Connections of Desert Encounter could set their sights on a third Pattison Canadian International success next year after the seven-year-old triumphed again at Woodbine on Saturday night.
Desert Encounter was a length winner of the Grade One heat last year, when beating fellow British raider Thundering Blue, and had half a length to spare on this occasion over German runner Alounak.
The David Simcock-trained gelding was registering a fourth win on the bounce after Group Three wins at Goodwood, Windsor and Newbury, and his team see no reason why Desert Encounter cannot bid to emulate Joshua Tree, who is the only triple winner of the 12-furlong race to date.
Philip Robinson, racing manager for owner Abdulla Al Mansoori, told www.woodbine.com: “It would be lovely (to return in 2020). I dare say if he’s still a happy horse like he is now, for sure, he’ll be back. He enjoys it here, why not?
“The last three or four races he’s just never stopped improving, he’s still improving. You expect it maybe from a four- or five-year-old but I think mentally he’s improving so much.
“He’s enjoying his racing – he’s just in a very happy place (at) this moment.”
Andrew Balding’s Pivoine also contested the International, but had to settle for fourth, while Joseph O’Brien’s Red Tea was out of the frame in the EP Taylor Stakes.