Magician can conjure US trick to land prestigious renewal

Ground and trip in Irish raider’s favour as star-studded field set to take chance

Magician is suited by “quick ground” according to his jockey Joseph O’Brien. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Magician is suited by “quick ground” according to his jockey Joseph O’Brien. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Joseph O’Brien feels Magician has plenty going for him as he seeks a second major success in America tonight.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old enjoyed his finest hour to date when collaring The Fugue to claim the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita in November.

The Arlington Million in Chicago is now the race connections turn to after a disappointing run in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, where he was only sixth to Taghrooda.

“The ground is good and quick out there and it’s a mile-and-a-quarter, so we’re hoping for a good run,” said O’Brien

.

“Quick ground is essential to him really and he hasn’t had that this year. The ground was gone for him [in the King George] and I knew after a furlong I wasn’t comfortable. We’re hoping he can come back to that [Breeders’ Cup] sort of form.”

Side Glance carries British hopes as the much-travelled seven-year-old attempts to improve on his third in this race 12 months ago.

Andrew Balding’s globetrotter was third to David Lanigan’s former inmate Main Sequence in the Grade One United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park six weeks ago.

“He was third in it last year and he’s been a great old servant. He seems to come alive when he does these trips abroad. Hopefully he can go two slots better,” said Kevin Darley, northern representative for owners Pearl Bloodstock.

“He’s in great form and it could be a big weekend for him. He likes quick ground which it usually is over there. It’s a mile-and-a-quarter which suits him great and, with a little bit of luck, he could have a good chance.” Smoking Sun, trained in France by Pascal Bary, is another European representative and runs for the first time since finishing second in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji in May.

Chad Brown’s Real Solution was five lengths behind Magician in ninth at the Breeders’ Cup, but was awarded last year’s Million in the stewards’ room having initially been beaten a head by The Apache, and has been in good form of late, winning the Grade One Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park on his latest start.

Hardest Core, Finnegans Wake (Ryan Moore) and Up With The Birds complete the seven-strong field.

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