09/16/2011 1:46PM

Woodbine: Wigmore Hall well-accustomed to travel


Wigmore Hall, who is based in England with trainer Michael Bell, is just 4 years old but already has compiled an extensive travel r é sum é with two trips to Arlington Park, a two-race stint in Dubai, and one-offs in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Making his Canadian debut after finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, Wigmore Hall flew in from Amsterdam along with Side Glance and Dance and Dance for Sunday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Northern Dancer at 1 1/2 miles on the turf course.

Spencer, who was riding the victorious Cape Blanco in the Arlington Million, will be returning to his usual perch here aboard Wigmore Hall, who is the 9-5 morning-line favorite.

“He’s an old pro,” said Gillian Dolman, whose one previous trip here was with 2009 Canadian International contestant Allied Powers.

Wigmore Hall has fared well in his previous trips to North America, running second in last year’s Grade 1 Secretariat and ending 3 1/4 lengths behind Cape Blanco in the Aug. 13 Arlington Million.

“He was totally unlucky there,” said Dolman. “He always seems to get into trouble.”

Wigmore Hall also will be racing over 1 1/2 miles for the first time, with his longest previous race having come in England at about 1 5/16 miles last July in a handicap which he won by a nose.

“I think it will suit him, the way he finishes,” said Dolman. “The main concern is pace.”

The Northern Dancer, in fact, did come up light on the pace side with no confirmed front-runner in the eight-horse field.