10/14/2016 9:30AM

Idaho, Ryan Moore a formidable team in Canadian International

Michael Burns
Idaho, the 5-2 favorite, will try to give jockey Ryan Moore his fourth consecutive win in the Canadian International.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Is handicapping the Canadian International as easy as betting on Ryan Moore? The world-renowned jockey has captured the last three editions of the 12-furlong turf marathon and will ride 5-2 favorite Idaho on Sunday in the Grade 1 fixture at Woodbine.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, the 3-year-old Idaho ran two strong races in Group 1 classic company in June, finishing third in the Epsom Derby and second under Moore in the Irish Derby. Idaho was in contention early in the stretch when favored last time out in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster in England, but he stumbled and lost his rider about three furlongs from the finish.

“He took a bad step,” said assistant Kieran Murphy. “He just didn’t have any luck that day.”

The $1 million International heads a spectacular 11-race card that also includes three other stakes: the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, the Grade 2 Nearctic, and the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion.

Sunday’s nightcap will have a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi 5, which has a huge carryover of $464,321.

The late pick four, which encompasses the last four races, has a guaranteed pool of $250,000. A pick five with a $150,000 guarantee has been added to the card, starting on race 7.

The International and Taylor will be broadcast in Canada on TSN1 from 4:30-6 p.m. Eastern. Post time for the International, race 9, is 5:40.


Idaho, by Galileo

◗ O’Brien recently swept the top three positions in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with offspring of Galileo. He has won the Canadian International twice, most recently with Joshua Tree in 2010.

◗ Idaho will run on Lasix for the first time.

Dartmouth, by Dubawi

◗ Owned by the queen of England, the steady 4-year-old won the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in June. He subsequently ran third in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and was second following a short layoff most recently in the Group 3 Legacy Cup at Newbury.

“He’s a very straightforward horse,” said Kerry Jones, an assistant to trainer Michael Stoute, who has won the International three times. “He’s always stepped up and answered the questions. We gave him a break after Ascot, and he had the run at Newbury. That race has put him spot-on for this race. His favorite ground is good to firm. You can set him anywhere in a race.”

◗ Dartmouth will run on Lasix for the first time.

Protectionist, by Monsun

◗ The 2014 Melbourne Cup winner, he had an unproductive 2015 but is unbeaten in three starts this year. All three came in Germany, including a front-running score in a paceless Group 1 event in August.

“He’s in good shape again,” said trainer Andreas Wohler. “You can see he has his confidence back, and his efforts show that. We gave him an easy race to start the year, and he just kept on improving.”

Erupt, by Dubawi

◗ The France-based runner was the first among the European contingent to arrive on the scene last Saturday.

◗ He is winless against some formidable opposition this year, with his best finish a second in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in France in July. He won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in 2015.

The Pizza Man, by English Channel

Last 3 Beyers: 101-98-96

◗ Many had written off the 2015 Arlington Million winner before he took the local prep, the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf, over Wake Forest and pacemaker World Approval. That was his first start under rising star Flavien Prat.

“There was no pace,” Prat said of the Northern Dancer. “He was just comfortable near the lead, so that was fine for me. I was really happy the whole trip. When the leader picked it up turning for home, I thought I couldn’t catch him, but when [Wake Forest] came up on my outside, that helped me to pass him.”

Wake Forest, by Sir Percy

Last 3 Beyers: 101-93-100

◗ He saved ground until the stretch of the 12-furlong Northern Dancer Turf, rallying from fifth to lose by a neck. His only out-of-the-money finish in four starts this year was a 10th-place finish in the Grade 1 Arlington Million.

“We never came up with any excuse for him,” trainer Chad Brown said of the Arlington Million. “He just didn’t fire that day. Other than that, he’s been consistent for us.”

World Approval, by Northern Afleet

Last 3 Beyers: 101-97-105

◗ The Grade 1 winner set a dawdling pace in the Northern Dancer Turf under Julien Leparoux before giving way late to finish a close third.

◗ Leparoux rides World Approval back in the International. He won this year’s Queen’s Plate on Sir Dudley Digges and the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile aboard Tepin. A victory Sunday would give him a sweep of Woodbine’s three most important races.

◗ Perennial leading trainer Mark Casse has won all of Woodbine’s biggest stakes except for the International and the E.P. Taylor.