Breeders' Cup news: Charlie Appleby looking to add to impressive record

Charlie Appleby celebrated a Breeders’ Cup treble 12 months ago - and on the back of being crowned champion trainer again on home soil he is once more targeting America’s biggest meeting.

In Modern Games in the Mile, Nations Pride and Rebel's Romance in the Turf and Silver Knott in the Juvenile Turf, Appleby has three very strong chances according to the betting.

Add with Creative Force and Naval Crown in the Turf Sprint, Mischief Magic in the Juvenile Turf Sprint the Godolphin trainer looks to have a hugely talented raiding party.

Appleby won the Turf last year with Yibir, and Nations Pride is no stranger to American racegoers having won the Saratoga Derby and a subsequent Grade Three, while Rebel's Romance was once considered a Belmont Stakes candidate.

"I think Nations Pride is a very slick individual who brings experience of US racing to the table," Appleby said on Wednesday.

"Rebel's Romance is a solid mile-and-a-half horse, but he does not have the same level of acceleration as Nations Pride. To be fair to him he did accelerate to win in Germany under James (Doyle), but on his latest start under Will (Buick) he was always going to win but made heavy weather of it.

"I'd like to think we will campaign Nations Pride predominantly in America next year. When they went out on to the track this morning the ground was a bit chopped up as there was plenty of moisture in it, but it will be quicker on Saturday and it's the quicker the better for us and that's why we come here."

Modern Games has enjoyed a successful season whatever happens, winning the French Guineas and the Woodbine Mile at the top level.

"Modern Games had a choice of races at Ascot. We ended up going for the QEII after a lot of rain, so much so that I considered not running him at all," said Appleby, whose charge is bidding for back-to-back wins at the meeting after taking the Juvenile Turf last year.

"In the end the run didn't do him any harm, even though he was never comfortable on that ground. He came out of it well and I was delighted with what I saw from him this morning. He's a very good horse who just goes out there and tries."

In the Turf Sprint Appleby's two runners are up against Highfield Princess and Golden Pal.

"Our sprinters are drawn in one (Creative Force) and nine (Naval Crown), the trip will be on the sharper side for Creative Force. He's rock solid and tough and will need a lot of luck, but he will be coming at them at the finish," said the trainer.

"Naval Crown has very good gate speed and will travel well. They are both in good order and will not look out of place in the paddock."

After Modern Games last season, Appleby fancies a Juvenile Turf repeat with Silver Knott.

He said: "We've brought a couple of juveniles out here and I think Silver Knott is a worthy favourite for his race. The soft ground was to blame for his disappointing run in the Champagne Stakes, but on a sounder surface he put in a good effort in the Autumn Stakes and has come out of that well.

"He could be a French Derby horse and follow the same route as Modern Games by running in the French Guineas and French Derby next year. He wore a hood this morning which he will retain on the way to post on Friday, but it will be removed at the start.

"Mischief Magic ran a solid enough race in the Middle Park. I wasn't expecting too much from him, but it was enough to book himself a slot here and I won't mind it if he misses a beat at the start because with him I think the rougher the race is the more he will enjoy it."

He added: "The more you come over here and race the more you learn and it is an upside with older horses that have done it. Experience is a big factor and fortunately one or two of mine have got that in their armoury."

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