Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Excel on course for Mile assault

Excelebration

Excelebration will aim to maintain the good record of European challengers in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Saturday week.

Aidan O'Brien's four-year-old has stepped out of Frankel's shadow in no uncertain terms and, apart from his debut when with Marco Botti, he has won every race he has contested that has not featured the world's greatest racehorse.

On Saturday he arguably put up a career-best display in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and he is likely to be a warm favourite at Santa Anita.

O'Brien said: "He's in good form and I hope he travels there well. We think he's a very exceptional horse. He's getting quicker and stronger and has progressed very well.

"He has top form in every kind of ground, I don't think ground is important to him.

"I'm not sure if he'll run again after America, it's not a decision for me really."

The only other European entry is Freddie Head's Moonlight Cloud, who finished fourth behind Excelebration in the Jacques le Marois.

Wise Dan is the best chance of a win for the home team. A multiple Grade One winner, he had Cityscape well behind in winning the Woodbine Mile and enjoyed the perfect prep in winning the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland.

Last year's Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will have his supporters and got back to winning ways on his return to action last time out, albeit in a claimer.

Jeranimo, Mr Commons, Little Mike, Doubles Partner, Obviously, Wilcox and Suggestive Boy Inn are also entered. Trailblazer and Turbo Compressor have the race as a second preference.

Surprisingly John Gosden's Elusive Kate was not among the entries, with Gosden saying: "We just decided not to go to the Breeders' Cup with her."

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