The European contingent for Saturday's Ricoh Woodbine Mile program, featuring three graded turf stakes, arrived late Monday evening following a flight from Amsterdam.
The transatlantic travelers are England's Mutakayyef, Arod, and France's Mr. Owen for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile; Majeed, also from England, for the Grade 1, 1 ½ mile Northern Dancer; and Steip Amach, from France, for the Grade 2, 1 1/8 mile Canadian.
Mutakayeff, who was a talented but win-shy runner through his first two campaigns, has taken his game to a new level this year for trainer William Haggas and owner Sheikh bin Rashad al Maktoum's Shadwell Stable.
The 5-year-old won for the first time in his 2016 bow while running in a listed stakes at Ascot and came right back at the same distance in the Group 2 Summer Mile at York.
Most recently, Mutakayeff stretched out to 1 5/16 miles for York's Grade 1 Juddmonte International and was a troubled third, beaten just 2 ¼ lengths.
The Woodbine Mile will be Mutakayeff's first race outside his native England.
Accompanying Mutakayeff on his journey are traveling head lass Bizzy Budden and work rider Jason Favell.
“He's fit and well,” said Budden. “We'll just keep him ticking on.”
Arod, a seasoned traveller who is owned by Qatar Racing Limited, is coming off a creditable third-place finish in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
“He went to Australia last year, and it never took anything out of him,” said Gary Hindmarch, travelling head lad and rider for the Peter Chapple-Hyam trainee.
“He likes his traveling; he enjoys himself.“
Mr. Owen, also owned by Qatar Racing and sixth in last year's Woodbine Mile as a 3-year-old, was a decent second when making his last start in the Group 3 Prix Messidor at Maisons-Laffitte.
Traveling head lad Wildrid Conart will be putting the 4-year-old colt through his paces here for trainer Francois Rohaut, who won the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes in 2007 with Mrs. Lindsay, dam of Mr. Owen.
Mr. Owen's rider will be Jamie Spencer, winner of the Woodbine Mile with Trade Storm and E.P. Taylor with Just the Judge in 2014. The jockey also guided Wigmore Hall to back-to-back scores in the Northern Dancer beginning in 2011.
Majeed, owned by Khalifa Desmal and trained by David Simcock, will be making his first start in a graded stakes in the $300,000 Northern Dancer.
But the 6-year-old gelding was beaten just a nose last time out in Windsor's 1 7/16 mile August Stakes and the winner, Berkshire, has Group 2 and Group 3 scores on his resume.
“He's progressed,” said traveling head lad Ian Russell, who is making his seventh visit to Woodbine and was accompanied by rider Brydi Allison. “He's doing everything right at this time.”
“David was quite keen to bring him here and he's won the Northern Dancer before.”
That success came in with Sheikhzayedroad in 2014, the year in which Simcock fielded Woodbine Mile winner Trade Storm and Nearctic winner Caspar Netscher.
Steip Amach, conditioned by David Smaga, is heading into the $300,000 Canadian off a third-place finish in the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet over 1 ¼ miles at Deauville.
Traveling head lad Cedric Marquette and work rider Robert Malczuk are here with the 4-year-old filly whose two career wins have come in Group 3 stakes.
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