11.10.17

Chemical Charge bids for Canadian Gr. 1 glory

Chemical Charge will seek a hat-trick when he lines up in the Gr. 1 Canadian International at Woodbine on Sunday.

Chemical Charge has been one of the leading flagbearers for Qatar Racing this season as he's won three times, including a conditions race at Musselburgh and the Gr. 3 toteplacepot September Stakes at Kempton on his last two starts. He will attempt to give Ralph Beckett and Oisin Murphy a first Gr. 1 win as a combination when he takes on nine rivals in the Pattison Canadian International Stakes (23:10 GMT) over a mile and a half at Woodbine on Sunday evening.

Chemical Charge has been handed the widest stall, but he's a hold-up horse so hopefully it won't be to his disadvantage. The fast ground will certainly be in his favour and he's a thoroughly genuine horse. Oisin knows him very well, too - and Oisin could have already won on the card by the time he partners Chemical Charge as he will ride fellow British raiders Cotai Glory and Blond Me in earlier races.

Erupt won the Canadian International last year for trainer Francis-Henri Graffard and owner's The Niarchos Family, but current favourite for this year's renewal is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Idaho who finished fifth 12 months ago. Idaho won the Gr. 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, in which Chemical Charge was beaten a length and three quarters in third, and he bounced back to close to his best form when eighth in the Gr. 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe recently. Leading the North American defense is Johnny Bear who beat the former Gr. 1 Coral-Eclipse winner Hawkbill when winning the Gr. 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine last month.

It could be a big few days for Qatar Racing as Special Purpose and True Valour contest Group races themselves at Newmarket on Friday, namely the Gr. 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes and Gr. 2 Challenge Stakes respectively, while Holy Cat tries something new stepped up in trip in the Listed Carlingford Stakes at Dundalk that evening.