THE Barry Hills-trained Redwood landed a lucrative success in Toronto on Sunday when he won the Northern Dancer Turf at Woodbine under a brilliant ground-saving ride from Michael Hills.

Sent off 19-10 favourite on the local tote for the Can$750,000 contest, Khalid Abdullah's four-year-old hugged the inside rail after being slowly away from gate five in a nine-runner field.

The son of High Chaparral - not racing on anti-bleeder medication - was sent towards the inner, well off a tepid pace being set by outsider Fifty Proof and last year's winner Marsh Side.

After making up a few lengths on cutting the first corner, Redwood moved up comfortably on the back straight to sit just off the leaders, looking as if his rider just needed a hole to open up in front of him.

As if Hills was also pulling his strings, Fifty Proof obligingly moved a couple of widths off therail after turning for home to leave an inviting passage for Redwood, whose jockey needed no second asking.

Redwood kept on in determined fashion to score by a comfortable half-length from 25-1 chance Fifty Proof, who stayed on doggedly for second in front of Windward Islands. Both the second and third were locally trained.

Michael Hills had sounded confident beforehand about the chances of Redwood, runner-up in the Grand Prix de Deauville on his previous outing after a Grade 3 victory at Glorious Goodwood.

"They told me there was a fresh patch and I walked the course before," said the jockey. "I thought I would get over there if I could and when I got to the rail, it was lovely.

"I took the inside run and it was a perfect passage. We were given a nice lead and then the horse that led intothe straight came off the rail. I just told him, ‘Go do your thing'."

Speaking on ATR, Abdullah's racing manager Lord Grimthorpe said Redwood is now likely to head for either the Canadian International back at Woodbine on October 16 or the Breeders' Cup Turf.

"Obviously it is up to Prince Khalid but the horse travelled very well out there so providing he travels back all right the options are there," said Grimthorpe. "I doubt he would do both.

Grimthorpe added: "I think he might have been a bit more impressive if they had gone a bit faster, but the only worry really was whether he was going to get through.

"Barry's always been very keen on him, particularly in the last couple of months and his from is cast-iron. It was just a bit too soft in the Grand Prix de Deauville but he ran a really solid race."


The winner was hardly short of Irish links herself, however, having been bred in the country and formerly trained by John Oxx, for whom she won at Gowran and Down Royal in 2009.

Miss Keller was sent off at 8-5 for the $300,000 event, just shading favouritism from the David Wachman-trained Latin Love, winner of a Curragh Listed race on her previous start in July.

Latin Love raced a couple of lengths off the pace before being produced to hit the front two furlongs out, only to be readily outpointed by Miss Keller, a four-year-old daughter of Montjeu who emerged from behind horses by Javier Castellano.

She wasted no time putting away her rival and went on to score by a length and three-quarters after a determined run up the rail, stopping the clock at 1m45.84s.

The first two finished well clear of the remainder.