Modern Games scores again for Charlie Appleby at Breeders' Cup

Modern Games gave Charlie Appleby his second consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile crown at Keeneland.

The Dubawi colt won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar 12 months ago - after initially breaking through the gates and being reinstated - and was captain of the Moulton Paddocks raiding party as he repeated the dose over the same distance in Keeneland.

Settled in mid-division alongside 2020 winner Order Of Australia by big-race rider William Buick in the early stages, his jockey was keen to avoid being penned in on the rails.

Angling out wide as the field turned for home, Buick soon pressed the button aboard the French Guineas champion, and he flew home to hit the wire first ahead of the fast-finishing pair Shirl's Speight (second) and Kinross (third).

Appleby landed the race with Space Blues 12 months ago and the victory of Modern Games enhanced the Godolphin handler's fine record at the Breeders' Cup, taking his tally to eight winners from just 16 runners.

He said: "This horse has so many attributes and with his compact size he is able to go through gaps and is neat enough to get into a position to attack as was the case just now.

"At the start of the season we had three horses that were similar, Native Trail and Coroebus were heading for the Guineas and this fella went French Guineas then French Derby where he finished third and didn't quite stay.

"He got nicknamed the substitute when he was second to Baaeed in the Sussex but won brilliantly in Canada and then ran a cracker on unsuitable ground at Ascot, but he was always going to be coming here."

On the future he added: "Next season we will look at the Queen Anne as the obvious target and I hope he will be back over here in the States - it will be great if he gets the plaudits which were absent when he won here as a two-year-old."

Winning rider Buick said: "He jumped a little bit slowly and some horses came in from the outside, but he managed to regather his stride and once I got him to the outer and got him running, I always knew we were going to get there.

"From where I was turning in, I didn't need to do anything too brave or drastic, I think he's a great horse, he was a very good two-year-old. He's won the French Guineas and today I hope he gets the recognition he deserves."

Ralph Beckett said of Kinross: "He's run an immense race, just look at where he came from. And beaten around three-quarters of a length. He will come back next season over seven and then a soft ground six, and who knows if he remains in good shape he could end up back here (for the Breeders' Cup, at Santa Anita)."

His rider Frankie Dettori added: "He ran a great race, he gave so much ground away. He fluffed the start and then it was Plan B when I had to save as much ground as I could."

Latest news