By Sid Fernando for CanadianInternational.com
TORONTO, October 14 – From a bloodstock standpoint, the G1 E.P. Taylor and G1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes, the ninth and 10th races on Woodbine’s Sunday card, feature the offspring of the two top sires of Europe, Galileo and Dubawi. The former represents Coolmore while the latter is the flagship horse for Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum’s Darley and Godolphin operations. Earlier this month at Tattersalls – the European equivalent of Keeneland – the two powerhouse stallions traded blows, within days, of having the highest-priced yearling in the world for 2017. Dubawi struck first, on the opening day of the sale, when a son of his was purchased for 2,600,000 guineas, approximately $3.6 million in U.S. dollars – at the time the highest price this year. A few days later, a Galileo filly brought 4,000,000 guineas, or about $5.5 million, to overtake the record.
The Dubawi colt was signed for by trainer Roger Varian, who trains the Dubawi filly Nezwaah in the E.P. Taylor. He also trained Dubawi’s multiple G1-winning son Postponed at five for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid al Maktoum, whom Varian was representing at Tattersalls when he fended off the Godolphin team to land the high-priced colt produced from Izzi Top. Sheikh Obaid, by the way, is the cousin of Sheikh Mohammed and figures prominently in the history of Dubawi, whom he “bred” in everything but name, out of his homebred mare Zomaradah – who won the E.P. Taylor in 1998 under Darley’s banner. Dubawi, of course, emerged from the only crop of Sheikh Mohammed’s beloved Dubai Millennium, and his rise to the top echelon of Europe’s sire ranks is a major accomplishment for Darley/Godolphin, which has otherwise suffered repeatedly at the hands of Coolmore’s Galileo.
Things will be different going forward. Sheikh Mohammed won the battle from Coolmore to buy the record Galileo filly, the first foal of Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Dank, at Tattersalls. Until this year, Sheikh Mohammed’s operations had stayed away from the produce of Coolmore sires as a matter of policy, but with the departure of John Ferguson – Sheikh Mohammed’s longtime right-hand man and buyer – that policy, for whatever reason, has changed.
What all of this means essentially is that Galileo and Dubawi are at the pinnacle of class and the objects of desire for racing performance on turf at 10-12 furlongs. It’s hard to look past their representatives in the two races Sunday, particularly with some cut in the ground.
The E.P. Taylor
1. Nezwaah, by Dubawi
2. Quidura, by Dubawi
3. Rain Goddess, by Galileo
The E.P. Taylor is at 10 furlongs, a distance squarely in the wheelhouse of the Galileos and Dubawis. The latter has two in the race and both are live on form. The aforementioned Nezwaah, bred by Darley but racing in the colours of Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum, won the G1 Pretty Polly Stakes over this distance two races back and is a winner of half of her 10 starts. Last year at three, she was seventh in this race but beaten only two lengths over a firm course. The Dubawis, like the Galileos, generally enjoy some cut in the ground, which may be the case on Sunday. Last time out, Nezwaah ran fourth, beaten less than six lengths by subsequent Arc winner and Europe’s top horse, the filly Enable, in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks at 12 furlongs. Nezwaah is the pick here to win.
Gestut Fahrhof’s homebred Quidura began her career with two starts in Germany but was developed in North America after she was sent here primarily to race on Lasix. Last out she won the G2 Canadian over firm going on this course at nine furlongs, and before that was only a head shy of Lady Eli in the G1 Diana, also at nine furlongs, at Saratoga. She has plenty of stamina in her German pedigree and will stay 10 furlongs with cut in the ground. She won the G3 Valley View at Keeneland earlier this year over a soft course.
Coolmore’s Rain Goddess, bred on the potent Galileo/Danehill cross, is only three but was second to Nezwaah in the Pretty Polly and to Enable in the G1 Darley Irish Oaks. Two races back, she won the G3 Snow Fairy on a soft course against her elders. She will relish a soft going.
Pattison Canadian International Stakes
1. Idaho, by Galileo
2. Erupt, by Dubawi
3. Chemical Charge, by Sea the Stars
The 12-furlong Pattison Canadian International is even better suited for the Galileos and Dubawis than the 10-furlong E.P. Taylor. In fact, they are the two best European sires at that trip, along with Galileo’s half-brother Sea the Stars – the sire of third pick, Chemical Charge.
Coolmore’s Idaho is, like Rain Goddess, bred on the Galileo/Danehill cross. Last year at three, he was third in the Epsom Derby and second in the Irish equivalent, and he stays the trip well. He was beaten the only two times he’s raced in North America, but put that down mostly to the firm courses he encountered in this race last year and in the G1 Sword Dancer this summer. He’ll need give in the ground, and if he gets it he’s the pick here.
Erupt is a homebred for Flaxman Holdings, and he won this race last year over a firm course. He’s actually better on firm ground, and it’s one reason he was transferred to Graham Motion to race in North America. He’s the pick if the ground is harder than Idaho can handle.
Qatar Racing’s Chemical Charge has won or placed in 12 of his 13 starts but the five-year-old only won his first black-type event last out, a G3 at Kempton on the all weather. Essentially, he was a handicap or G3 type in Europe, but three starts ago he did run within four lengths of Idaho in a G2 at Ascot, and he has since won his last two races. Nevertheless, he brings a staying pedigree to the table and the improving form lines of a horse coming into his own.
Sid Fernando is an internationally known pedigree writer whose work has
appeared in Daily Racing Form, Racing Post, Pacemaker, Thoroughbred
Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, North American Trainer, and various
other publications. He also is president of Werk Thoroughbred
Consultants, Inc., originator of the Werk Nick Rating and eNicks. He
blogs at Sid Fernando + Observations and is on Twitter at @sidfernando.