Aidan O'Brien has been dominant in the British Classics this year but more notable to racing fans in the country is the continual rise of John Gosden back to the very top. Despite O'Brien's dominance in the Classic division, Gosden is holding firm and chasing him down in the British Trainers Championship and his dominance in both English and Irish Group races is plain to see, in fact it's pretty hard to ignore. Nathaniel and Fallen For You are just two of the high profile victories for John Gosden and William Buick in recent weeks but whilst those two stars head towards big targets in England, John Gosden is preparing a strong raiding party for both the Arlington Million and its undercard.
Photo: Emma-Louise Kerwin/Goodtosoft.co.uk
The in-form Gosden stated on Friday to HorseRacingNation.com that he was looking to support every Grade 1 race on the Arlington Million card whilst also confirming that any plans he currently has in mind are not set in stone for particular races and a sense of fluctuation is still possible. Heading the team under consideration for Arlington is the Princess Haya owned duo of Questioning and Colombian (Arlington Million). Victorious over Twice Over at Newmarket in the Earl of Sefton Stakes in April, Questioning was subsequently consistent in performance in the Bet365 Mile at Sandown and Huxley Stakes at Chester without gaining victory but has not been seen since that fourth-placed two length defeat at Chester. Colombian has had a slightly different path towards being considered for the Arlington Million since being a strong winner of the Gordon Richards Stakes over Twice Over at Sandown in late April. A lacklustre performance behind Carlton House at Sandown and an eighth-placed finish behind So You Think at Royal Ascot have seen Colombian hit a period of inconsistently of late, but should a softer turf surface come into play at Arlington this son of Azamour would undoubtedly be seen right back to his very best. A short-neck behind Golden Lilac over ten furlongs in softer conditions alongside a three-lengths back fourth-place in the Prix du Jockey Club stand alongside the very best of Colmbian's victories and suggest there is a stellar performance within this colts capacity on a rain-softened surface at a track such as Arlington. More publicly known is Gosden's plan to send Joviality to the Beverley D Stakes. Joviality was last seen at Newmarket in the Falmouth Stakes over one mile where she struggled to handle the substantially soft going. A return to a firmer surface should see her perform similarly to the kind of performance present in her Windsor Forest Stakes (G2) victory at Royal Ascot over Chachamaidee. Gosden also indicated that one other filly is also under consideration for this race. The American St Leger is a new race on the undercard of the Arlington Million and whilst Aidan O'Brien confirmed that Fame & Glory would not be targeted at this race, John Gosden confirmed that he has a few under consideration for this race. The horse he seems likely to confirm looks to be Camborne, last seen winning the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot. Camborne came wide on the outside of Hammerfest, who had looked to have made a race winning move, with a sublime turn of foot and looked full of promise with Group races seemingly well within his capacity. Whilst unconfirmed by Gosden, the likes of Masked Marvel, Arctic Cosmos or Aiken would be interesting alternatives with a fantastic chance of glory at Arlington should Gosden opt for either in Camborne's place. Masked Marvel, the 2011 English St Leger winner, was well beaten in his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket in May but bounced back to something like his best when third at Epsom behind St Nicholas Abbey in the Coronation Cup last time out. Gosden also confirmed that he has three colts under consideration for the Secretariat Stakes in what is a strong raiding party for the Newmarket trainer. Final plans will look to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Also at Newmarket on Friday, Aidan O'Brien confirmed that, dependent on his performance in the Man O War Stakes at Belmont Park, Treasure Beach would be under consideration to follow a similar path to that of Cape Blanco last year, taking in the Arlington Million as his next race.