville, who has finished third in this race for the last two years. Simon Crisford’s Century Dream is stepping up into top-level competition for the first time, while Jane Chapple-Hyam is having her second crack at the Million with Circus Couture.
Closer to home, Kempton is racing again this evening after their normal three-week summer break where they refurbish their polytrack. A couple of horses look of interest on the card, but beware for the first couple of meetings after the tracks maintenance as it is known to ride a little dead and often turns up some strange results.
It is day one of the Brighton Summer Racing Festival and the feature race today is the 1m Bombardier Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy Handicap.
Trainer Tony Carroll always has a large team ready for this festival at a track he has had considerable success at over the years. Carroll won this race back in 2015 with Pyrocumulus from stall nine, the same stall Pour La Victoire will jump from in this year’s renewal as he bids for his seventh course win.
The eight-year-old has been in consistent form on the turf this year and probably would have gone close to winning last time out at Newmarket if he hadn’t pulled quite so hard in the hands of a 7lb claimer.
He looks a solid each-way proposition.
I was reticent about putting up a horse at Kempton tonight due to the fact that Kempton, after its midsummer renovation and break, can be a hard track to handicap with the surface riding dead, especially the inside rail.
So, with that in mind, from a wide draw Nawar looks to take the beating in division two of the 1m Novice Stakes. This son of Henrythenavigator was well backed on debut at Salisbury over seven furlongs, staying on well to finish second after he was broadsided by Ambroise and was completely stopped in his run inside the final furlong.
The winner had already flown so his staying on second was the best he could do. He should improve for that experience and we know that Roger Charlton’s horses always come on for the run. Stepping up in trip today will suit, as will the all-weather as his half-sister Aljazzi won the Snowdrop Fillies Stakes here before going on to win at Royal Ascot success.
A filly I have tipped up before with success and she is the one to beat in this 1m6f handicap. Last time out at Lingfield, when stepped up in trip for the first time, she pulled too hard in the early stages before staying on well to finish second, ending her hat-trick attempt.
From stall one today, Luke Morris should be able to get the daughter of Declaration of War to the front and get her back into the winner’s enclosure.
It is promising to see that her trainer Sir Mark Prescott, who won this race twelve months ago with Veiled Secret, already has Trouble And Strife entered up twice later this week at Musselburgh on Friday, and Lingfield on Saturday.
In my opinion, there is no better trainer of five-furlong sprinters in this country than Robert Cowell and his four-year-old filly Ocelot appeals as a play against short-priced favourite Laith Alareen.
This daughter of Poet’s Voice broke her maiden on her only previous visit to Yarmouth (and she has gone on to win twice since) and ran a good second off this same handicap mark on her penultimate start.