08/09/2017 2:10PM

Arlington Million contender Scottish racking up the frequent-flier miles


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The horse named Scottish is anything but bounded by national borders.

Scottish was purchased by Godophin at the end of his 3-year-old season as a prospect for the international circuit, and Godolphin’s vision of what Scottish might become has come to fruition. Scottish finished second last fall in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup in Australia, has come to Arlington this week for a run in the Arlington Million, is set to travel to Australia again in early autumn, and could wind up in Dubai over the winter.

“He was a gelding, and he fit the profile of a horse that could get some miles and be treated as an international campaigner,” said trainer Charlie Appleby, in whose Newmarket-based yard Scottish generally resides.

Scottish is one of 13 horses entered in the Million. From the rail out, the field for the 1 1/4-mile race is Oak Brook, Oscar Nominated, Enterprising, Ghost Hunter, 7-2 morning-line favorite Deauville, Fanciful Angel, The Pizza Man, Kasaqui, Scottish, Beach Patrol, Divisidero, Ascend, and Mekhtaal.

Scottish, though he is 5, has started only twice at the Group 1 level, but don’t let that part of his résumé lead you down the wrong path. He faced the solid Group 1 horse Time Test in his 2016 debut, then had a campaign geared around getting him to Australia, where he beat 14 but lost to Jameka in the Caulfield Cup, a 1 1/2-mile race probably slightly farther than Scottish’s ideal trip.

Godolphin won a Million in 2003 with Sulamani, but only after Storming Home was disqualified. Saeed bin Suroor trained Sulamani, and Appleby’s lone Million starter, Tryster, finished eighth at odds of 4-1 last year. Tryster was a late-running horse who needed luck and pace, but Scottish has speed and prefers forward placement.

“The Million actually was contemplated for him last year, but we had Tryster for the race,” Appleby said. “He’s much more straightforward to ride than Tryster.”

The rest of Scottish’s 2017 campaign of course depends on how he fares Saturday, but the plan now is to return to Australia, this time for the Cox Plate over 1 1/8 miles. Scottish already has secured an invitation to that race and is scheduled to begin a two-week quarantine in England in mid-September preparing for travel.

By then, he might have won an Arlington Million.