Flaxman Holding’s Erupt was the surprise victor of Sunday’s Grade 1 Canadian International, living up to his name in the final eighth of a mile to burst clear of Dartmouth and win by a length at odds of 12-1. The 4-year-old son of Dubawi covered 1 1/2 miles in 2:32.37 over Woodbine’s firm turf course. Ridden by Stephane Pasquier, the colt was victorious on his first trip to North America for trainer Francis-Henri Graffard, and the International win is his first since July of his sophomore season.
As expected, World Approval was very sharp out of the starting gate. Dartmouth attempted to go with him, but was pulled off the leader to settle in second 1 1/2 lengths behind World Approval through very moderate fractions of :27.00, :54.07 and 1:19.84. The Pizza Man tracked the pacesetter patiently from third, while Erupt was settled in fourth on his outside. Race-favorite Idaho was well covered up behind horses in sixth early on.
Rounding the turn for home, Dartmouth made his challenge against World Approval, and took over the lead nearing the head of the lane. Taghleeb looked to be making a big move from the back of the pack but was forced six-wide. The Pizza Man was trapped behind horses briefly in the stretch, but Erupt showed a very impressive turn of foot to burst clear of Dartmouth in the final eighth of a mile. Erupt kept up his pace to maintain a one-length advantage over Dartmouth at the wire, with Wake Forest making up ground late to be third. The Pizza Man made a strong showing to finish fourth.
“I was right behind the leader and when I asked him, he gave a very good turn of foot,” said Pasquier. “I didn’t have to ask him so much. I was a bit worried about my draw number outside but voilà! When you have luck, it is easy to win.”
“I think, after winning a race like this, we definitely have to go there,” Pasquier said of the Breeders’ Cup.
Bred in Ireland by the Niarchos Family, Erupt is out of a Group 1-placed daughter of Caerleon. He began his career as a sophomore in France, recording four wins in a row to start off the season, culminating with a victory in the G1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris. Though Erupt had not won a race since then until the International, he gained experience in traveling, with a trip to Japan for the G1 Japan Cup resulting in a sixth-place finish. Most recently, the colt was third in the G2 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville in August. Erupt’s International victory brings his career record to five wins from 12 starts, with earnings of over $ 1.4 million.
Watch the race replay here:
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