Artwork by Eric Ellis
As pervasive rain keeps falling over the scorched and droughted middle west, the window of opportunity for the soft-sod loving Colombian expands. There's no one better at spotting horses than his trainer John Gosden, who served under the wing of legendary Charles Whittingham and has recently been challenging the very top tier in Europe.
Educated at Cambridge in Economics but never enjoying a desk job, Gosden turned to training horses and has used his keen insight at sizing up races both in America and abroad to take down 6 Group I races this year.
When I first started researching for the Million, the turf (and polytrack) at Arlington showed an enormous speed bias. I have no idea why this was the case for the poly, but the turf clearly was hard and fast thanks to the lack of rain. Arlington also runs a lot of five furlong dashes on the sod, so it's possible the track was just hammered fast. But the lane for the Million is almost virginal.
It's still hard to put Colombian over Wigmore Hall given their recent form, especially if the turf comes up anything but yielding. At the same time, it's impossible to dismiss anything Gosden runs, and it's not hard to cheer for the owner, a princess from Jordan that showed such a heartwarming expression of emotion at the WEG games in Lexington a few years back. She clearly loves the game and the way it brings people across the globe together. What better ambassador for Arlington's International Festival?