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Monday, 19 November, 2018

British stars Defoe and Best Solution primed for a Group 1 thriller

Defoe: the latest in a long line of London Gold Cup winners to go on to better things
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3.55 Baden-Baden
146th Longines Grosser Preis von Baden (Group 1)  | 1m4f | 3yo+ | RUK

Two British horses being targeted at some of the world's most prestigious and valuable races will square up to each other in Germany's most prestigious contest, with Defoe and Best Solution heading an eight-runner line-up for the Grosser Preis von Baden, live on Racing UK at 3.55pm BST.

Godolphin's Best Solution is bidding for back-to-back Group 1 triumphs in Germany, having followed up his success in the Princess of Wales Stakes with victory in the Grosser Preis von Berlin.

While Saeed Bin Suroor is aiming Best Solution at the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, the Roger Varian-trained Defoe has the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, for which he can be backed at 40-1, on his agenda.

Defoe has not raced since his May third over a mile and a quarter in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, but returns with connections extremely satisfied with his homework.

Varian said: "We have to be careful of running him on fast ground, so we kept him at home during the hot, dry summer, even though he was ready to run in the King George.

"His early-season form stacks up pretty well. Things didn't quite work out for him when we dropped him back in trip at the Curragh, but it wasn't a disastrous run by any means. We've always had this race in mind for his comeback and the ground shouldn't be too fast, as they've had a bit of rain."

Varian added: "He's in great form and we won't be using fitness as an excuse. Equally, we have a busy autumn campaign in mind, so I'm sure he'll benefit for the run. He's in the Arc and Champion Stakes, and we would dearly love to line up at Longchamp. Sunday might hopefully be a stepping stone towards that."

Best Solution is a top-priced 50-1 for his two intended missions in Australia, where he is due to head after running at Baden-Baden under regular rider Pat Cosgrave.

Bin Suroor is a dual winner of the Grosser Preis von Baden, having taken it with Marienbard and Mamool. His latest representative beat a number of reopposing opponents last time, but on this occasion he also encounters domestic heavyweights Iquitos, winner of this contest in 2016, and last year's Arc sixth Dschingis Secret.

Bin Suroor said:  "It will be an interesting race, as there are two nice horses from Germany in there, but Best Solution did a nice piece of work recently and he is ready for this. He is set to go into quarantine on Thursday, September 13, for his trip to Australia."

There is also British interest in the two-year-olds' Group 3 event earlier on the card, in which Mark Johnston saddles I'll Have Another and Kilbarchan.

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He's in great form and we won't be using fitness as an excuse but, equally, we have a busy autumn campaign in mind
E.W. Terms
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