Seven-year-old Mondialiste, a multiple Grade 1 winner in North America, arrived in Canada late Monday evening to prepare for his second crack at the Ricoh Woodbine Mile, which offers a Breeders' Cup Mile berth to the winner.
Trained by David O'Meara for Geoff and Sandra Turnbull, Mondialiste rallied from last of nine to win the 2015 edition of the Woodbine Mile by a ½-length over Lea.
The talented bay then used his ‘Breeders' Cup Win & You're In' ticket to finish a solid second to Tepin in the Breeders' Cup Mile.
Mondialiste returned to North America in 2016 to win the 1 ¼-mile Grade 1 Arlington Million and overcame a troubled trip to finish fourth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.
Is there a preference between eight or 10 furlongs for the hard-trying Mondialiste?
“I don't think so. So long as he gets a strong early gallop he's pretty good,” said O'Meara.
Mondialiste arrives to Woodbine in good form. On July 29, he narrowly missed (for the second year in a row) in the Group 2 York Stakes at Goodwood.
“They went a good gallop and he travelled really well and only got beat a nose. It was a very good run,” said O'Meara.
He stayed at York for the Group 3 Strensall, a race he won in 2015 ahead of his Woodbine Mile coup, and finished a frustrated sixth.
“He got caught flat footed at the back of them. There wasn't any pace in it and it just didn't suit him. He likes a good gallop to run at,” said O'Meara.
Mondialiste has come out of the Strensall in fine form.
“He's trained very well and we're happy with him. He did a piece of work Saturday morning on his own, he always works on his own,” said O'Meara. “He went to Newmarket on Sunday and then transported to Amsterdam and from there he flew to Canada.”
A return to Woodbine should suit Mondialiste as he looks to improve on his impressive North American form.
“He's got a very good head and he likes the North American style of racing. He likes the bends which we don't get that much in this country over a mile,” said O'Meara.
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