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Arlington Million preview

And finally, the headline race in Chicago tonight - the Arlington Million. American racing form student, Davy Lane, @loscharruas, completes the meeting with the preview.


Arlington Million

The Arlington Million has attracted 13 runners, including an African, a Latin American and several Europeans. This race has a complex flavour. The key ingredient is the pampas grass.

The lightly raced Real Solution started his career in Italy. Frankie Dettori and Umberto Rispoli won minor contests on him. He returned to the USA as 4 year old and has since put in a couple of respectable Grade level performances, most recently finishing 3rd only 1 3/4 lengths behind Point of Entry in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap at Belmont. Chad Brown trains. Peru's Alan Garcia rides. I rate this horse as one the best of the American contenders. He's 10/1 on the US Morning Line, but as high as 20/1 with a few English bookies.

Finnegan's Wake finished second in the Secretariat here last year. He has done nothing since. He won't win, place or show. He's 30/1 with the US Morning Line for a reason. Save your money.

Unfortunately, you cannot apply Moore's Law to Hunter's Light. His Group 1 wins in Turkey and Dubai were respectable, but when thrown in against the likes of Military Attack, Cirrus des Aigles and Animal Kingdom the horse has finished way back. Moore takes the ride because De Sousa is serving a ban. If Hunter's Light was a sure thing, Mikael Barzalona would be deputizing. Barzalona has instead been sent on an equally futile mission to Normandy. Good luck catching Wesley Ward's No Nay Never in the Prix Morny at Deauville.

Nates Mineshaft is a front runner. He is trained by Anne Smith, more known for her work with show jumpers. It would be a wonderful story. I do not expect to be reading about Nates Millions in the morning. That said, Nates Mineshaft knows which way is up. He was only just beaten a neck into 3rd by Wise Dan in a G1, won Ron the Greek last year. Heads have been turned in recent mornings at Arlington.

Temeraine edged out Dullahan to finish 2nd in a G3 last time out. That's sort of interesting. But Dullahan was just reacclimatizing after the Dubai World Cup. A deeper examination of the form shows Temeraine has had virtually no other serious Group level competition in his career. He may have improved since being gelded, but he's not going to involved in the placing here.

Side Glance has mixed it up with some of the greatest horses of this era, including Animal Kingdom and Frankel. His most recent effort was a respectable 7 lengths adrift of Arc favourite, Al Kazeem. He could have been placed had he shown up at the Arlington Million last year.

The Argentine colt Indy Point is a stupendous specimen. He won two legs of the Argentine Triple Crown like a runaway train. His G1 Gran Premio Nacional victory at Palermo and G1 Gran Premio Jockey Club at San Isidro were two of the impressive displays of power I have seen in a racehorse. Some English bookies are still offering 6/1. Incredible! Get aboard that Indy Point train! Hold on tight! My advice: BET THE FARM!

All credit to Mull of Killough for having a crack. Connections probably saw last year's race and thought this was easy G1 prize money. The horse is drawn 8. It will be lucky to finish higher than 8th. Joseph O'Brien is a good jockey on a great horse. This is not a great horse.

Guest of Honour stepped up into Group 2 company last time out running a credible 3rd behind Aljamaaheer and Mill of Killough. This is a step too far. I like the combination of Marco Botti and Martin Harley and can see the horse being the better of the 2nd Division English raiders.

The South African has been primed for this race. The Apache had a very successful spell at the Dubai Carnival and ran well at York last time, smartly avoiding the dual between Grandeur and Mukhadram. Mike De Kock's horses are well know to improve for their first run out. Christophe Soumillon will be determined to make his trip worthwhile. The Apache is not the best quality Mike de Kock horse in training, but he's sure to be the best prepared of any in the field. He won't be good enough to catch Indy Point, but he will lead most of the rest of the field home.

Last year's winner Little Mike will not be this year's winner. He's 5/1 on the US Morning Line and can be found at a similar price in UK markets. This is a reflection of his exploits last year. His win in the Breeders Cup Turf over Point of Entry and St Nicholas Abbey was immense. His form this year has been loosey goosey. He did not adapt to conditions in the Dubai World Cup meet and was not impressive on his return run state side, when 4th in the United Nations at Monmouth in July. Forget about it!

Rahystada won the Arlington Handicap over a 1m 1/4 last month. This defeat of Dullahan looks impressive on paper, but Rahystada was wandering far from the finish. This was not because Rahystada was lonely or distracted. The horse was tired. He won because the others had even less in the tank. Rosie Napravnik will have her work cut out. The horse likes to front run, but Rosie will also have to contend with "Mr. Buick" who will be on her outside. It promises to get very messy out there.

Grandeur is the 7/2 US Morning Line favourite. He was even shorter in UK Ante Post markets. Now Grandeur is drifting slightly as punters ponder his 13 draw. Grandeur does not need to be with the pace, so in theory the wide draw should not hinder him. I take a different view. I think the wide draw ruins whatever chance Grandeur had of catching Indy Point. Moreover, I think Grandeur's recent battle with Mukhadram will have not have helped. Mukhadram himself was reported to be in need of a few more weeks of R & R after that race. It is noteworthy William Buick knows his way around Arlington and it's also very interesting he stepped off some good John Gosden things in the UK today.


Nates Mineshaft takes them along. Real Solution hugs the rail and runs at his own pace. Indy Point presses the button early. Soumillon has The Apache has well positioned on the back stretch and follows. Indy Point dismisses Nates Mineshaft at the Quarter Pole. Indy Point increases his lead on the turn for home. Indy Point is the winner from a long way out. The Apache and Real Solution scrap for 2nd. Grandeur comes late and takes 4th from the pack easily.

1st 7. Indy Point 9/2 US ML; 6/1 Paddy Power
2nd 10. The Apache 6/1 US ML; 9/1 Bet365
3rd 1. Real Solution 10/1 US ML; 20/1 Corals


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