Simcock bids for repeat glory in Canada
Simcock won the Northern Dancer Turf in 2014 with Sheikhzayedroad
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos) Simcock bids for repeat glory in Canada By Nicholas Godfrey 12:15pM 17 SEP 2016
Preview: Canada, Saturday 10.34pm BST (live on ATR)
Woodbine (Toronto): Northern Dancer Turf (Grade 1) 1m4f, turf, 3yo+
NEWMARKET visitor Majeed (David Simcock/Jamie Spencer) faces a field full of leading North American turf horses as he bids to emulate stablemate Sheikhzayedroad with victory in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf.
Last week's Yorkshire Cup winner landed the $300,000 contest in 2014, setting up a memorable Grade 1 double on this card for his trainer completed by Trade Storm in the Woodbine Mile. Simcock also won that year's Nearctic Stakes with Caspar Netscher, although the Woodbine sprint highlight was then a Grade 2 event run on the Canadian International undercard before its move to Sunday night.
Khalifa Dasmal's Majeed, who gets first-time Lasix, earned his transatlantic trip when edged out by multiple Group-race winner Berkshire in last month's August Stakes at Windsor. Having scored on turf at Yarmouth in July, the six-year-old was third to Kings Fete in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood.
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"He's progressed," said Simcock's travelling head lad Ian Russell, who is making his seventh visit to Woodbine. "He's doing everything right at this time. David was quite keen to bring him here and he's won the Northern Dancer before."
Majeed's rivals include a pair of the best-loved turf horses on the continent in Big Blue Kitten (Chad Brown/Joel Rosario), a multiple Grade 1 scorer who was third in last year's Breeders' Cup turf, and the 2015 Arlington Million victor The Pizza Man (Roger Brueggemann/Flavien Prat).
Yet wlthough both veterans seem to have lost a step this term – indeed, neither has won in 2016 – they must concede 4lb to Majeed.
Top US turf trainer Chad Brown, who saddles Big Blue Kitten, also has Wake Forest (Irad Ortiz) in the line-up. Although only tenth when well fancied for the Arlington Million, the ex-German six-year-old won the Grade 1 Man o'War at Belmont in June.
He shares top-weight with fellow Grade 1 winner World Approval (Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux), who looks the only front-runner but still faces stamina questions.
No such concerns surround local hope Danish Dynaformer (Patrick Husbands), who scored over course and distance in July, while the three-year-old Camp Creek (Rafael Hernandez), who breaks from the rails, gets a lot of weight. On his most recent start, he landed a 26-1 upset to win the Breeders' Stakes, the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, over this track and trip.
Also on Saturday
Woodbine: Canadian Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+ f/m (9.30pm BST, live on ATR)
French-trained Steip Amach (David Smaga/Umberto Rispoli), third to Speedy Boarding in Group 1 company at Deauville last month, is the sole European contender for this $300,000 event. The four-year-old won the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes for former trainer Jim Bolger at Leopardstown in May.
She gets a handy 5lb from Dacita (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz), the last horse to beat Tepin in the Ballston Spa Stakes of 2015, who comes here off a Grade 1 victory in the Diana at Saratoga. Last year's winner Strut The Course (Barbara Minshall/Rafael Hernandez) defends her crown.
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