Boasting back-to-back scores in the $500,000, Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes, trainer Michael Bell notes that Wigmore Hall will be facing stiffer competition in the International.
Bell, who saddled Allied Powers to a seventh-place finish in the 2009 edition of the International believes a combination of ground and rider have combined in a perfect storm for both Wigmore Hall’s Canadian coups.
Following a slow start in the Northern Dancer, Wigmore Hall was relaxed into sixth position in the eight-horse field by Spencer, before moving up on the far turn and roused to challenge in the stretch run. With an eighth of a mile to run, Wigmore Hall had more than enough energy to hold off Al Khali to take the event.
"He's one of my favourites,” said Spencer, following the win. “He tries really hard."
Wigmore Hall was shipped home to England after his Northern Dancer score to prepare for the Pattison. Bell believes the $1.9-million earner should be in line for a peak performance in the 1 ½-mile stake.
“He looks in very good form,” said Bell. “He loves to travel and he's in very good shape.”
With a record of one win and a third through eight starts in his five-year-old season, including more than $600,000 in earnings, Wigmore Hall would appear to be improving with age.
“He's certainly not deteriorating,” offered Bell.