Modern Games Anchors Appleby Breeders' Cup Brigade

Modern Games | Michael Burns

Godolphin's Breeders' Cup team from Charlie Appleby's Moulton Paddocks will be led by multiple Grade I winner Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Already successful at the Breeders' Cup with a score in the GI Juvenile Turf at Del Mar last November, the chestnut returned to Europe for his seasonal bow and claimed the G1 French 2000 Guineas at ParisLongchamp on May 15. Third in the G1 French Derby in June, Modern Games was fifth in the G1 Prix Jean Prat on July 10 and rebounded to take second behind Baaeed (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in the G1 Sussex S. at Goodwood later that month. He made a second triumphant foray to North America with a 5 1/4-length victory in the GI Woodbine Mile S. in Canada on Sept. 17 and is an intended starter in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile.

“It's shaping up,” said Appleby on his raiding party bound for the States.

“The Breeders' Cup is always something that is on our minds at the start of the season and we like to try to pinpoint an older horse or 2-year-old for it. As I've always stated I'd rather turn up with one than six–one good one and have a good crack. And this year I feel like we've got some live contenders there.

“Modern Games [is] in the Mile–he is a deserved favourite as we stand. He's been there and done it as a juvenile and been over to Canada and done what he has done at Woodbine.”

He added on a possible run at Ascot prior to Keeneland's Breeders' Cup, “If we take in Champions Day then that would be an extra race on the list for him, but perfectly doable. But being perfectly honest our main target is [the] Breeders' Cup Mile with him.

“We'll sit and toy with the idea of sending Modern Games to the QEII. If it was good to soft the conversation would still be taking place, but there wouldn't be any certainty to it. If it was soft he wouldn't be turning up at all. It doesn't take much to change it, but if you are lucky enough to get a settled week you might end up on some half-sensible ground.”

Appleby boasts a high strike rate at the Breeders' Cup with six wins from just 11 runners. One horse that is likely for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf is the G3 Solario S. hero Silver Knott (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), who most recently ran third to probable G1 Dewhurst S. pick Chaldean (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the G2 Champagne S. at Doncaster on Sept. 11. Less certain of a spot on the Keeneland team is GI Summer S. victor Mysterious Night (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}). Appleby is also set to be represented in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint with G3 Sirenia S. hero and G1 Middle Park S. fourth Mischief Magic (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}).

He continued, “Silver Knott is a horse I would potentially take to America. Stepping up to a mile I think will suit him, he travels very well.

“Mysterious Night who won in Canada is a horse we'll contemplate going there with as well, but he's achieved his Group 1 status already and, while he hasn't been busy, he's had a few runs and is a horse we've very much got on our radar for next year.

“I will potentially take Mischief Magic to the [Juvenile Turf] Sprint. He ran well in the Middle Park, he ran a solid race drawn out on a wing and he was very impressive at Kempton before that.

“You need to turn up at these international events with A–the right horse and B–have all the luck in the world. You've got to get a good draw, travel over well and get settled in OK. If he does all that he won't look out of place in the race.”

The Godolphin raiders will not be limited to just juveniles, as the progressive Rebel's Romance (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who has won all four of his starts in 2022, including a brace of German Group 1s on Aug. 14 and Sept. 25, is likely for the GI Breeders' Cup Turf. GI Saratoga Derby Invitational S. scorer Nations Pride (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}), who blew away a field by 6 1/4 lengths in the GIII Jockey Club Derby Invitational S. at the Belmont At The Big A on Sept. 17 is another for the 1 1/2-mile turf showpiece. An outsider for the trip is Classic winner Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {Ire}), who is first running on QIPCO British Champions Day on Oct. 15.

“For the Breeders' Cup Turf we've got a nice little collective,” said Appleby. “We've already seen what Nations Pride has done in America this season. He's come back and is a horse we will very much look forward to having on the list.

“There is also Rebel's Romance, who is now four-from-four and has got the job done in his last two starts at Group 1 level in Germany. Potentially Adayar as well depending on how he gets on at Champions Day.

“If you can walk away from the Breeders' Cup with one winner it sort of wraps the season up nicely.”

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