THUNDERING BLUE is an International favourite













Group 2 winner THUNDERING BLUE (photo) figures to be well bet in today’s 1 1/2 mile CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL, the 81st edition of the famous race.

This leggy grey who is by Exchange Rate from the unraced Forestry mare Relampago Azul has risen up the ranks in his home country of England. He finished 3rd in the Juddmonte International (G1) 2 starts ago and that race points to him as the top contender. He recently galloped to an easy win in Sweden in the Stockholm Cup.

His 3rd dam is by Canadian International winner ONE FOR ALL.

Not a favourite player? Another European in town is DESERT ENCOUNTER, who will be 1st time Lasix for trainer David Simcock, who has had plenty of success bringing horses to Canada. This hard working gelding has also tried to chase the likes of Poet’s Word (now retired star who was 2nd in the Juddmonte) and recently he was 3rd in a Group 3.

American trainer Chad Brown brings a pair, the speedy FUNTASTIC and the improving FOCUS GROUP. The former may try to push Canadian bred Tiz a Slam along but the latter, fresh off a 58 and change turf workout for Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, has won 2 graded races on turf this year in his coming out season.

JOHNNY BEAR and ENGLISH ILLUSION come out out the Grade 1 Northern Dancer (1st and 3rd) which featured a very hot pace. A rail skimming run by Johnny Bear would work well again in this tougher race as the inside part of the grass course has been saved for a month.

SPRING QUALITY would be favoured if his latest race was not on his page – a  38 length drubbing 2 weeks ago in the Turf Classic on soft turf.

The LATE PICK 5 (beginning on race 7) and LATE PICK 4 (race 8) include the three, graded turf stakes races:

RACE 7 – NEARCTIC – Grade 2..Improving and fast YORKTON  could ride the inside and do well if he can fend off fast filly LADY ALEXANDRA, who ran a big race at Woodbine when a close 2nd in the Highlander on Queen’s Plate day.

I have tried HOLDING GOLD again. He was recently scratched from a stake at Keeneland last weekend because of soft turf. He had a terrible trip in the Highlander.

RACE 8 -maiden 2-year-olds, wide open race with the experienced runners DUN DRUM, WILEY O’RIELLY and SUMMER RE – TREAT topping the tickets.

RACE 9  – CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL – leaning to Thundering Blue, Spring Quality, Desert Encounter and Mr. Bear.

RACE 10 – SHEIKHA REIKA for top Euro trainer Roger Varian and POLLARA for Chad Brown. The former is a top French filly, the latter has been working long and hard, head to head with Grade 1 winner Rushing Fall for this North American  debut.

RACE 11 – Low level fillies at 1 1/16 miles is a crapshoot. Check out Thoroughblog’s Woodbine picks for the top 5 selections.



David Menuisier couldn’t be happier with his stable star Thundering Blue as the popular five-year-old bids for a first Grade 1 success (10.41pm) on Saturday.
After finishing a career-best third to Roaring Lion and Poet’s Word in the Juddmonte International at York in August, Thundering Blue travelled to Sweden and landed a Group 3 comfortably under Fran Berry.
That was the first time Thundering Blue had gone abroad and it acted as an important learning curve for this trip to Canada.


KAZUSHI KIMURA wins 5, Woodbine apprentice making headlines


Toronto Ont October 12, 2018.Woodbine Racetrack.R5 Insider Trading (inside) Jockey Kazushi Kimura Woodbine/michael burns photo

Apprentice jockey Kazushi Kimura enjoyed one of the biggest days of his promising career with a five-win performance on Friday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.

Kimura kicked off the nine-race program with back-to-back wins for meet-leading trainer Norm McKnight aboard Reimagined ($3) and Gwendoline H ($2.80) then gave McKnight the triple later guiding Sweet Rhapsody ($3.20) to victory in the fourth race.

The talented teenage rider landed right back in the winner’s circle after the Ashlee Brnjas-trained two-year-old gelding Insider Trading ($36.10) won at first asking in the fifth race for red-hot owner Colebrook Farms, owned by John Brnjas.

Kimura then closed out the card with a final victory guiding Colebrook Farms’ homebred four-year-old filly Fabulist ($14.60) to a maiden-breaking win.

Kimura, who pulled off a 70-1 upset for his first win aboard Tornado Cat on June 9, currently ranks sixth in the 2018 Woodbine jockey standings with 48 wins from 324 starts, with his mounts earning in excess of $1.2 million in purses. Among his early career highlights, Kimura captured the OLG Muskoka Stakes on August 29 in rein to Speedy Soul.

Kimura joins Woodbine’s top three jockeys (Eurico Rosa Da Silva, Rafael Hernandez and Luis Contreras) as the only other riders to have won five races on a single card this year at Woodbine.

The NORM MCKNIGHT stable, which won a career best 99 races last year at Woodbine, is already at 93 wins this season to lead the trainer’s standings. McKnight has won 114 races in all in 2018. He had three winners in the first four races yesterday.




$12 MILLION TURF SPRINT in Australia


Police may have been called to the steps of the Opera House forecourt to monitor the protest of The Everest’s light show on Tuesday, but they were even busier keeping people away from the polarising race at Royal Randwick yesterday.

The event has unashamedly been dubbed “disruptive” and one which plays on power, greed and ego. Somehow, it’s working as the biggest crowd seen at Randwick this century battled the inclement conditions.

More on the Everest projections on the Sydney Opera House: