Permian 'all systems go' for Secretariat bid

Thu 3 Aug 2017

Permian has been confirmed an intended runner in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in Chicago on Saturday week.

After winning the Dante Stakes at York, Mark Johnston's colt disappointed when supplemented for the Epsom Derby, but showed his true colours with victory in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He returned to Group One level in the Grand Prix de Paris at Saint-Cloud earlier this month and was beaten just a nose by Shakeel after a pulsating finish.

Connections considered a tilt at last weekend's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but elected to sidestep Ascot in favour of a potentially easier option Stateside on August 12.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: "There were a few other options on the table, but he is going to come out near the top of the ratings in this race, whereas he would have to have found 10lb with some in the King George.

"It was a fairly straightforward decision in the end. It's another Group (Grade) One and he goes there with a very strong chance. We are happy he is versatile over 10 and 12 furlongs and on quick ground and slow ground.

"So it is all systems go."

Charlie Appleby will be represented on the same night in the Arlington Million, where he will saddle Scottish, who was last seen finishing fifth in the Prince of Wales's Stakes on his first start since his second in the Caulfield Cup in October.

Appleby said: "Scottish flies out on Saturday morning ready for the Arlington Million. He's in great order and we were delighted with his reappearance in the Prince of Wales's.

"He's come out of that well and I think it will suit him out there. He will probably head out to Australia after that."

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