While the close of his 2015 campaign didn’t produce the desired result – a 10th-place finish in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International – Interpol handcuffed his rivals throughout the year, winning four races, two of which were graded stakes, accompanied by $348,286 in purse earnings.
“He just goes out there and enjoys himself and he does it so easy,” raved trainer Sid Attard.
He also happened to do it, on occasion, at long odds, against stout competition.
Under Emma-Jayne Wilson, Interpol won the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes at 21-1. The pair then teamed to take the Grade 1 Northern Dancer at 10-1.
Both were fantastic efforts, even more impressive when considering Interpol’s affinity for the green scene wasn’t always apparent.
Unraced as a juvenile, Interpol launched his career in 2014 on the turf for conditioner Graham Motion at Gulfstream Park, finishing eighth. His next two starts, one at Gulfstream, the other at Pimlico, yielded a pair of seventh-place results.
A move north, namely, Woodbine, gave indication the bay was rounding into form, after a fourth in a 1 1/16-mile maiden allowance over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in June of 2014.
After a runner-up performance, this time with Attard as the trainer, Interpol came up with an arresting performance in the Breeders’ Stakes, third jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown Series, when second. His next race, on September 20, in a 12-furlong maiden allowance, the curtain-closer in his sophomore campaign, was a winning effort.
The Ontario-bred launched his four-year-old season with another victory, on the Gulfstream turf, a 1 ½-length victory at 5-1.
“He was off six months from his maiden win and came right back to win and that showed me this horse was going to be okay,” said Attard.
Jesse Campbell guided Interpol through a trio of turf starts in the spring at Woodbine, including a win in a 1 1/8-mile optional claimer, but he injured his knee in a gate incident just before the Sky Classic Stakes, opening the door for Wilson to take the reins.
In the 1 1/4-mile Sky Classic, Interpol stalked the proceedings from third spot. Wilson found an opening three-wide late in the turn and with a powerful stretch drive, the duo took command late and fended off a sharp Golden Sabre.
In the 1 1/2-mile Northern Dancer, Interpol stalked Danish Dynaformer before seizing command as the field turned for home. Habibi, the only mare in the field, closed stoutly late, but Interpol hung tough to take the race by a half-length in 2:33.56 over a ‘yielding’ E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
It was a perfect example of the grit and determination the son of English Channel, owned by JMJ Racing Stable LLC, displayed throughout 2015.
While that race was close, that certainly wasn’t the case in Sovereign Award voting: Interpol bested his nearest rival by 80 points.