Crackerjack King: will be having just his second start for Marco BottiPICTURE: Hippogroup Roma Capannelle-Scoopdyga
Crackerjack favoured for Arlington Million success
BRITISH bookmakers on Friday were largely in agreement that Crackerjack King was the most likely winner of the Arlington Million in Chicago, with layers just favouring the Marco Botti-trained Group 1 winner over fellow Newmarket raider Afsare.
The inauguration of the American St Leger as helped Arlington Park to attract a dozen British- and Irish-trained horses to contest the four international contests on Saturday - up from just four runners last year.
The Million will be only Crackerjack King's second outing for Botti, his first ending with a fifth-placed finish in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. He is the mount of Colm O'Donoghue, while Afsare has a more regular partner in Kieren Fallon.
Botti said: "We've been pleased with Crackerjack King, he is in good form. The ground was definitely too soft at Sandown so I think he's there with a good shout."
Afsare is 4-1 favourite Paddy Power - the majority quote Crackerjack King as market leader at 4-1 or 9-2 - and was second last time in a Group 2 at York.
Luca Cumani: keen on AfsarePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
His trainer Luca Cumani said on Friday: "Afsare has got to find a few lengths with Crackerjack King on their Italian running. In American racing you need a bit of luck in running because they are very tight tracks, but if he gets that I'm sure he'll run a very good race."
Chief US-trained hope, according to the market, is Boisterous, who is 6-1 with Paddy Power and William Hill but 4-1 joint-favourite with Coral.
Quoted on Arlington Park's website, trainer Shug McGaughey's assistant Robbie Medina said: "I just got here today [Friday], so I don't know how he shipped, but I was happy when I saw that black and red blanket."
Medina added that Boisterous would probably go to the track on Saturday morning.
Treasure Beach (generally 7-1), Colombian (8-1) and Wigmore Hall (14-1) are the others in the raiding party in the $1 million contest.
The richly-endowed card also features the Beverly D Stakes and Secretariat Stakes.