The 2002 Atto Mile has become truly international after Godolphin announced that their Group I winner, Noverre, will be making his next start at Woodbine in the $1 million event on Sunday, September 8.The 4-year-old Rahy colt, who is thought by some to be Europe's top older miler, is expected to arrive at Woodbine from England on Tuesday.Adrian Beaumont, International Racing Bureau's top observer on the British racing scene, said Noverre is a serious contender for the Atto Mile title."Noverre is the yardstick for British milers," Beaumont said. "He's a consistent horse, a top miler who is stepping back to his true trip after a try at (1 1/4 miles). I've looked at the horses expected to go in the (Atto Mile) and I don't think there's a horse in there who can beat him."Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor have not made a decision on who will ride the bay Sussex Stakes winner, but it is expected Frankie Dettori will get the call.Trainer Wally Dollase reported that 6-year-old Good Journey has lived up to his name, making the successful trip from his Hollywood Park base to Woodbine on Wednesday in preparation for the Atto Mile.The son of Nureyev, who recently won the Grade II
Firecracker Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs, is resting comfortably in Woodbine's Barn 22."He's doing really well," said Dollase. "He's as fresh as a daisy. He's got a great mind, he's very intelligent and does everything right. You never have to push him."
Owned by Flaxman Holdings Ltd. and Michael Jarvis, Good Journey has five wins in 12 career starts for earnings of $624,604. In nine North American starts, the Kentucky-bred has never finished worse than third."He'll have one work over the course to get him a feel for the turf," said Dollase. "He's coming up there in good condition. I like his chances." Pat Day, one of North America's most celebrated riders, is engaged to ride Good Journey.
The one-two Sam-Son punch of Quiet Resolve, winner of the 1999 Atto Mile, and 2001 Charley Barley and Toronto Cup champion Strut The Stage, will each rely on rallying runs to get the job done, according to trainer Mark Frostad.
"Both Quiet Resolve and Strut the Stage have similar running styles which is to come off the pace, so I don't think that (using one as a pacesetter) would be something that would happen."The two Sam-Son Farm horses will be uncoupled in wagering for the Atto Mile because of a rule which eliminates traditional coupled betting entries for races with a purse of $1 million or more.The rule affects three Thoroughbred races at Woodbine in 2002: the Queen's Plate (won by longshot T J's Lucky Moon), the Atto Mile and the Canadian International on September 29.