Dubawi's Modern Games Provides Godolphin With Another Guineas


Modern Games | ScoopDyga


This year's G1 Emirates Poule d'Essai des Poulains proved as straightforward as the 2021 version, with the key form horse enjoying an ideal draw and ideal trip in the ParisLongchamp Classic. This time, it was Godolphin and Charlie Appleby who were at the forefront as Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) brought up a Guineas double for the stable by following the example of Coroebus (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) at Newmarket. Leaving the stalls with so much gusto he knuckled under William Buick, last year's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and G3 Tattersalls S. winner was undeterred and soon enjoyed the cat-bird seat as the wide-drawn outsider Texas (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) forged on with the ultimately disappointing Claymore (Fr) (New Bay {GB}) and Tribalist (GB) (Farhh {GB}). Driven to head the resilient Texas with 300 metres remaining, the 2-1 favourite stayed on strongly deny that 113-1 shot the shock outcome by 1 1/4 lengths. The other Godolphin runner Tribalist was 3/4 of a length behind in third in a race where being on the pace was crucial.

“I said to William to try and jump out and make it if he had to, but he hit the lids so quick he nearly stumbled,” commented Appleby, who was landing his first Poulains. “It was a good genuine gallop and he showed his class again. We are very fortunate to have the horses we have and I just spoke to His Highness and it would be nice to try and keep them apart for as long as we can. I always had it in the back of my mind that he might be a French Derby [Prix du Jockey Club] horse, so it will be interesting to see what William says.”

In the shadow of Coroebus and Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) at Moulton Paddocks prior to this, Modern Games only really began to take off when taking a seven-furlong nursery at Doncaster's St Leger meeting having won one of his first three starts. Next up was the Tattersalls S., where he first advertised his prowess with a comprehensive defeat of the G1 Prix Morny runner-up Trident (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) before overcoming the much-publicised stalls drama at Del Mar to take the Juvenile Turf by storm.

Once the draw was made, this was as easy for Modern Games as it was for St Mark's Basilica (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) 12 months ago and no sooner had Buick sent him forward from the break was the outcome more or less decided. Claymore and Texas had used up too much petrol sent to the front from stalls 16 and 15 respectively, while Tribalist was always entering into an unfair contest with the operation's number one. Despite the winner's obvious authority in the closing stages, the race's story was the amazing effort of the Listed Criterium du Languedoc winner Texas, who was absurdly-priced given that he was only beaten 1 1/2 lengths when fourth in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau. Clement Lecoeuvre felt he had no option but to go straight to the firing line from that compromising stall and it turned out to be a masterstroke which almost resulted in one of the race's all-time shocks.

Modern Games will seek to emulate St Mark's Basilica and three others in adding the G1 Qatar Prix du Jockey Club to this Classic and Appleby is convinced he has what it takes. “He's a neat horse who has got stronger over the winter–a typical Dubawi with a great mindset–and he brought bundles of experience into this. We saw what he had to take on board at the Breeders' Cup and he took all that rigmarole and drama like a true professional. That is a big mark up in my book and if they can do that normally it puts them in good stead for the big day. He's so game and honest, the distance of the Jockey Club is definitely worth a crack with him. We're very spoilt with the three colts that we have and I see no reason not to let this horse have a go at it.”

Buick believes he will be a perfect fit for the 10 1/2-furlong Chantilly Classic. “He went through the gears nicely and is one who keeps finding all the way to the line. Bits and bobs in his pedigree suggest he will stay and I think it seems like a natural step for him. He feels like a very experienced horse and in the Jockey Club, you need a lot of tactical pace. It can sometimes be a difficult race and I think he ticks a lot of boxes for the race.”

Texas is sticking to a mile from here, according to trainer Henri François Devin. “My horse ran a blinder,” he said. “It was a great performance and we are all delighted. I knew he had come on a lot for the run in the Fontainebleau and he got a good trip and a good ride. A mile is his limit, so we will now target the [G3] Prix Paul de Moussac or the [G1] Prix Jean Prat.”

Modern Games, whose 2-year-old half-sister Mawj (Ire) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) earned TDN Rising Star status at Newmarket on Saturday, is the fourth foal out of Modern Ideals (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) who is also responsible for the recent impressive Listed Windsor S. scorer Modern News (GB) (Shamardal). Modern Ideals is a half-sister to the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-winning sire Ultra (Ire) (Manduro {Ger}), the G3 Prix Minerve winner Synopsis (Ire) (In the Wings {GB}) and the dual stakes-placed Epic Similie (GB) (Lomitas {GB}), with the latter also being responsible for the G2 July S. and G3 Sirenia S. runner-up Figure of Speech (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). The family features the GII Canadian H. scorer Calista (GB) (Caerleon), the G1 1000 Guineas and G1 Champion S. heroine Bosra Sham (Woodman) and the 1991 and 1992 Poulains heroes Hector Protector and Shanghai. It is also the dynasty of the G1 Criterium International-winning sire Act One (GB), who was caught close home by Sulamani (Ire) (Hernando {Fr}) in the 2002 Jockey-Club. The dam's yearling filly is by Mastercraftsman (Ire).

Sunday, ParisLongchamp, France
EMIRATES POULE D'ESSAI DES POULAINS-G1, €500,000, ParisLongchamp, 5-15, 3yo, c, 8fT, 1:34.98, g/s.
1–MODERN GAMES (IRE), 128, c, 3, 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. €342,840. Lifetime Record: GISW-US & GSW-Eng, 7-5-1-0, €827,863. *1/2 to Modern News (GB) (Shamardal), SW-Eng& SP-UAE, $138,666. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Texas (Fr), 128, c, 3, Wootton Bassett (GB)–Texalova (GB), by Dream Ahead. 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. (€110,000 RNA Ylg '20 ARQSEP), O-Ecurie Jeffroy; B-SCEA des Prairies, Thomas Jeffroy & Benoit Jeffroy (FR); T-Henri-Francois Devin. €137,160.
3–Tribalist (GB), 128, c, 3, Farhh (GB)–Fair Daughter (GB), by Nathaniel (Ire). 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. (130,000gns Ylg '20 TAOCT). O-Godolphin; B-Car Colston Hall Stud Syndicate (GB); T-Andre Fabre. €68,580.
Margins: 1 1/4, 3/4, HD. Odds: 2.00, 113.00, 10.00.
Also Ran: Ancient Rome, Lassaut (Fr), Welwal (GB), Making Moovies (Ire), Scherzo (Fr), The Acropolis (Ire), Calif (Ger), Nesr Shalghoda (GB), Rock Boy (Fr), Bayside Boy (Ire), Nirliit (Fr), Claymore (Fr). Scratched: Tumbler (Fr). Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by TVG.

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