Friday, 12 August 2016

Arlington Million Meeting, Saturday 13th August 2016

Hello & welcome along to a rare edition of the blog in honour of a tremendous weekend of international action from Arlington Park, Chicago.
This blog is kindly brought to you in association with @eibloodstock while the website is being brought in house our teams thoughts can be found back on the old blog site.  

The Arlington Million has attracted a strong field this year with the home team on the back of a 4 year winning streak while the predominately dominating Europeans have failed to taste success since 2011.

(by Gary Woods)

Danish Dynaformer - Useful Canadian individual who beat the shock winner of this race, Hardest Core in the Singspiel Stakes last time out. Exposed when he takes on the best though & has work to do here.

Dubai Sky - Before this season had been a fairly exposed individual but has really found his firm this time around winning his last 3 starts in good style on turf & polytrack.
Worth his place in the field but probably playing for minor money.

Greengrassofyoming - Beat last year's winner The Pizza Man when narrowly winning the local trial for this last time to make that 2 wins in his last 2 starts.
Shouldn't be underestimated with that course form but really shouldn't be winning this.

Pumpkin Rumble - Poor individual really who ran the race of his life in the slowly run trial won by Greengrassofyoming.
Has no hope against better individuals here.

Home town favourite & last year's hero The Pizza Man returns to defend his crown after running well in the trial which was run against his style of Racing although you still would have to be disappointed he didn't win so the question remains, Is he as good this season? 
This looks a much stronger race this time around overall so he has work to do but you cannot deny he comes to life on this track.

Kasaqui - Formerly useful Argentinian galloped has not quite performed in the states until winning anther of the local trials for this last time out.
That was his day in the sun & unlikely to be troubling the judge here.

Take The Stand - Decent individual who has a good win record but often falls short in the better races, beat World Approval back in March who he meets again here.
Chances of hitting the frame if all goes to plan.

Decorated Knight - Hugely progressive individual who has shown he can act between 1800m - 2000m in good company winning over this trip at Goodwood in fine style before running 2 superb races over shorter at Epsom before putting up a career best last time out at Leopards town to run away with a good quality Group 3.
Travels smoothly in his races & has a good draw under a top class US rider.
Ticks plenty of boxes & appears to have been overlooked by many.
Should take all the beating here.

Mondialiste - Consistent classy individual who has taken his connections all over the world in the last 12 months,  won the Woodbine Mile under an inspired Fergal Lynch before running an outstanding race in the Breeders Cup behind wondermare Tepin.
Struggled badly in top company since before pushing Time Test all the way in the York Stakes which he won last year before he took on the world.  Not out of this after that last run but does face progressive rivals here. 

Wake Forest - No more than useful performer in Germany in his youth before form took off on permanently racing in the states after a below oar run in this race last year, finishing 2nd in a Grade 2 after that before winning the Man O'War in good style.
Race wasn't run to suit last time at Monmouth but was still slightly disappointing, has work to do here. 

World Approval - After several consistent efforts he gained reward with a well judged ride from a slow pace to win the United Nations comfortably last time, that form will need improving on here but he's certainly not out of it.

Tryster - At his very best he should just be too good for his opponents, a strong travelling individual who some including myself labelled as purely an all weather performer before he blitzed his rivals at Meydan's in the Dubai Millennium & Jebel Hatta.
Failed to back that up in the Duty free on World Cup night but that race suited horses who were on the pace so he ran well in fairness, the main issue with that race is that it has not worked out at all with not a single horse winning since including the impressive winner Real Steel who was well beaten back on home soil in Japan.
On the plus side Tryster has run since at Royal Ascot on ground that did not suit yet he still ran with plenty of promise staying on behind shock winner My Dream Boat for remote yet encouraging 4th.
Has the outside draw here which can give problems but for a horse of his run style he should be more than capable of flying down the outside, it's just will he get there in time giving start to such a progressive rival as Decorated Knight.

Deauville - A most intriguing runner who grabbed his day in the sun last time out when just holding on in the Belmont Derby. The concerns with him are, he's a horse who likes to be handy which means he will have a real job on from the widest draw.
The other major concern is as a 3yo taking on his elders which is now a hugely rare occurrence in this race, although in the first 3 years of the race the UK sent over 3yo's every season with Madam Gay finishing 3rd in he inaugural running in 1981, the following year Be My Native finished a strong 2nd before the Luca Cumani trained Tolomeo became the first UK winner & only 3yo ever to win the race which shows how hard the task facing Deauville is. 

1) Decorated Knight
2) Tryster
3) The Pizza Man

Beverly D Stakes Grade 1 1m1f110yds
by Calum Law

Open looking contest which in many ways centres around Guineas runner up and Prix Marcel Boussac heroine Ballydoyle.
If she shows anywhere near the level of form she displayed in the aforementioned races then she wins, but she has disappointed the last twice and was frankly tragic when finishing last of all in the Belmont Oaks on her last start. It is quite surprising that she returns so soon to the US on the back of that display and she has enough questions to answer presently to avoid at cramped odds.
Her stable mate Coolmore was 3rd in that race and, whilst not as classy as Ballydoyle she looks the safer bet of the O Brien pair to run her race.
The home defence is led by Sea Calisi. Formerly trained in France by Frances Douman but now in the care of Chad Brown. She was a decent second on her first try over this trip at Belmont last time, but her breeding and run style firmly suggests that this trip is on the sharp side for her. She has plenty of class though [placed behind Treve in the Vermeille] and she is very much feared.
However I am going to chance the regally bred FAUFILER who was twice a listed winner in France and won over this course and distance last time under todays pilot.
She remains unexposed stateside and could still be improving at five under the tutelage of the excellent Graham Motion.
In a race where many have queries she rates as a live chance to join her illustrious dam as a Grade 1 winner

1) Faufiler
2) Sea Calisi
3) Coolmore

Secretariat Stakes Grade 1 1m2f
by Calum Law

Weak enough renewal of this Grade One and it may be best to concentrate on Three Colts who were beaten by fancied Million runner Deauville in the Belmont Derby last time.
Of the three BEACH PATROL makes by far the most appeal on his Third start for America's premier Turf trainer Chad Brown.
He stayed on well late in the Belmont Derby to only be beaten by 1.5 lengths having suffered a less than perfect trip.
Granted a better race set up here he looks to set to go very close under the excellent Florent Geroux.
Surgical Strike was only half a length behind the selection at Belmont but had a superior trip and will do well to reverse the form.
Similar comments apply to Irish raider Long Island Sound.
Oscar Nominated and American Patriot will do well to shoulder 4lbs penalties in this company and One Man Mean, who bested the former over a furlong shorter makes more appeal at a rough price

1) Beach Patrol
2) Surgical Strike
3) Long Island Sound

American St Leger Grade 3 1m6f

Open looking heat in which crack US 'marathon' runner Da Big Hoss is a heavy favourite for this having won a similar event at Belmont last time. He has lots of class and having won at the distance and with the assistance of Geroux he is very much respected. Yet he will likely need to improve on his Belmont run and he will need a near career best here if he is to give weight and a beating to his rivals.

Clondaw Warrior won the Galway Hurdle last time, but is a useful sort in these events. However he may find one or two too pacey for him under these conditions despite having won twice in lesser company over one furlong shorter than today's trip.

Ex French G3 winner Montclair with Mike Smith aboard is respected for a barn that won this in 2014 as is fellow G3 winner Wasir who bested the very useful Alex Is My Boy on his penultimate start.

However preference is for the Moroccan bred BILLABONG, who has been running with credit globally since dominating the Casablanca scene in 2014.
Travelling is of no concern to the son of Gentlewave and he arrives here following a strong second place in the Emirs Trophy in Doha. He has more speed than most of these and with the excellent Flavien Prat aboard he can give them all something to think about

1) Billabong
2) Da Big Hoss
3) Montclair

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

NEW BLOG DESTINATION please follow link

Hello & welcome to all you lovely, lovely people.................thanks to all of you for your support over the last few years but as of now the blogs from this account are no more as my new project is taking up the majority of my time now...............but wait...................don't cry or shout or by good fortune my new project will be incorporating a blog on the website so I am still writing but not as much.......I am sharing duties for the remainder of the Dubai International Racing Carnival with my friend & colleague Calum Law @calumswanlaw on twitter who has also been a keen Dubai Blogger for the last few years...............

The new super blog can be found by following this link 

Once again I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your input, comments & loyalty that has made writing my blogs a real pleasure over the last few years. To be fair I'm amazed anyone actually put up with my ramblings so thanks to one & all. 

Bye for now