Report: Canada, Saturday
Woodbine (Toronto): Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
ROYAL ASCOT winner Tepin (Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux) extended her winning sequence to eight races with a decisive victory on her return to North American action in the $1 million Woodbine Mile.
After racing in perfect position just off the pace in fourth, the formidable five-year-old took command at the head of the stretch before comfortably holding the late run of locally trained longshot Tower Of Texas by a cosy half-length. But for a head a neck, Tepin’s unbeaten run would now stretch back two years and 13 races; she stopped the clock in 1m.34.13s.
The William Haggas-trained Mutakayyef, who was ridden by Dane O’Neill, did best of three European visitors in third without really landing a glove on the odds-on favourite, despite looking a danger a furlong out before his challenge stalled and he was nipped for second by a neck.
Perhaps the rain-softened ground didn’t help him on a track rated ‘good’; he looked as if a longer trip would suit him better in North America. Fellow British visitor Arod was fifth.
Sent off a fraction short of 1-2, Tepin may not have been spectacular but this was a solid display on her return to domestic action after a three-month layoff following her famous victory in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.
Owner Bob Masterson’s daughter of Bernstein, who has won 13 of her 21 career starts, may reappear at Keeneland next month before defending her Breeders’ Cup Mile crown at Santa Anita on November 5.
Also on Saturday
Woodbine (Toronto): Northern Dancer Turf (Grade 1) 1m4f, turf, 3yo+
Last year’s Arlington Million winner The Pizza Man (Roger Brueggemann/Flavien Prat) landed another big prize when getting the best of a three-way finish from fellow Grade 1 scorers Wake Forest and World Approval.
On rain-softened turf, Julien Leparoux was able to ‘walk the dog’ by setting a funereal pace on lone speed horse World Approval, which meant those closest to the front were clearly favoured.
Popular Chicago-based turf veteran The Pizza Man, who stalked the pace throughout, stuck his head between his rivals to score by a neck for his first victory of 2016.
Unsuited by the moderate fractions, the David Simcock-trained Majeed did well to claim fourth after racing at the rear and being asked to sprint home wide in the stretch.
Woodbine: Canadian Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+ f/m
A one-two for North America’s leading turf trainer Chad Brown, but not in the expected order as 9-2 chance Rainha Da Bateria (Julien Leparoux) just holds a late challenge from the favourite Dacita.
French-trained Steip Amach was never a factor, finishing fifth of seven in this $300,000 event, a ‘Win and You’re In’ Race for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, offering a guaranteed start in the Filly Mare Turf.
Belmont Park (USA): Sands Point Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, turf, 3yo fillies
Odds-on favourite On Leave (Shug McGaughey/Irad Ortiz) was left alone in the lead and never looked in danger of defeat after she sprinted to a clear lead in the straight to claim this $500,000 event. Irish-trained Diamond Fields came home nicely to take second place.
Churchill Downs (USA): Iroquois Stakes (Grade 3) 1m½f, dirt, 2yo
A hugely impressive performance from 9-5 favourite Not This Time (Dale Romans/Robby Albarado), a son of Giant’s Causeway who powered away from a field full of previous winners to score by nearly nine lengths at a muddy Churchill – and this after messing up the start. Surely the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile must be beckoning.
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