When it came to this year’s renewal of the Pattison Canadian International, it was a simple case of the ‘Moore’ the merrier. There was no need for a photo finish in the 2015 edition of the International, the Grade 1, 1 ½-mile fall turf classic contested Oct. 18 over Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Cannock Chase, under jockey Ryan Moore, took all the spoils courtesy of a 1 ½-length triumph, an impressive victory that delivered the jockey another memorable win and a place in the record books.
“I’m very lucky,” said Moore. “I get to ride very good horses. It worked out well today. I thought this horse was impressive. As soon as he got a bit of room, he quickened. He won easy.”
With one of the best jockeys on the planet at the controls, the outcome was anything but a surprise.
The International coronation marked a record-breaking third straight score in the event for Moore, who also partnered Joshua Tree in 2013 and Hillstar in 2014, the first rider to accomplish the feat since the race became a turf staple in 1958. It was also the third International win for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, following champion Singspiel in 1996 and last year with Hillstar.
Cannock Chase stopped the teletimer in 2:29.26 over ‘good’ ground. Cannock Chase bested Sam-Son Farm’s homebred Up With the Birds, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2013, now trained by Graham Motion.
Sheikhzayedroad, after a slow start, rallied for show honours, a length behind Up With the Birds, as both he and the winner raced in the silks of Rabbah Bloodstock LLC. Canadian-bred Kaigun, who engaged the leaders in early stretch, finished a half-length back in fourth.
A four-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Lemon Drop Kid, Cannock Chase was well back in the early stages. It was Triple Threat and jockey Joel Rosario that took to the front and put up fractions of :25.41, :50.95, 1:16.54 and 1:41.46.
Triple Threat was still calling the shots as the field turned for home, but his rivals were looming. Up With the Birds, with jockey John Velazquez in the irons, was seeking to become the first Canadian-bred since Thornfield in 1999 to win the International and appeared to momentarily take the advantage in mid-stretch. But Cannock Chase and Moore were able to find daylight and charged down the middle, eventually putting their rivals away and putting the winner’s share of $600,000 in their connection’s coffers.
“He had a good turn of foot today. He’s a good horse at this distance,” said Rabbah racing manager Bruce Raymond. “Ryan Moore, he’s the best. We’re lucky to have him.”
Less than an hour before his International win, Moore teamed with Curvy to take the E.P. Taylor Stakes.
The last jockey to win both the E.P. Taylor and Canadian International in the same year was Gary Stevens in 1998, who rode Zomaradah in the E.P. Taylor and Royal Anthem in the International.
Cannock Chase earned $600,000 for the score, his first Grade/Group 1 and his fifth victory in 10 career starts, to edge his bankroll close to $800,000. He is the 28th four-year-old to win the race and it was also the 28th time a U.S.-bred had made the trip to the winner’s circle.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Hall of Famer John Velazquez, in reference to Up With the Birds. “He tipped out and he was running so well that I thought they’re really going to have to run hard to beat him. He was absolutely rolling down the lane. He ran so well today.”
“I had a wall of horses in front of me going around the bend so I had to switch wide, which is never ideal, but he galloped all the way to the line,” noted jockey Martin Lane, aboard Sheikhzayedroad. “He was game, as he always is. He ran a very good race. With a bit further, we might have got second, but looking at the winner, that’s the best we could have done on the day.”
For Moore, a patient hand led to a perfectly-timed run, seizing the opportunity to cut to the ‘Chase,’ and in doing so, putting himself into the International record books.