Jiggs Coz, third as the favorite in last year's Queen's Plate, returns to action after a 10 1/2-month layoff for trainer Sid Attard in the $150,000 Connaught Cup (Can-III) on the Woodbine turf course May 25.
The 4-year-old Cozzene colt, owned by Jim Dandy Stable, has not been out since finishing second as the choice in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown series, Fort Erie's Prince of Wales Stakes last July.
Regular pilot David Clark is aboard for the Ontario-bred gray's first grass start since winning his maiden debut effort at 6 1/2 furlongs on the Woodbine lawn in October 2006. Jiggs Coz breaks from the post 3 and will carry co-high weight of 119 pounds while facing 10 older rivals.
Jiggs Coz posted three consecutive wins leading into last year's Queen's Plate, including victories in the Queenston and Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the Queen's Plate, Jiggs Coz ran close to the leaders before losing his punch in the lane, finishing less than two lengths behind the fast-closing winner Mike Fox. Jiggs Coz has not been worse than third in seven lifetime starts, with four victories and earnings of $490,725.
Just to his inside is the rejuvenated 8-year-old gelding Moonshine Hall, a former claiming horse who steps up out allowance ranks after four consecutive wins for trainer Mark Casse. Melnyk Racing Stables owns the chestnut son of Spinning World, an eight-time winner in 26 starts.
Shillelagh Slew, winner of the 2006 Prince of Wales Stakes via disqualification, returns after being on the sidelines since July 1. The Michael De Paulo trainee failed to finish in the money in four starts last year and has not been to the winner's circle since a 7 1/2-length triumph in the 2006 Canadian Derby (Can-III).
Sam-Son Farms' homebred French Beret, another classy veteran trained by Mark Frostad, won the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. III) on the Fair Grounds lawn in January and was beaten just one length by Proudinsky in the Munoz Handicap (gr. II) on yielding ground over the New Orleans track two months later. The 5-year-old Broad Brush gelding comes off a solid third against a strong allowance field at Keeneland April 12.
Farish and Farish's Royal Oath makes his North American debut for John Gosden. The Royal Hunt Cup winner at one mile at Ascot last June spent the early part of the 2008 season at Nad al Sheba, where the 5-year-old Kingmambo horse recorded a second and a fifth in a pair of group II events.
Society's Chairman, 5-year-old Ontario-bred horse by Not Impossible who did not make his debut until March 8, won his first two starts for trainer Roger Attfield and steps way up here for owner Charles Fipke.
$150,000 Connaught Cup Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:36 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Good and Lucky (FL), 117, Emile Ramsammy
2. Moonshine Hall (KY), 117, Emma-Jayne Wilson
3. Jiggs Coz (ON), 119, David Clark
4. Shillelagh Slew (PQ), 117, Jerry Baird
5. French Beret (ON), 119, Robert C. Landry
6. Society's Chairman (ON), 117, Jono C. Jones
7. Artie Hot (KY), 119, Eurico Rosa Da Silva
8. Royal Oath (KY), 119, Patrick Husbands
9. Rahy's Attorney (ON), 121, Slade Callaghan
10. Skipped Bail (ON), 117, Tyler Pizarro
11. Touched by Madness (FL), 117, James McAleney