California Chrome: America's horse lands in the UK

California dreaming: Racing superstar California Chrome arrives for first European race.

(CNN)The most famous horse in America will try his luck on Ascot's hallowed racing turf at June's royal meeting.

California Chrome -- named 2014 Horse of the Year in the U.S. after famous victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes -- has already arrived in the UK to prepare for the prestigious flat-racing event.
The four-year-old colt, dubbed the rock star of racing, is targeting a run in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17.
    The race might be 11 weeks away but California Chrome bedded down in England for the first night of his summer stay on Wednesday.
    His temporary home at Rae Guest Racing stables in Newmarket even fitted his stall with heat lamps to provide a little California sunshine.
    Ascot tweeted photographs of California Chrome at his new abode, explaining: "California Chrome has arrived in Newmarket ahead of his biggest challenge to date #RoyalAscot."
    Co-owner Perry Martin told Ascot's website: "We are grateful for the opportunity to race at Royal Ascot and hopeful that California Chrome can put up a good show. We're looking forward to the experience."
    California Chrome captured American hearts last year when he cantered to six straight victories, and came close to capturing the elusive Triple Crown.
    Having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes -- the first two legs -- he finished fourth in the finale, the Belmont Stakes.
    The daunting Triple Crown challenge squeezes three races into a five-week period, in an era when thoroughbreds normally run no more than once a month.
    California Chrome was bidding to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to achieve the ultimate feat in thoroughbred racing.
    After last season's rollercoaster racing rigors, he is now facing a new challenge on the international racing circuit.
    Entered as favorite for last week's Dubai World Cup -- the world's richest horse race -- he finished second to surprise winner Prince Bishop.
    Royal Ascot presents another step up for the American superstar. The meeting is the pinnacle of the British flat-racing season and California Chrome will once again race outside of his comfort zone.
    Calif. Chrome: Nag to Riches
    Calif. Chrome: Nag to Riches


      Calif. Chrome: Nag to Riches


    Calif. Chrome: Nag to Riches 02:20
    Ascot presents a rare outing on turf for the horse, who has raced 15 out of his 16 outings on dirt or synthetic surfaces.
    To help him acclimatize to the unpredictable conditions of British summertime, California Chrome has traveled straight from Dubai to the UK. He has also been entered for a warmup run at the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May.
    For British fans, this is a chance to see the flashy chestnut star of American racing in the flesh.
    For California Chrome, it's a chance to beat the best of British in their own backyard.