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‘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.”

Modern Games makes all for Tattersalls triumph

Modern Games made every yard of the running to claim an impressive victory in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket – putting himself in line for a trip to the Breeders’ Cup.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, who can do no wrong at present, the Dubawi colt bounded out of the stalls and barely saw another rival.

Winner of a nursery at Doncaster when last seen, Modern Games led the favourite Trident in a pair on the far side of Newmarket’s expanse.

In the centre of the track were Harrow and Cresta, while on the near side Richard Hughes’ Ring Of Beara and Claim The Crown soon appeared to be disadvantaged by racing closest to the stands rail. Marcus Tregoning’s Ribhi bolted with Jim Crowley to post and was withdrawn.

Mickael Barzalona looked confident on Andre Fabre’s Trident going into the dip, but William Buick had saved plenty on Modern Games (3-1) and on meeting the rising ground, he began to pull away.

He eventually won by two and a half lengths with Harrow pipping Cresta for third.

Coral cut the winner to 14-1 from 33s for next year’s 2000 Guineas, while Paddy Power offer 6-1 about his chance for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

The victory added further strength to Appleby’s formidable hand in the juvenile department, one which contains current Guineas favourite Native Trail.

“Full credit to everyone at home. He’s not a big, imposing horse by any stretch – but Lorna, who rides him at home, said this morning it would take a good one to beat him,” said the Moulton Paddocks handler.

“He did a bit of work on Saturday and while he didn’t surprise us, he worked particularly well.

“That was always the plan today – to go out there and make it and get them to come at us. It was a great ride by William and it paid off.”

Appleby confirmed a trip to Del Mar could be next on the agenda for Modern Games – and he is set to be joined by Albahr, who heads the market at 5-1 following his Grade One win at Woodbine last weekend.

“He’s a neat, little horse and maybe we’ll have a look at the Breeders’ Cup,” Appleby added.

“He’s got plenty of experience under his belt now. I wouldn’t quite think of him as a Dewhurst horse as if you were to put him and Native Trail together at home, it wouldn’t be much of a competition.

“It would be a shame to run the two of them in the Dewhurst. If Native Trail wasn’t around, then as we all know this race today is a springboard to a Dewhurst.

“We’ve got Albahr for the Breeders’ Cup as well. He has a slightly different profile, but they’re two hard-knocking sons of Dubawi who can go to the Breeders’ Cup and might just run all right over there.”