10/21/2006 11:00PM

Collier Hill captures Canadian International


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - World traveler Collier Hill fended off New York invader Go Deputy in the final strides to capture the Grade 1, $2 million Canadian International at Woodbine Sunday.

Collier Hill, an 8-year-old gelding based in England, raced in second throughout most of the mile and a half grass race, as Last Answer set fractions of :26.86, :52.95 and 1:19.06 over a very soft course.

Collier Hill hit the front inside the quarter pole, and opened up a clear lead in mid-stretch. Go Deputy closed strongly in the final furlong, but Collier Hill held his ground and prevailed by nose, with Sky Conqueror another three and a half lengths back in third.

Favored Kastoria finished eighth in the 10-horse field.

"This horse is such a battler," said jockey Dean McKeown, who rode Collier Hill for trainer Alan Swinbank. "Two strides before the line, Go Deputy actually put his nose in front, but my horse doesn't know defeat. He's been all over the world, and he's won everywhere. He's a very talented horse, who doesn't get the recognition he deserves."

Collier Hill returned $23.50 to win, and completed the distance in 2:37.34. He earned $1.2 million for the partnership of Russell Hall, David Abell and Richard Crowe.

* Arravale established herself as the frontrunner for Canadian Horse of the Year honors by winning her second Grade 1 stakes this year in Sunday's $1 million E.P. Taylor. With Jose Valdivia aboard, Arravale saved ground in the mile and a quarter turf event, while racing about three lengths off the lead. After awaiting room on the far turn, she split horses at the quarter pole en route to a one-length score, in a time of 2:10.34.

Valdivia also rode Arravale when she captured the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August. "She was so relaxed, and I had so much horse underneath me," said Valdivia. "I know how long the stretch is here, and I was never worried. When I called on her, she had an unbelievable turn of foot over the soft going. It just goes to show you what a great filly she is."

Barancella finished a neck ahead of Naissance Royale in second, and favored Red Bloom was a troubled sixth. Live Life trailed the 10-horse field of fillies and mares, after setting the pace.

Arravale ($11.50) banked $600,000 for owner Robert Costigan and trainer Mac Benson.

* Favored Fast Parade ($6.70) won Sunday's other turf stakes, the $502,800

Nearctic, by three-quarters of a lengths over In Summation.

Fast Parade, a California-based 3-year-old trained by Peter Miller, ran six furlongs in 1:12.41 under Patrick Valenzuela.