American trainer Kenny McPeek is looking forward to saddling his first runner in tomorrow's Investec Oaks courtesy of Daddys Lil Darling.
The three-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy finished a creditable second in the nine-furlong Longines Kentucky Oaks on dirt at Churchill Downs, USA, earlier this month and arrived in England last Thursday (May 25) ahead of a tilt at the 12-furlong fillies' Classic on turf at Epsom Downs.
McPeek's charge initially stayed at Jim Boyle's yard in Epsom before moving to the racecourse stables and the 17-time Grade One winning trainer has been delighted with how the filly has settled into her new surroundings.
He said: "She arrived in England last week and I have been really happy with her. She did a nice gallop round the track on Friday and then went up to the Heath on Saturday for a bit of work. She has had a quiet routine which has included lots of trotting and walking round the parade ring.
"She is in great form and is ready for this. She's been doing everything fantastically well and even before she came here, she did a great piece of work in America and is looking really big and strong. I couldn't have her any better."
The Normandy Farm-owned filly has only run once on turf when sixth in the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs on March 11, but McPeek has no concerns surrounding the surface or indeed the step up in trip to 12 furlongs.
He continued: "She should have no problem with the mile and a half distance. She was staying on nicely in the Kentucky Oaks last time as she was caught quite far back that day.
"She was continuing to come all the way to the line that day and she had to come through plenty of traffic so hopefully if they go a slightly slower pace early in this race; that should really suit her.
"We are trying to win a Group One event with her but there is just nothing in the States beyond a mile for her to run in so we've decided to come here.
"I've got her as ready as I can and, whilst she has only raced once on turf, I think she will handle it and hopefully the good ground should not be an issue.
"The one question mark is we have no idea how she will run up against some nice British fillies. You never know how much of a difference in class there is between the American fillies and the British but let's put it this way, I'm not concerned about them. I think my filly has a major chance and she could surprise a few people."
Daddys Lil Darling is priced at 33/1 with Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival.
Regarding the decision to send the US-bred filly to Epsom, McPeek remarked: "To have a runner in the Oaks or Derby at Epsom has been something I've always wanted to do.
"This filly has developed really well and got better with age and I'm just delighted we've been able to bring her over."
The American handler has procured the services of top-class French jockey Olivier Peslier to ride the filly and he added: "Olivier is a great jockey and I will leave the riding plans up to him.
"I've got her as ready for this as I can so hopefully she runs well."