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Simcock hails Desert Encounter as 'the ideal horse to own' after Canada double

He's been round the world several times over and already given connections a wealth of memories but Desert Encounter continues to sparkle at the age of seven. 

In repeating last season's win in the Pattinson Canadian International at Woodbine on Saturday, Abdulla Al Mansoori's seasoned campaigner passed the £1 million mark for career earnings. 

Desert Encounter was completing a four-timer which started back at Goodwood in August when defeating Mirage Dancer, while his three most recent British victories matched or exceeded the highest domestic Racing Post Ratings of his career. 

His cosy half-length defeat of Alounak and Ziyad at Woodbine under Andrea Atzeni did not require him to match last year's rating in the same race, but trainer David Simcock was able to reflect on what has been another extremely satisfying campaign for the son of Halling.

"We’re delighted obviously," said Simcock on Sunday. "He's had a really good season and he's kept his form very well. It was a small but select field over there and beforehand I was very concerned about the French horse [Ziyad], but whether he ran below his best I don't know. It’s a race that fits in very well and which suits his criteria so we’re all very pleased."

Desert Encounter has beaten a total of 17 horses in his four most recent wins and, according to Simcock, thrives in conditions which would often count against a hold-up horse.

Key Statistic

Since the start of 2017, Desert Encounter has been out of the first three only twice in 12 races with a field of seven or fewer runners, winning five times.

"It's probably the scenario that has helped," said Simcock. "Small fields and a flat surface have been everything he wants. It doesn't matter whether or not there is pace on, it doesn't affect him. 

"He's fun and he has to dance some dances that he doesn't really like, but we have to do that every now and again. If you were ever to own a horse he is the ideal horse to own."

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