down cross right results icon premium content video video hollow icon audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner arrow-down

Frankie goes to Canada! Dettori in the spotlight on rare return to Woodbine

Frankie Dettori: top rider has excelled at Woodbine in the past
1 of 1

Frankie Dettori is no stranger to big-race glory right around the globe, but he might need a tour guide when he touches down in Toronto for Saturday's Pattison Canadian International (10.35) on his first visit to Woodbine for nearly ten years.

Dettori has won Canada's flagship race three times, but not since Joshua Tree's victory in 2012 has he appeared in the country. He rides Walton Street who, like the world-famous rider's 2000 and 2004 winners Mutafaweq and Sulamani, races in the Godolphin blue.

Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "Walton Street is in great form. We were pleased with his run in Germany last time following a successful Dubai campaign. He looks a leading contender."

Desert Encounter: bids for another victory in the Canadian International

The David Simcock-trained Desert Encounter was denied a hat-trick bid last year when the pandemic meant the race did not take place, but he is back for more and aims to join Joshua Tree as a three-time winner.

"He seems in great order," said Simcock. "I was really pleased with his last run at Windsor at the end of August and hopefully that sets him up for this.

"I think his longevity and consistency is testament to him. He is a kind horse and very straightforward to deal with."

Paul Cole, now training in partnership with son Oliver, was a Canadian International winner with Snurge in 1992 and runs Duke Of Hazzard in the card's Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (11.12), in which Dettori partners Raging Bull for Chad Brown.

He is not the only top jockey making a trip to North America on Saturday as Ryan Moore will be in New York to ride Bolshoi Ballet in the 1m4f Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont Park.

Bolshoi Ballet heads back to Belmont Park seeking another big victory at the track

The one-time Derby hotpot was a Grade 1 winner at the track in July, but missed an engagement in the Prix Niel at Longchamp on Sunday because of a vaccine irregularity.

TJ Comerford, representing trainer Aidan O'Brien, said: "He won here two starts back and seemed to go around here over a shorter distance. His last start [at Saratoga] was a good experience for him. He's won here and has form here, so that’s always a big help.

"All of his wins this year were at a mile and a quarter, but he always steps up like a mile-and-a-half horse."

Moore will line up against a familiar opponent too, with Jamie Spencer picking up the ride on Godolphin's Yibir, an impressive winner of the Great Voltigeur Stakes at the Ebor festival last month.

"He has settled in well since travelling over and looks to have the best form over a mile and a half going into the race," Appleby said. "Belmont is a big galloping track, which should suit Yibir, and a repeat of his York run should make him the one to beat."

Appleby and Spencer also team up in the Jockey Club Oaks with Creative Flair, a Listed winner at Newbury this season.

Appleby added: "She shipped back to Newmarket after her third at Saratoga and returns following a short break. If she runs up to her best form, she should be very competitive."

Read more:

Frankie Dettori to ride at Bellewstown in race in memory of Barney Curley

Yibir defeats Leger candidates to set up million-dollar Belmont target

Saffron Beach puts on the style to leave Chapple-Hyam eyeing Canadian riches

Bolshoi Ballet 'very sore' as O'Brien points to hind leg nick after Derby flop

Over 50% off Racing Post Members' Club! Members' Club is the only subscription racing fans and punters need in order to stay informed and make smarter betting decisions. Features include early access to the Racing Post digital newspaper, exclusive news and interviews, premium tips and form study tools to assist with betting. Select 'Get Ultimate Monthly' and enter code TRYME to get your first month for just £14.99* – that's better than half price!

Subscribe now

If you decide that Members' Club is not for you, then you can cancel at anytime by contacting us.

*Members' Club Ultimate Monthly first month will be charged at £14.99, renews at full price thereafter

I think his longevity and consistency is testament to him. He is a kind horse and very straightforward to deal with
E.W. Terms