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Arlington Park

Arlington Million & International Festival of Racing Barn Notes (8/16/10)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


The second of two European transatlantic equine charters in advance of Arlington Park’s International Festival of Racing this Saturday arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Sunday evening.

HRH Princess Haya of Jordan’s Debussy and Shadwell Stable’s Tazeez, a duo of British-based Arlington Million invaders trained by John Gosden, passed through Arlington’s stable gate shortly after 6:30 pm following their van ride from the airport.

Sally Mitchelhill, Gosden’s Scottish-born lass who met Sunday’s Singapore Airlines’ charter at the airport after her own Atlantic crossing Saturday, had a positive report on both Debussy and Tazeez following their travels.

“They both looked good when they got off the plane last night, and this morning they appear very happy and enjoying themselves here at Arlington. We should clear quarantine sometime Tuesday. After that, we’ll see what the boss wants to do.”

Arlington Million candidate Summit Surge, an Irish-bred owned by William Bellew and trained by Luca Cumani, was aboard an earlier European equine charter that arrived Saturday evening and was under the supervision of Cumani’s head lad Charlie Henson.

“(Summit Surge) is in good form and travelled well,” said Henson Monday. “We should clear quarantine this afternoon and plan to go to the track for a canter at about 7 o’clock tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.”

Marquesa de Mortalla’s Biased and Michael Deegan’s Pachattack, a European-based pair of Beverly D. candidates, and Mark Hawtin’s Secretariat Stakes starter Wigmore Hall, were also on that first flight with Summit Surge.

“All of our European shippers arrived in good order and are doing well this morning,” said Andrea Branchini, shipping agent for Horse America when speaking outside Arlington’s Quarantine Barn on Monday.


Scottish-born Sally Mitchelhill will serve as British-born trainer John Gosden’s representative at Arlington on behalf of HRH Princess Haya of Jordan’s Debussy and Shadwell Stable’s Tazeez until Gosden arrives later this week, but her name should already be somewhat familiar to those who follow racing at Chicago’s premier Thoroughbred oval.

As an apprentice jockey in 2007, Mitchelhill scored her first Chicago victory at Arlington on Sept. 13 of that year – one day after Swedish-born jockey Inez Karlsson won the first race of her career. The two became good friends before fate sent them separate ways.

Karlsson, now 27, finished fourth in last year’s Arlington standings and will ride Robert Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada in Saturday’s Grade I Arlington Million.

Mitchelhill, also now 27, continued her riding career for some time – eventually transferring her tack to Australia before injuries suffered there ended her time in the saddle.

“Things happen,” said Mitchelhill Monday morning in Arlington’s track kitchen. “You move on. John Gosden is a great guy to work for and I love working with horses. I’m much happier now – without having to fight my weight all the time – but I do miss all my friends in the United States. I lived over here for eight years and I’m looking forward to seeing Inez and as many of my old friends as I can while I’m here on this trip.”


Temporarily representing British trainer Luca Cumani, who will saddle William Bellew’s Summit Surge in Saturday’s Arlington Million, is Cumani’s head traveling lad Charlie Henson.

Henson, 31, a native of Northhamptonshire, England, has been with Cumani for the last four and a half years and came to Chicago last summer with Teruya Yoshida’s Cima de Triomphe, an Irish-bred who finished fourth in the 2009 Arlington Million.

Earlier in the 2009 season, Henson traveled to Dubai for the Carnival and World Cup, and then on to Hong Kong and Singapore with Cumani’s globetrotting Presvis.


South African-bred Gypsy’s Warning, owned by Team Valor International and Green Lantern Stable and trained by Graham Motion, breezed six furlongs in 1:13.60 over the training track at Fair Hill Sunday under exercise rider Molly Hannum prior to Saturday’s Beverly D.

“She worked in company, and went the half in 48.20 and five-eighths in 1:00.20,” said Team Valor’s Barry Irwin Monday. “She’s always been a lousy work horse, but in the afternoons it’s a different ball game.”

On Monday under jockey Julio Felix, Cherokee Lord went five-eighths on turf in 1:06.80 with the “dogs” up, getting the last furlong in 12 flat prior to Saturday’s Secretariat Stakes.

- END -

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