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Roger Attfield will chase Queen’s Plate history Sunday with the race favourite.
Danish Dynaformer, the 3-to-1 morning-line choice, is one of two horses Attfield will send postward for the 156th running of the $1-million race. Danish Dynaformer will break from the No. 7 post, two spots outside of Billy’s Star, a 15-to-1 long shot, in the 14-horse field at Woodbine Racetrack.
Attfield, 75, a native of Newbury, England, is an eight-time Queen’s Plate victor, tying him with Harry Giddings, Jr. for most titles by a trainer. Attfield’s last appearance in the Plate winner’s circle came in 2008 with Not Bourbon, and the resident of Nobleton, Ont., says he doesn’t lose sleep at night dreaming about a record-setting ninth victory.
“It’s just been an amazing run over the years, to win eight is just a dream,” Attfield said from the race draw Thursday. “And then this pesky guy in the 1900s won eight and now I’ve got to try to beat him."
“I don’t really think too much about it, if it happens it happens. As long as my horses just get to run their races and come back sound and healthy that’s fine with me. If we win it, that’s even better.”
Photography by Chris Young for The Globe and Mail
Groom Alfredo Ramos walks Billy's Star outside the barn.
Danish Dynaformer is taken to graze by hot walker Doug Gray. The horses are rested between training days.
Trainer Attfield rides on his pony as he speaks to jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva who will ride Billy's Star in the Plate as Luis Contreras rides alongside on Danish Dynaformer.
Billy's Star's groom Alfredo Ramos starts his day early to prepare the horses housed at Attfield's barn.
Billy's Star in the barn during a day off from training.
Patrick Husbands emerges on Danish Dynaformer as he takes the horse out for a breeze. Husbands' availability for the race means that last year's winning jockey will now ride one of this year's favorites.
Trainer Roger Attfield attends to business in his trailer. A win at the Queen's Plate will not only set a record nine wins for Attfield but he will become the first trainer to win the race at least once in five different decades.
Attfield mounts his pony outside of his office trailer which sits next to his barn. He will accompany them for gallops or breezes.
Eurico Rosa da Silva rides Billy's Star out of Attfield's barn towards the track. When training, the jockey's will ride the horses for time trials or breezes.
Legendary Trainer Roger Attfield walks across the track at Woodbine Race Course. Attfield, hall of famer in both Canada and the United States, goes into this year's Queen's Plate holding a record eight victories, a record he shares with Harry Giddings Jr.
Danish Dynaformer is washed by groom Wendy Dadswell with the help of assistant trainer Leigh Anne Roberts after a gallop.
Danish Dynaformer and Billy's Star by jockeys Luis Contreras and Eurico Rosa da Silva are put through their paces during a timed trial at Woodbine Race Track.
Attfield rides alongside jockey Luis Contreras on Danish Dynaformer before the horses compete in Plate Trials Stakes which serve as a critical exercise in the build up to the Queen's Plate.
Billy's Star stands in his stall at Attfield's barn. The three-year old is considered by some to be a dark horse contender for the race.