The Gunners went nine years without silverware, but have won the FA Cup for the past two seasons, and their early form in the league suggests they will challenge for the title this term. “In Spain it is difficult to ever think of a manager managing for 20 years,” said Flores. “We live in another philosophy. We think in another philosophy. Sometimes in Spain we don’t wait until the end of the season to change.” Indeed, the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez is the 18th different manager at Real Madrid since Wenger took over at Arsenal. Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge at Manchester United for 27 years before he retired in 2013. “What Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger did is very difficult to match in other countries, it is impossible,” Flores added. “In other countries it is completely different. Times changes but it is very difficult for other managers. “This is the first time I’ve faced Arsene Wenger. I respect him, the English league is like the Spanish league, we have high respect for this type of manager. He has experience and we have respect.” Watford have taken a healthy 10 points from their opening eight fixtures on their return to England’s top flight, and key to their early-season stability has been the goalscoring form of Odion Ighalo. The 26-year-old Nigeria international has scored five times this term which has taken his tally for the calendar year to 21. No other player in England has scored more times in 2015. Flores will go head-to-head with Wenger for the first time in his career on Saturday evening as Watford play host to Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League. Wenger, whose side are second in the table ahead of the clash, is set to celebrate his 20th anniversary at the club next year. In that period, Arsenal have won the title on three occasions, the last coming back in 2004. Press Association Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores believes Arsene Wenger’s 19-year managerial tenure at Arsenal would be impossible to replicate in his native Spain. Ighalo, who has been nominated for September’s Player of the Month prize, turned down a big-money move to China over the summer, and signed a five-year deal to remain at Vicarage Road earlier this season. But that is unlikely to dampen the enthusiasm of any potential suitors he may have in the January transfer window, particularly if he keeps finding the back of the net. Flores, however, is not concerned. He said: “I’m not scared about Ighalo. I’m happy with him and not thinking about what might happen in the winter market. He had the chance to go out in the summer but decided to stay here and that was an amazing decision. “When a player plays well the value changes to buy him. But we now think Ighalo is our most important player, he is very happy and can play in different positions.”
BRILL, CARRESSA, KEEPER OFTHE STARS & SUPER PATRIOT ALL PROMINENT IN MONDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 MEGAHERTZ STAKES AT ONE MILE ON TURF ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2020)–A recent stakes winner over the course, OXO Equine’s Brill heads a solid field of eight fillies and mares going one mile on turf in Monday’s Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita.Trained by Don Chatlos, Brill sped to an impressive gate to wire victory in the one mile turf Lady of Shamrock Stakes on opening day, Dec. 28, which was her first-ever try on grass.In a very competitive lineup, trainer John Shirreffs’ Carressa, a lightly raced 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo, has been idle since daylighting allowance foes at one mile on dirt Nov. 22 and appears ready for her first stakes assignment, which will also be her first try on turf.Runner-up as the 6-5 favorite to Brill in the Lady of Shamrock, Keeper Ofthe Stars, a winner of the Grade III Autumn Miss Stakes over the course three starts back rates a huge chance for trainer Jonathon Wong and California-bred Super Patriot, who comes off a nose defeat in the one mile turf Kathryn Crosby Stakes Nov. 8 at Del Mar, rates a big chance as well.BRILLOwner: OXO Equine, LLCTrainer: Don ChatlosA $1 million 2-year-old in training sale purchase in 2017, Brill, although twice graded stakes placed, appears poised to garner her first graded victory in what will be her ninth career start. Off at 7-2 in the eight-horse Lady of Shamrock, Brill bounded to early lead when ridden for the first time by Mike Smith and won well within herself. Her biggest concern early could be Carressa, who employed similar tactics in her allowance win on dirt.CARRESSAOwner: Mercedes Stables, LLC & West Point ThoroughbredsTrainer: John ShirreffsWell beaten in a pair of main track sprints this past spring, she resurfaced on Aug. 22, 2019 at Del Mar and was a galloping 4 ¼ length maiden winner at odds of 5-1 in what was her third career start. Second in her next start, a one mile allowance her Oct. 6, Carressa then pressed the pace and took charge heading down the backside en route to a smashing 8 ¼ length one mile allowance tally on Nov. 22 at Del Mar. With a Megahertz-best last out Beyer Speed figure of 90 in hand, Carressa, who will be making her sixth career start, could be extremely tough in her first try on turf.KEEPER OFTHE STARSOwner: Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLCTrainer: Jonathan WongAttentive to the pace throughout, Keeper ofthe Stars was second, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Brill on opening day with no apparent excuses as the favorite. Favored in three out of her last four races and a winner of two of them, the 4-year-old filly by Midnight Lute has proven most effective when she’s allowed to ramble on the front end, which could prove problematic with several front-running fillies engaged.SUPER PATRIOTOwner: Little Red Feather Racing, Peskoff or Salvatore, et alTrainer: Richard BaltasA 5-year-old California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat, she comes off a desperate nose defeat in the one mile turf Kathryn Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 8, a race in which she rallied from far off the early pace. Claimed five starts back for $35,000 on June 8, Super Patriot, who will be making her first graded stakes start, could be the beneficiary of rapid early pace on Monday.THE GRADE III MEGAHERTZ STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 8 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PTCarressa–Victor Espinoza–120Take These Chains–Umberto Rispoli–120Keeper ofthe Stars–Abel Cedillo–124Tonahutu–Andrea Atzeni–120Streak of Luck–Jose Valdivia, Jr.–120Brill–Mike Smith–122La Sardane–Flavien Prat–120Super Patriot–Joel Rosario–120 First post time for an eight-race card on Monday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.