When US owner Peter Brant marked his return to racing after almost 20 years out of the sport, he did so in headline fashion during the Wildenstein dispersal at Goffs in 2016, when he bought 19 horses for €7.5 million.
Since then, his two-tone green colours have been carried to victory in big races at home and abroad.
Brant’s best winners include Waya, Just A Game, Track Barron and Gulch while his stable currently includes the likes of multiple Grade 1 scorer Sistercharlie and Prix du Jockey Club hero Sottsass.
This weekend could lead to further glory for Brant as Monarch Of Egypt, owned with the Coolmore partners, and the aforementioned Sistercharlie bid for an across the world Group/Grade 1 double.
Monarch Of Egypt, who became American Pharoah’s first winner in Ireland when successful in a six-furlong maiden in April, was purchased for $750,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by MV Magnier and Brant’s White Birch Farm.
The two-year-old, who is trained by Aidan O’Brien, was last seen contesting the Group 2 Railway Stakes in June, finishing second behind the Ger Lyons-trained Siskin, who is owned by Khalid Abdullah.
Monarch Of Egypt will bid to reverse the form with Siskin in Friday’s Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and if he were to do so, it would be a feather in the cap of his sire with his first crop of runners.
At Arlington Park on Saturday evening, Brant’s Sistercharlie will bid for her second Beverly D Stakes, having captured the extended nine-furlong prize last year.
Brant bought Sistercharlie following her success in the Group 3 Prix Penelope at Saint-Cloud in April 2017. Narrowly defeated by Senga in the Prix de Diane on her next start, the daughter of Myboycharlie was then sent to America to join Chad Brown.
Sistercharlie went from strength to strength in the US, landing the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes on her first start before adding the top-level events the Diana Stakes, Beverly D Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
She warmed up for the defence of her crown at Saratoga last month, with an impressive triumph in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes. Sistercharlie’s seven opponents on Saturday include the Aidan O’Brien-trained duo Fleeting and Magic Wand, as well as Awesometank from the William Haggas stable.
Arlington’s Saturday card also features two other Grade 1 contests, the Secretariat Stakes (1m) and the Arlington Million (10f). Adam Beschizza, who left Britain to ride in the US full-time at the end of 2017, has a potentially career-defining day with rides in both contests.
Beschizza, who was the leading jockey at Fair Grounds in 2018-19 with 78 winners, will first partner the Michael Stidham-trained The Last Zip in the Secretariat Stakes. The Last Zip warmed up with a second behind Faraway Kitten in the Grade 3 American Derby Stakes last time out.
Durham native Jack Sisterson provides Beschizza with his ride in the Arlington Million on Bandua, who was last seen winning the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap last month.
Beschizza is not the only former British-based jockey with a ride in the Arlington Million as Sophie Doyle, sister of Godolphin rider James Doyle, will partner the Naipaul Chatterpaul-trained Catcho En Die.
The field for the Arlington Million is headed by the Chad Brown-trained Bricks And Mortar, who has been the dominant force in the US turf division and made up for missing the majority of the 2018 season by posting four consecutive victories, three of those at Grade 1 level.
Whatever happens on Saturday evening, Bricks And Mortar’s future career has already been decided after Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai Farm in Japan secured the breeding rights to the son of Giant’s Causeway earlier this week.
Bricks And Mortar will face an international challenge from Aidan O’Brien’s Magic Wand and Hunting Horn, while Pivoine, representing King Power Racing and Andrew Balding, will bid to make the leap from handicap winner to Grade 1 hero.