Canadian International contender Idaho gallops under exercise lad Ben Dalton for trainer Aiden O’Brien.
Aidan O’Brien will be represented in both the Pattison Canadian International and E.P. Taylor Stakes on Sunday with Idaho going in the 1 1/2-mile turf classic and Best In The World in the 1 1/4-mile test for fillies and mares.
Idaho, a three-year-old Galileo colt, is a full brother to the well-regarded Group 1 winner Highland Reel. He captured the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on August 17 and went into the Group 1 St. Leger at Doncaster as the race favourite only to stumble and unseat rider Seamie Heffernan.
“It looked like he clipped heels, but he didn’t. I think the horse thought he was going to clip, took a false step, and just unseated the rider. There were no ill effects whatsoever,” said Kiaran Murphy, assistant to O’Brien, who has travelled to Canada to oversee the final preparations ahead of Sunday’s lucrative card.
Murphy is particularly impressed with the quality of the E.P. Taylor field which boasts 13 fillies and mares.
“It’s a good race, there’s nothing soft here,” said Murphy. “I have plenty of respect for the opposition in this field.”
Both O’Brien horses went out to Woodbine’s Tapeta main track to train this morning.
Best In The World, a full sister to Arc winner Found, has turned heads since arriving in Canada. Found finished second to Almanzor early Saturday morning in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
“She’s the same type of filly in physique as Found,” noted Murphy of Best In The World. “She’s just recently won a Group 3 race and she’s a very decent filly.”
The O’Brien runners arrived at Woodbine on Wednesday and Murphy is pleased with how the duo is training into their events. The robust Idaho, in particular, would appear to be improving with each day.
“If he was asleep I’d be more worried. He gets fired up,” said Murphy. “The first day everything is brand new so obviously he’s going to be a bit starry eyed and looking at things. He was better the second day and today he was very good. We’re very happy with him. He’s doing very well.”
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