Charlie Appleby backs Master Of The Seas to defy the odds at Breeders’ Cup Mile and cap stunning season for soon-to-be Britain’s new champion trainer
- Charlie Appleby confident Master Of The Seas can cause upset at Breeders’ Cup
- Master Of The Seas was out injured during the summer after coming second in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May
- Win at Breeders’ Cup on Saturday would cap wonderful season for trainer
- Appleby trained winners of English and Irish Derbys, King George and St Leger
Trainer Charlie Appleby has warned against underestimating his perceived second-string Master Of The Seas ahead of tonight’s Breeders’ Cup Mile in California.
Appleby’s recent Prix de La Foret winner Space Blues, the mount of stable jockey William Buick, heads the betting for the $4million contest.
But Appleby has confidence in James Doyle-ridden Master Of The Seas, who was out injured during the summer after his second place to Poetic Verse in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
That belief has not been dented by a comeback third to Benbatl in the Joel Stakes in September before sinking in soft ground behind Baaeed in the QEII Stakes at Ascot last month.
Appleby said: ‘We probably saw Master Of The Seas at his best when he was just touched off in the Guineas on quick ground. They will go hard and that will suit him. If he found his Guineas form, he will take all the beating. He is an exciting horse who will come in slightly under that radar.’
Appleby believes Master Of The Seas can win the Breeders’ Cup after recovering from injury
Space Blues won the Foret on heavy going but Appleby says fast ground at Del Mar will not be an excuse for the versatile five year old on what seems likely to be his last career start.
The trainer added: ‘He’ll travel for fun and if the gaps appear, he’s got the acceleration.’
Victory in the Mile, in which Aidan O’Brien runs 1,000 Guineas winner Mother Earth, would top off a wonderful season for Appleby.
He will be crowned champion trainer in Britain for the first time and his 100-plus winners include the English and Irish Derbys, King George and St Leger.Appleby has a fantastic record at the Breeders’ Cup with three wins and a second from seven runners.
Appleby (far right) won the Cazoo St Leger Stakes with Hurricane Lane in September
The trainer also claimed the Epson Derby as Adam Kirby and Adayar triumphed in June
He has Walton Street and Yibir in the Turf, the race with the best record for Europeans with 23 wins in 37 runnings.
But he concedes both will struggle to handle on-song Dermot Weld’s 2020 winner and Arc runner-up Tarnawa.
The additional presence of Roger Varian’s Prix Vermeille winner Teona and Aidan O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet in the Turf will make it disappointing if the prize does not return across the Atlantic.
The Europeans had three wins when the meeting was staged at Del Mar in 2017 and could match that with O’Brien’s Love in the Filly & Mare Turf plus two more defending champions — Kevin Ryan’s Glass Slippers (Turf Sprint) and James Fanshawe’s Audarya (Filly & Mare Turf).