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Breeders’ Cup not on Agenda for Canadian International Hero, Joshua


10/19/12 - Marco Botti’s smart middle-distance campaigner, Joshua Tree, will almost certainly not go to Santa Anita on November 3 to bid for the Breeders’ Cup Turf, despite a second win in three years in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine at the weekend, writes Elliot Slater.

Many observers had expected Botti to nominate the hugely valuable Breeders’ Cup race as the next stop for the Frankie Dettori-ridden winner, as the horse qualified automatically for the showcase fixture through the ‘Win and You’re In’ system attributed to winners of major international races.

But the Italian-born handler is of the opinion that his charge needs a break, after holding on grimly in the closing stages of the Toronto contest from old stager, Dandino, crossing the line with a half-length advantage to claim the £569,000 first prize in similar fashion to his win over Mores Wells in the same race in 2010.

The five-year-old son of Montjeu, originally trained by Aidan O’Brien before having a spell in Dubai with Ibrahim Al Malki, joined Botti in July last year and was soon showing smart form at tracks around Europe and back in the UAE where he ran second to Opinion Poll over two miles in the Dubai Gold Cup in March.

Runner-up to Fiorente in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July, Joshua Tree then travelled to France to land the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay by a length from Brigantin.

The horse then warmed up for the Canadian International with a very close third in a typically muddling race at Longchamp last month for the Group 2 Qatar Prix Foy, won by eventual Arc de Triomphe second, Orfevre.

Horse bet trading outlets are now focusing attention on the Japan Cup later in November, a contest that gives the winner of close to £2 million in career prize money an extra few weeks break after his Canadian heroics.

Also coming up on the horse-racing calendar: the big race at Haydock is scheduled to get underway in November. Check out the Betfair Chase betting tips for the latest odds and news for the entrants.

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