Trade Storm caps Grade 1 double for Simcock
Report: Canada, Sunday
Woodbine: Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
TRADE STORM put the seal on a fantastic night for David Simcock when he completed a Grade 1 double for the Newmarket trainer at Woodbine in Toronto following the success of stablemate Sheikhzayedroad a couple of hours earlier in the Northern Dancer Turf.
The European presence on one of Canada's showpiece cards consisted of just one trainer and two horses - and both of them scored in similar fashion, coming from well off the pace before being driven home.
While Martin Lane was at his strongest to win his first Group/Grade 1 on Sheikhzayedroad, it was Jamie Spencer who partnered Trade Storm to win the feature event, the Can$1 million (£555,000) Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
Qatar Racing's six-year-old had been third last year to none other than dual Breeders' Cup Mile winner Wise Dan but there was nothing os his calibre on show this time and Trade Storm took full advantage as he scored by a half-length over top domestic hope Kaigun with front-running Bobby's Kitten keeping on for third. The winner was returned a 9-2 chance on the local tote.
"He settled well off a strong pace," said Spencer, enjoying a lucrative success for his retaining stable before taking up his management position at the end of the season. "I felt confidence in the horse that he was always going to pick up," added the jockey.
Although Trade Storm hadn't won since March 2013, the attractive son of Trade Fair had run several good races against Europe's top milers. Although the rain got into ground described as 'good', on paper the shape of the race looked tailormade for the Simcock runner, with plenty of pace to shoot at under a 'Jamie Spencer special'.
So it proved as the horse missed a beat at the break - perhaps a deliberate manoeuvre - and settled towards the rear before easily making up ground as they turned into the long (by North American standards) Woodbine stretch and he was skilfully threaded through horses bySpencer.
"I've ridden the horse for the last 18 months," said Spencer. "Sheikh Fahad picked him out himself when he won in Dubai one night and bought him. He is reaping dividends now and he's won quite a bit of prize money in the last two years.
"Obviously the ground was a little softer than ideal for him but we didn't have Wise Dan to contend with so it looked a good spot for him. The trainer, he's brought two horses here tonight and both of them have won - it's a happy ending."
After claiming this Simcock nominated the Breeders' Cup Mile as a likely target after this 'Win-and-You're-In' contest, which offered an all-expenses-paid berth to Santa Anita.
"That's special, that one," said Simcock. "I mean they're both special but he's really one of my favourites of all time out of all the horses I've trained.
"It's been frustrating with him sometimes, but even when he gets beat I adore the horse massively, so it's a really special result. I think it is special for the jockey as well.
"He'll probably take up ‘the win and he's in' and go down to Santa Anita and enjoy himself and see how we get on. He'll get his fast ground, and a fairly strong pace, which suits.
"It will probably be a tougher race but he is in excellent order and he never disgraces himself. When there's a lot of pace into the race, he travels very strongly into it and he's got a nice pick up. All he needed was the gaps and he maneuvered his way through."
Also on Sunday
Woodbine: Northern Dancer Turf (Grade 1) 1m4f, turf, 3yo+
Sheikhzayedroad (David Simcock/Martin Lane) set up a memorable night for his stable with a hard-fought victory in this $300,000 contest - but not until he had survived a nail-biting stewards' inquiry.
Under a strong drive from Martin Lane, who was partnering his first winner at the top level, the five-year-old went through a gap on the rail before getting the better of Dynamic Sky and front-running Reporting Star.
But although Sheikhzayedroad was clear winner on merit, he drifted away from the rail in front of Reporting Star in the last couple of strides.
Reporting Star, whose rider lodged a claim of foul (objection) also brushed the runner-up Dynamic Sky, and while it was far too late to make the slightest bit of difference to the result, Canadian rules aren't the same as those in play in Britain, and the outcome was looking a touch iffy for the Newmarket visitor before the all-clear was announced after an agonising delay.
"He's gone to win real easy and he's probably got a length up," Lane explained. "But the wire is a little more daunting than it is back home and he just had a look at it and slowed down himself. It cost him more than anything."
Sheikhzayedroad, who was completing a hat-trick this term for owner-breeder Rabbah Bloodstock, was sent off 3-1 second favourite behind disappointing market leader The Pizza Man.
Settled in last off a surprisingly tepid pace in the early stages before making headway down the back straight, the British gelding was ridden to get into contention on the far turn and then fought his way to the lead inside the final furlong. The son of Dubawi, who did not run on Lasix, scored by a half-length over 24-1 shot Dynamic Sky.
"The race couldn't have worked out any better," said Lane. "He was able to come around the reins-side all the way and when we straightened up he picked up all the way to the line for me.
Simcock, who is now eyeing a return visit to the Canadian International on October 19, could reflect on an excellent piece of placing. "Really pleased, lovely race to win," said the trainer.
"He's a grand horse - not straightforward but he tries really hard. He has his quirks. He runs about a bit, but that's normal for him. He did a lot worse when he was a younger horse, I assure you, and he never wins by far. He thinks he's done enough once he's got there. He's terrific. He's a traveller. He loves going to different places, Dubai, here and he'll go elsewhere in the future."
Simcock added: "We've got an option of the International on the 19th. He's got an entry the same day at Ascot. I'll speak to his owner and decide where he is going. We'll either come back here or go to Ascot and then he'll go to Dubai and start his travels again."