EARLY LOOK AT THE PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL (12)
Horse / Owner / Trainer / Jockey
Bullards Alley – Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins – Tim Glyshaw – Eurico Rosa da Silva
Can’thelpbelieving (IRE) – Albert Frassetto – H. Graham Motion – TBA
Chemical Charge (IRE) – Qatar Racing Limited – Ralph Beckett – Oisin Murphy
Enterprising – Maxis Stable – Michael J. Maker – Rafael Hernandez
Erupt (IRE) – Flaxman Holdings, Ltd. – H. Graham Motion – TBA
Flamboyant (FR) – David Bienstock and Charles Winner – Patrick Gallagher – Brice Blanc
Hunter O’Riley – Shay, Sean and Ryan, Michael J. – James J. Toner – TBA
Johnny Bear – Colebrook Farms and Bear Stables, Ltd. – Ashlee Brnjas – Luis Contreras
Messi (GER) – Gestut Brummerhof – H. Graham Motion – TBA
Oscar Nominated – Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey – Michael J. Maker – Julien Leparoux
Postulation – Runnymede Racing LLC – Edward L. Graham – TBA
Seeking Albert – Robert Marzilli – Michael P. De Paulo – David Moran
CHEMICAL CHARGE SEEKING GRADE 1 STATUS
European shippers have dominated the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International in recent years, winning the last six runnings.
Next Sunday, it will be up to Chemical Charge to extend that streak in the $800,000, 1 ½ mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward. And while he may lack the high profile of some of his successful predecessors his trainer, Ralph Beckett, speaks well of his 5-year-old horse and believes he will not be out of his element.
“This program was always what I was keen on,” said Ralph Beckett, who had sent out Chemical Charge to win over 1 ½ miles of Polytrack at Kempton for his last start on Sept. 9.
“I felt that if he won at Kempton, he should go to Woodbine,” said Beckett. ”He’s always acted well on Polytrack and I felt the race would be a good fit for him, especially with it being five weeks between there and Woodbine.”
Chemical Charge also has run very well on turf this year, finishing second in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free and third behind dual Group 2 winner Idaho in the Hardwicke at Ascot.
“He ran a very good race at Royal Ascot, and I think he’s improved since then,” said Beckett.
The trainer, in fact, had very high hopes for Chemical Charge when the horse won his first two outings as a 2-year-old.
“I thought if he was not the second coming, then he was going to be very good,” said Beckett.
But Chemical Charge had come out of his second victory with a knee injury which sidelined him for his entire 3-year-old season and then finished second in each of his five starts in 2016, including three for trainer Joe Lyons in Ireland.
Beckett has been to Woodbine just once before, sending out his Epsom Oaks winner Look Here to finish seventh in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor in what was the final start of her career.
Oisin Murphy, who is Chemical Charge’s regular rider, has competed only once on this side of the pond, finishing fifth aboard Arod in last year’s Woodbine Mile. The trainer/jockey combo has enjoyed much success at home, including Group 2 wins with Simple Verse and Rich Legacy last year.
FLAMBOYANT LOOKS FOR A FABULOUS RESULT
A bay son of Peer Gynt, Flamboyant, a five-time winner from 29 starts, certainly knows how to provide a stylish upset.
Owned by David Bienstock and California Horse Racing Board chairman Chuck Winner, six-year-old Flamboyant, a lifetime earner of $833,403, tracked down Grade 1 winner Obviously late to spring a 46-1 shocker in last January’s Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita.
The French-bred gelding, who took the Grade 2 San Marcos (also at Santa Anita) after the San Gabriel score, has had some strong performances since then, but hasn’t made a return to the winner’s circle. His best results have been four thirds and a second.
“When he settles, he can fly home,” winning jockey Brice Blanc said of the San Gabriel victory. “I speak to him in French, so it must work.”
Said trainer Paddy Gallagher, “Maybe Brice speaks the same language. We gelded the horse, but ever since Brice has ridden him, he’s done everything right. So whatever language he speaks, it must be working.”
Could Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Course be the turf tonic Flamboyant needs to get back to his winning ways?
“The horse tried his best each time,” said Gallagher of the past three starts that yielded a second, fourth and most recently, a third, just three-quarters of a length behind the winner, in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on August 19. “We hope it is a good fit. We’ll see on Sunday.”
Flamboyant launched his career in France, earning a pair of wins, seconds and thirds in six starts, before a Santa Anita debut in April of 2014, a neck nod at 1 1/8-miles over firm ground.
His last 12 races have all been graded affairs.
“The horse has run well in some good races and he has been around for a long time,” offered Gallagher. “He arrived at Woodbine on Friday in the morning. So far, he seems good.”