Algiers limbers up for action (image via Dubai Racing Club/Liesl King)
Algiers limbers up for action (image via Dubai Racing Club/Liesl King)

Algiers headlining Santa Anita challenge for Crisfords

The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile is Algiers’ only option at Santa Anita on Saturday week, as Simon and Ed Crisford bank on the six-year-old’s pace coming to the fore in California.

The Shamardal gelding showcased his talent on dirt in Meydan earlier in the year, finishing second in the feature Dubai World Cup over a mile and a quarter in March.

A tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic over that trip had not been ruled out by connections, but they had always been favouring a drop back to a mile for their visit to America and have elected to go that route having been encouraged by Algiers’ imperious displays over similar distances in the Middle East.

“He just looked very effective over a mile and a mile-and-one at Meydan and he has a lot of speed,” explained Ed Crisford.

“I’m not saying he doesn’t stay the 10 furlongs, it’s just that we felt at Santa Anita a mile may play to his strengths more.”

Since his exploits in Dubai, Algiers was given a long summer break before tuning up for the Breeders’ Cup at Woodbine when second in the Durham Cup.

Having bounced out of that first taste of North American dirt well, he is now poised for one final piece of work in the hands of big-race jockey James Doyle before crossing the Atlantic once again.

“It was like a racecourse gallop to be honest, but he has come out of it super well,” reflected Crisford.

“He’s had that run now and has come out of it fresh and well and looks great. He is going to have a good gallop under James Doyle before he leaves and hopefully that will be him set for the race next weekend.

“James knows him and what he can do and what is under the bonnet. He rides the American tracks really well and it should be perfect.”

Joining Algiers for the trip Stateside is impressive Rockfel Stakes scorer Carla’s Way, who is a leading fancy for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The form of that race got a real boost when the second and third fought out the finish of the Fillies’ Mile and her training team believe she has all the attributes to be right in the mix in her first try at a mile.

“She is in good form and won well at Newmarket,” added Crisford.

“She can quicken off a quick pace which is what you need in America and that track should suit her well, a two-turn mile on quick ground.

“We opted not to go for the Fillies’ Mile because that mile at Newmarket on soft ground wouldn’t really be for her, but she’s got a lot of ability and is progressing with each run and looks like a filly who could be a lot of fun for the future.

“I’m sure she will run really well at Santa Anita.”

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