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HRN Original Blog:
Across the Pond

O'Brien returns hungry for further Millions‏

Arlington has become somewhat of a mid-season holiday destination for many European trainers in the last few years. Cape Blanco, Debussy and Spirit One have all travelled to Illinois and reaped the rewards that the Arlington Million provides and many others have come close. This year the European invasion is stronger than ever; Having been responsible for just five entries on the Arlington Million card in 2011, a total of fifteen raiders are spread across the four races card with victory firmly within their sights. Could Europe sweep the stakes races at Arlington Park on Saturday in a smash-and-grab attack on America?

In the Arlington Million, Aidan O'Brien returns again with Treasure Beach just twelve months after the son of Galileo was seen victorious in the Secretariat Stakes (above) hours before Cape Blanco's victory in the Arlington Million itself. Treasure Beach has experience a turbulent time since his Secretariat Stakes; Coming into the race as the Irish Derby victor of 2011, Treasure Beach has failed to win since Arlington last year and has faltered six consecutive races. Decent performances in defeat in both the Canadian International and Dubai Sheema Classic are backed up by disappointing efforts in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong, Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe and Man O War Stakes at Belmont Park. Treasure Beach was also seen running distinctly average in the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown when comfortably accounted for by Galileo's Choice.

However, O'Brien is not a master trainer for nothing and has had this race firmly on the agenda for his son of Galileo for some time now and will expect a much improved performance in the Arlington Million on Saturday and for Treasure Beach's prospects as a future stallion, victory is a must in this year's renewal. O'Brien is also responsible for both Daddy Long Legs (Secretariat Stakes) and Up (Beverly D Stakes), both of whom have also showed glimpses of ability without shining in their European campaigns this season. Daddy Long Legs, whom was last seen in America pulling up in the Kentucky Derby, is a determined son of Scat Daddy who relishes a front-end fight to the wire. A front-end winner of both the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket at two and in the UAE Derby at three, he relishes the chance to tow his rivals along as his own pace under Colm O'Donoghue and looked to have powered away in his last start at the Curragh in the Irish 2000 Guineas before being collared late on by stable mates Power and Reply. It is without doubt that should both the Europeans and Americans allow Daddy Long Legs to tow from the front end, then they may all be playing for the places on Saturday. 

In the Beverly D., Up looks to build on her early season performances in France and bounce back from recent narrow defeats in lower-Grade company. A close second-place in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches in May behind Beauty Parlour, Up met all kinds of trouble in running in the Prix de Diane forcing her back to settle for a disappointing seventh-place. Since her raid on France, Up has met unsuitable ground conditions in the Pretty Polly Stakes, when a well beaten fourth-place, and rattled home late when third in the Kilboy Estate Stakes, a Group 3 at the Curragh. The one mile three-sixteenths distance that the Beverly D Stakes provides will provide Up with the perfect distance to exercise her true ability against some of the world's best turf fillies. 

Tomorrow.......A preview of John Gosden's army primed for attack on the Stakes races at Arlington 


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Older Comments about O'Brien returns hungry for further Millions‏...

I cannot imagine Daddy Long Legs getting a easy run on the lead with a horse named Silver Max in there!