Ever-improving Ziyad brings his top-tier talents to the Pattison Canadian International
TORONTO, October 12, 2019 – A four-year-old gelding of Rock of Gibraltar, Ziyad, the morning line favourite for Saturday’s Grade 1 $800,000 Pattison Canadian International, rolls into the turf classic full of feistiness, and in fine form.
Trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias for owner Wertheimer et Frere, Ziyad has reeled off back-to-back outstanding performances, one that left him just short of top prize, and one that sent him to the winner’s circle.
On June 30, in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud, the British-bred was passed late by Coronet in the 1 ½-mile turf event, losing by a scant neck to his rival.
One race later, on August 25 at Deauville, Ziyad prevailed by a half-length in the Group 2 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville, a 1 9/16-mile turf event that was contested over ‘firm’ going.
Now, the gelding will look to add his glowing record of 5-6-2 (from 16 starts) in his first venture outside of France.
“The horse is getting better,” started Laffon-Parias, a lifetime winner of 958 races. “We gelded him, and he keeps on improving with each of his races. We gave him the time after the Grand Prix in Deauville because there were not many races for him. The target was the Canadian International. After that race, we started to think about the International. Then we gave him a nice break. He looks quite fit for Saturday.”
Laffon-Parias, who will arrive in Toronto on Friday, is eager to see his rising star race over 1 ½-miles on the world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“He’s run everywhere – right-hand, left-hand – and he doesn’t mind what the track is. I don’t think this will be a problem for him.”
Ziyad’s competitive side on the turf is matched by an equally strong personality away from the races.
The temperament has served the consistent dark bay well over a career that began with a forgettable 11th-place finish at Saint-Cloud on September 21, 2017.
“He can definitely be like that (feisty),” said Laffon-Parias. “But he is a very good horse, and he is always improving.”
Laffon-Parias, Wertheimer et Frere, and Maxime Guyon could make Saturday even more memorable. The trio is represented by Platane in the Grade 1 $600,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes.
Tiz a Slam skips Pattison Canadian International
TORONTO, October 10, 2019 – The prospect of a Canadian-bred winning the Canadian International at Woodbine for the first time since Thornfield in 1999 was dashed when Tiz a Slam could not make his scheduled appearance on Saturday.
The son of Tiznow was being pointed to the $800,000 Grade 1 turf test but was not entered in the race on Wednesday.
“He was indicating that he’s got a bacterial infection,” said Roger Attfield, who trains the homebred five-year-old for Bob and Mark Krembil’s Chiefswood Stables Ltd. “To me, it’s not the right thing to do to run a horse like that in the first place, and you certainly don’t want to run a horse like him in a race like this, where he’s not going to be able to run his race properly and it’s maybe going to set him back a long way. He was going to have to run one of the better races of his life to be competitive. So, we had to walk away, unfortunately.
“It’s not going to be a very long thing, for sure. Probably in another four or five days he’s going to be perfect. But that doesn’t help us in this situation.”
Attfield said that a probable target for Tiz a Slam would be Aqueduct’s November 23 Red Smith Handicap, a 1 3/8-mile turf race, which offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $200,000.
Sister Peacock seeks to rule Ruling Angel
TORONTO, October 10, 2019 – Sister Peacock, a three-year-old daughter of Real Solution, goes after her fifth career win in Sunday’s $100,000 Ruling Angel Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Stuart Simon, who co-owns with Brent and Russell McLellan, the Kentucky-bred (Ken and Sarah Ramsey) brings a record of 4-3-2 in nine starts to the six-and-a-half furlong main track tilt, which has drawn 14 three-year-old filly hopefuls.
Sister Peacock heads into Sunday’s stake off a second-place effort in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes – also run at the same distance and on the same surface as the Ruling Angel – on September 21 at Woodbine.
Prior to that performance, the bay was third, just a neck back of top spot, in the Galway Stakes. Simon was pleased with the gumption the filly showed in the five-and-a-half furlong turf engagement at Saratoga on August 11.
“She’s doing great,” said Simon. “She ran a good race last time against a tough bunch of older mares. She’s in good order to run in here.”
Sister Peacock kicked off her three-year-old campaign with a pair of seconds at Gulfstream Park, including a narrow neck loss in the Mrs. Presidentress Stakes on February 18.
She then headed back to Woodbine for her next start, the six-furlong Star Shoot Stakes on April 21. Sent off as the 9-5 favourite, Sister Peacock won by 1 ¼-lengths to notch her first added-money title.
One race later, in the turf William Graham Memorial Stakes, she galloped to a 2 ¼-length triumph. It was the second time in her career that she won back-to-back races.
On July 20, she finished third over one mile on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen Stakes.
“It would have to be a unique circumstance for her not to be on the board,” offered Simon. “She’s gotten better in all ways. She doesn’t need the lead – she can rate. She’ll run on grass and on synthetic. She’s just become better and better, and matured as you’d like a horse to.”
Sister Peacock launched her career in style, taking her first two races by a combined 12 ½-lengths, including a seven-length romp in her second start last November.
Last year, Devine Mischief, under Luis Contreras, won the Ruling Angel in a time of 1:16.44.
The Ruling Angel is slated as race 11 on Saturday's 11-race card. First post time is 1:05 p.m. Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
$100,000 Ruling Angel Stakes
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Missmiz – Jerome Lermyte – Michael Stidham
2 – O’Keeffe – Jose Valdivia Jr. – Larry Rivelli
3 – Ciuri – Leo Salles – Robert Tiller
4 – Double Medal – Justin Stein – Michael De Paulo
5 – Sister Peacock – Jesse Campbell – Stuart Simon
6 – Western Curl – Eurico Rosa da Silva – Mark Casse
7 – Charmaine’s Mia – Steve Bahen – Michael McDonald
8 – Gamble’s Candy – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
9 – Ellby – Patrick Husbands – Arnaud Delacour
10 – Artilena – Kazushi Kimura – Catherine Day Phillips
11 – La Feve – Rafael Hernandez – Graham Motion
12 – Sister Nova – Gary Boulanger – Steve Asmussen
13 – My Gal Betty – Alan Garcia – Roger Attfield
14 – Regal Chant – Willie Martinez – Timothy Hamm
Stories courtesy Woodbine Communications