Dubawi's Modern Games Has The Most Bite In The Lockinge

Modern GamesRacingfotos.com


Successful at the elite level at two Breeders' Cups, in a Poule d'Essai des Poulains and a Woodbine Mile, Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}–Modern Ideals {GB}, by New Approach {Ire}) finally did it in the UK as he swooped to dominate Saturday's G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge S. at Newbury. Drawn on the extreme towards the stands' rail, the 3-1 favourite was in the right place if the preceding London Gold Cup was anything to go by and William Buick was able to enjoy the perfect draft behind My Prospero (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}). It was the 22-1 outsider Chindit (Ire) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) who played the penultimate hand inside the final furlong, but Modern Games was quickly on his case which led to one of those bizarre moments that happens rarely.

As the eventual winner passed the Hannon runner, Chindit turned his head to bite him as Godolphin's Noverre (Rahy) had done to Keltos (Fr) (Kendor {Fr}) in this same contest 21 years ago. With only Buick's hand slightly compromised by that act, the chestnut forged ahead to register a 1 1/2-length success, a record-stretching ninth in the race for the royal blue livery. There was a length back to the revived Berkshire Shadow (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) in third, with a head separating that 33-1 shot and My Prospero.


“There are no idiosyncracies in this horse,” Buick said before revealing a minor nick to his left hand. “He is straightforward and it turned out exactly as I hoped it would. He's a real top-class miler and you forget that this is his first group 1 in this country. He can make things happen around him rather than relying on other things and the pace was with us. I was quite comfortable throughout and I always had them covered.”

Had it not been for Baaeed (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in last year's G1 Sussex S. and a resurgent Bayside Boy (Ire) (New Bay {GB}) in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S, Modern Games would have already had this particular monkey off his back and the fact that he was the premier miler in the line-up hardened by a second in Keeneland's GI Maker's Mark Mile last month only took root late as he was hammered into favouritism. Buick was happy to track in the small group racing towards the stands with Mutasaabeq (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) out on his own in the overall lead in the centre and Chindit also solo in between.

With a possible bias towards racing on the front end during Newbury's two-day meeting, the onus was on Buick to make up ground and it was notable that Modern Games was already at work heading to three out. Many were in contention with two furlongs left, but after last year's Lockinge third Chindit had blown the race apart a furlong later there was only one serious pursuant and as the former leading juvenile was overthrown late he made his displeasure known.

Charlie Appleby is content to tread the obvious path of the Queen Anne and Sussex for the winner, the second in a group 1 this month for the dam after the Saeed bin Suroor-trained 1000 Guineas heroine Mawj (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}). For the team at Moulton Paddocks, the ultimate aim remains several months off. “What we'd really like to do is go back for a third Breeders' Cup,” he stated. “Not that it is a necessity, but it would be lovely to see if we can do the treble. We will work back from the Breeders' Cup and look at the Sussex, as logically we should do, and the Queen Anne along the route.”

“I'm delighted for all of the team, but also for the horse, because he deserves to win a group one in England and he will go down to date as one of the best sons of Dubawi there has been,” Appleby added. “He has got older and he warms into his races. We saw that unfortunately in the later stages in America. This horse started off his career with the likes of Native Trail and Coroebus, he was going out in the mornings with some star milers then. He was one of the few horses who put Baaeed under the pump. I felt he gained a lot of support and recognition from that day onwards here in England.”

Both second and third are also set for the Queen Anne, with Richard Hannon saying of the runner-up, “He travelled great and was a happy horse. He has improved physically. He has a middle to him now, which he didn't have earlier in his career. There is one of these coming his way.” Andrew Balding added of the 2021 G2 Coventry S. winner Berkshire Shadow, “He's a grand horse. He ran very well in the 2000 Guineas last year and his form tailed off a bit, but he's a different horse this year. I think he will win us a decent race, because he really likes fast ground. Yesterday's rain wasn't that helpful for him.”

My Prospero will also take in Royal Ascot, but as expected it will be the Prince of Wales's for the only one of the first four not to have a prep race this Spring. “He needs further,” trainer William Haggas said. “He was going to get stuffed and then he stayed on again. He is just not quick enough for these, but he should come on for that. He will be a player in the Prince of Wales's Stakes. That will just do him good.”

Pedigree Notes

Modern Ideals, who was a twice-raced maiden in the Sheikh Mohammed maroon silks for the Andre Fabre stable, is fast becoming one of Godolphin's key broodmares. Her third foal was the useful Listed Windsor S. winner Modern News (GB) (Shamardal), but that was only the beginning as she went on to throw this industrious bigwig and then the aforementioned Guineas heroine Mawj. She is a daughter of Gerald Leigh's Epitome (Ire) (Nashwan), who was responsible for Godolphin's G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-winning sire Ultra (Ire) (Manduro {Ger}) as well as the G3 Prix Minerve scorer Synopsis (Ire) (In The Wings {GB}) and the listed-placed Epic Similie (GB) (Lomitas {GB}). She in turn produced the G2 July S. runner-up Figure Of Speech (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and is the second dam of the Cutler Bay S. scorer Behind Enemy Lines (GB) (Sioux Nation).

The third dam is the Italian champion Proskona (Mr. Prospector), who produced the GII Canadian H. winner Calista (GB) (Caerleon) and is the ancestress of Leigh's G1 Prix Lupin and G1 Criterium International-winning sire Act One (GB) (In The Wings {GB}) among an almost endless list of graded-stakes and group performers. Proskona is kin to Riverman's stellar producer Korveya, dam of Woodman's high-class duo Bosra Sham and Hector Protector and fellow Poulains hero Shanghai (Procida). Modern Ideals' 2-year-old filly is by Mastercraftsman (Ire).

Saturday, Newbury, Britain
AL SHAQAB LOCKINGE S.-G1, £350,000, Newbury, 5-20, 4yo/up, 8fT, 1:36.09, gd.
1–MODERN GAMES (IRE), 128, c, 4, by Dubawi (Ire)
     1st Dam: Modern Ideals (GB), by New Approach (Ire)
     2nd Dam: Epitome (Ire), by Nashwan
     3rd Dam: Proskona, by Mr. Prospector
O/B-Godolphin (IRE); T-Charlie Appleby; J-William Buick. £198,485. Lifetime Record: Champion Male Turf Horse-US, MGISW-US, GISW-Can, G1SW-Fr, 15-8-4-1, $3,519,989. *1/2 to Mawj (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}), G1SW-Eng, $662,085; 1/2 to Modern News (GB) (Shamardal), SW & MGSP-Eng, MSP-UAE, $225,210. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Chindit (Ire), 128, h, 5, Wootton Bassett (GB)–Always A Dream (GB), by Oasis Dream (GB). (65,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT). O-Michael Pescod; B-J C Bloodstock & R Mahon (IRE); T-Richard Hannon. £75,250.
3–Berkshire Shadow (GB), 128, g, 4, Dark Angel (Ire)–Angel Vision (Ire), by Oasis Dream (GB).
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. (40,000gns Ylg '20 TATOCT). O-Berkshire Parts & Panels Ltd No1 Fanclub; B-Cheveley Park Stud Limited (GB); T-Andrew Balding. £37,660.
Margins: 1HF, 1, HD. Odds: 3.00, 22.00, 33.00.
Also Ran: My Prospero (Ire), Mutasaabeq (GB), Lusail (Ire), Light Infantry (Fr), Checkandchallenge (GB), The Wizard of Eye (Ire), Laurel (GB), Jumby (Ire), Jadoomi (Fr). Scratched: Triple Time (Ire).

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