Tag Archive for: Albahr

Dramatic victory for Modern Games in Juvenile Turf

Charlie Appleby’s Modern Games powered to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf glory in extraordinary circumstances.

All the drama happened at the stalls, with stablemate Albahr becoming upset and subsequently withdrawn, and race favourite Modern Games – who was in the stall next to Albahr – also scratched by officials after coming out of the front of the stalls.

Confusion reigned as veterinary staff ruled he was in fact fit to race – and while it was decided he would be reinstated, rules dictated he could run for prize-money only and not for betting purposes.


The race was thankfully without incident, and when William Buick engaged top gear he swept clear to win in style from Tiz The Bomb and Mackinnon. However, unhappy racegoers vented their frustration with boos.

Appleby was delighted with the ultimate outcome, and just as pleased to report Albahr had what was thought to be only superficial cuts and that Frankie Dettori was unscathed.

It was a third win in the race for the Moulton Paddocks handler, who said: “It was a very peculiar chain of events and mentally very challenging for the horse, but I always felt he had the experience.

“The most important thing is that both horses are all right, and fortunately Modern Games pulled it out of the fire for us. He was actually under the pump a bit earlier than normal, but he picked up and kept finding.

“Albahr has some minor cuts and my vets are examining him. We were expecting the worst, but fortunately he’s OK.”

He added of the winner: “He will join our Guineas squad for next year. We will ship him back to the UK and winter away with him.”

William Buick celebrates with Modern Games
William Buick celebrates with Modern Games (PA)

Buick said: “There was a lot of confusion back there, but the horse did nothing wrong. They opened the front gate and he jumped out – he should have come of the back instead of the front.

“The guy that opened my gate pulled me out of the front and he told the officials what he did. Maybe there was a bit of confusion and panic, but my horse wasn’t harmed in any way. He was never touched.

“You could see how professional he was and he took everything in his stride.”

He added: “I don’t know why he was scratched, I was told afterwards.

“I knew he was going to run so I don’t want to focus on the whys and wherefores. It was out of my control.

“The booing was disappointing because he put up a very good performance.”

‘Young pretender’ Yibir all set for Breeders’ Cup Turf

Yibir will head Charlie Appleby’s team for the Breeders’ Cup following his Jockey Club Derby success at Belmont.

The Longines Turf is the three-year-old’s target at Del Mar next month,  on the back of three victories in four starts since he was gelded.

Appleby believes that operation has been the making of the son of Dubawi.

“He was last seen in Belmont, winning on the back of his Great Voltigeur success. He’s a young pretender going out there,” the Godolphin trainer told Racing TV.

“Gelding was the making of him. We’ve always liked him, but he’s had his own mind-set towards the game. Gelding has most definitely helped him.

“He won the Bahrain Trophy at the July meeting, then he decided at Goodwood to take (jockey) William (Buick) on and go a bit quicker than he wanted to. Therefore we left the hood on in the Great Voltigeur and we saw him to good effect there – and he backed it up in a ‘win and you’re in’ slot at Belmont.

“I think we’ll keep the hood on. On his last start I was a bit concerned the hood might have knocked him to sleep a bit too much but he knows where the finishing line is and so he did it the right way round.”

Appleby has two potential contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, in Albahr and Modern Games.

Modern Games is being targeted at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Modern Games is being targeted at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Newmarket-based handler feels that pair fit the bill as two-year-olds with plenty of experience, with five races each under their belts.

“Modern Games won the Somerville Tattersalls (at Newmarket last month). He’s a horse we have earmarked to go for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile,” he said.

“We think he’d be suited round there. He’s got natural pace – quick ground will suit him, and he’s got enough experience as well. He ticks a few boxes there.

“One who will join him there is Albahr. He won a ‘win and you’re in’ at Woodbine. He reminds me of Line Of Duty. He might not be the best horse in the race – but he’s got an abundance of experience going into it, and I think he’ll love the hustle and bustle of it round there.

“You want those with a bit more experience and that have been beaten. You’d be a brave man to take an unbeaten colt over to America, because it can be a big learning curve for them out there. Those two have earned their stripes to augur well out there.

“Modern Games travels extremely well in his races, and Albahr will thrive on being knocked around on those turns.”