, piloted by renowned jockey Frankie Dettori, made every
pole a winning one, taking Canada’s richest horse race, the Grade 1,
$1.5 million Pattison Canadian International, by a half-length over a
charging Dandino, Sunday at Woodbine.
It was a record-tying third International win for Dettori, who
previously scored with Mutafaweq in 2000 and Sulamani in 2004. Robert
Watson also won three Internationals, from 1942-44, but that was before
the event became a turf race in 1958.
It was also the second International win for Joshua Tree, who notched
the 2010 edition when trained by Aidan O’Brien, as he joined George
Royal (1965-66) and Majesty’s Prince (1982, 1984) as the only two-time
winners of the race since 1958. He entered as the field’s leading
money winner, with over $2.2 million and earned an additional $900,000
for his front-running effort on Sunday.
Last year, the Irish-bred finished second to longshot Sarah Lynx,
when conditioned by Marco Botti for new owners Khalid al Nabooda and
Kamel Albahou. This year, they returned for another crack and prevailed
in the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In event, which provided an
all-expenses paid berth to the BC Turf on November 3 at Santa Anita.
was always the plan, try to get to the front,” said an elated Dettori.
“I’m very happy after half a mile. I was able to dictate my own tempo.
When I kicked for home at the quarter pole, I knew I had plenty of horse
left. Woodbine has been phenomenal for me. The E.P. Taylor (turf) has
been very lucky. I just love the place, love the people. It’s the best
turf track in North America, so for us Europeans it makes life a lot
easier. But also you need the horse that answers every call and he did
for me. I was able to set my own fractions, but when I asked him to
pick up, he did. He fought right to the line.”
Dettori sent Joshua Tree, a five-year-old son of Montjeu, right to
the front, posting early fractions of :25.52, :51.59 and a dawdling
1:17.17 for six furlongs, while being stalked by Air Support and
favoured Imperial Monarch.
After the mile was reached in 1:43.05 over a ‘good’ E.P. Taylor Turf
Course, the field turned for home and Joshua Tree quickly opened a
couple of lengths on his pursuers. But he needed all of it, as 25-1
shot Dandino and jockey Jim Crowley closed quickly down the centre,
overtaking the Roger Attfield-trained Forte Dei Marmi, an 8-1 shot, near
the wire by a half-length for second. It was another one and
one-quarter lengths back to fourth-place finisher, Wigmore Hall,
two-time winner of the Northern Dancer. The final time for the mile and
one-half was 2:30.89.
Joshua Tree had entered the International
off a solid third place finish in the Prix Foy at Longchamp on
September 16, when ridden for the first time by Dettori, behind Japan’s
Triple Crown winner and recent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up,
Orfevre. But he’s had a busy campaign, after beginning the season in
Dubai in February, and was making his 10th start of the year in the
“It was always the plan (to bring him back to
Woodbine one more time) and we are delighted for him that he won for
us,” said Lucie Botti, wife and assistant trainer for husband Marco.
“He is a great horse to us, very consistent. He’s just a superstar for
It marked the third year in a row that champion Montjeu had sired the
International winner, as Sarah Lynx is one of his daughters as well.
Joshua Tree remained the 11th different Irish-bred to win since 1958.
Jim Crowley, jockey of runner-up, Dandino, said he just missed winning the race.
ran a simply phenomenal race. Down the lane, he was always battling
back. He wouldn’t quit. I had a great trip. Another stride or two and I
think we could have won it.”
Sent postward a co-second choice (along with Reliable Man) to the 9-5
favourite Imperial Monarch, who faded to sixth, Joshua Tree paid
$10.70, $6.10 and $4.40, combining with Dandino ($20.80, $11.30) for a
$120.80 (8-2) exactor. An 8-2-3 (Forte Dei Marmi, $5.80) triactor was
worth $1,536.80, while a $1 superfecta [8-2-3-6 (Wigmore Hall)] returned