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

Belmont Park

Charlie Appleby confirms Del Mar plan for Great Voltigeur winner.

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.”

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