There is plenty of European interest in the two big turf stakes in Canada this weekend. Toronto’s Woodbine hosts two Grade 1 races on Sunday. Aidan O’Brien has the 5/2 morning line favourite Idaho in the 1 1/2 mile Canadian International. Fifth in this race last year, Idaho has only won once this year, the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was eighth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in his last start. Ryan Moore rides.
Second choice at 7/2 is last year’s 12/1 surprise winner Erupt. Ex-French, he is now with Graham Motion in America. He has not won in four starts since. However, he could be building up to another good effort. Third choice is Ralph Beckett’s Chemical Charge with Oisin Murphy riding. While he is a very consistent performer, this will be his first step up to Grade 1 company.
Woodbine Grade 1 E P Taylor
The Grade 1 E P Taylor, for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles, also has three European runners.
Nezwaah is the 5/2 morning line favourite. She won the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh and was fourth behind Enable in the Yorkshire Oaks.
Blond Me, at 6/1 and trained by Andrew Balding, was second to Winter in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes. She finished eleventh in the Prix Vermeille in her last start.
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore team up again with the only three-year-old in the field, Rain Goddess, who was second to Nezwaah in the Pretty Polly and second to Enable in the Irish Oaks. She was eighth in the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington in August.
The choice here is Rainha De Bateria, a course and distance winner in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes in July. Last time out she was fourth in the Beverly D. Chad Brown trains and Julien Leparoux rides.
Also at Woodbine, Charlie Hills trains the favourite for the Group 2 Nearctic over six furlongs. Cotai Glory was third in the Nunthorpe at York but hasn’t won since September of last year.