Charlie Appleby sets his sights on Breeders’ Cup return next year with Yibir after the colt landed the $4million Turf on Saturday
- Charlie Appleby has set his sights on a return to the Breeders’ Cup with Yibir
- Jockey William Buick won the Breeders’ Cup on the colt on Saturday
- Yibir also won the Jockey Club Invitational Derby in the US in September
- They won the Juvenile Turf with Modern Games and the Mile with Space Blues
Charlie Appleby has set his sights on a return to the Breeders’ Cup next year with Yibir after the colt capped an amazing meeting for the Godolphin trainer at Del Mar by landing the $4million Turf late on Saturday night.
The victory concluded a brilliant meeting for Appleby and jockey William Buick as they also won the Juvenile Turf with Modern Games and the Mile with Space Blues, who will now be retired to stud.
Yibir has been a difficult horse to train and was gelded in an attempt to make him more tractable. His victory on Saturday was his second in the US this year having won the Jockey Club Invitational Derby at Belmont, New York in September.
Jockey William Buick celebrates aboard Yibir after winning the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday
Appleby said: ‘We always felt Yibir had a lot of talent and he was galloping with all our good middle-distance horses.
‘It was a hard ride for William and I could see he was really taking him on. To still have that finish in him is testament to the horse and shows what sort of engine he has.
Charlie Appleby has set his sights on a return to the Breeders’ Cup next year with Yibir
‘He is a horse I had on my radar to take to Dubai first next year and we will look at a Sheema Classic. The Breeders’ Cup will also be high on his agenda and we will work back from that.’
Appleby’s amazing Breeders’ Cup record is six wins from 11 runners. He will be crowned Britain’s champion trainer for the first time this season having landed 17 Group One wins worldwide.
And it will take plenty to wrestle the title away from him next year with his English and Irish Derby winners Adayar and Hurricane Lane also staying in training alongside Group One-winning sprinter Creative Force, and Modern Games joining an Appleby squad for next year’s Classics which also includes unbeaten Dewhurst Stakes winner Native Trail and the exciting Coroebus.
The focus now switches to jumps and Chantry House, trained by Nicky Henderson, embarked on what could be a fruitful season with a 37-length defeat of sole rival The Big Breakaway in the John O’Leary Memorial Future Stars Chase at Sandown yesterday.
Chantry House, who won at the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree’s Grand National meeting last season, is now 6-1 with Sky Bet for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Buick rides Space Blues to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar Race Track
While The Big Breakaway was disappointing and jumped scratchily, Chantry House did all that could have been expected of him under Nico De Boinville.
Henderson said: ‘We think he is a good horse. Now he has to meet the big boys. He has proved he stays and the natural thing is to go for the King George.’
Ultimately, Chantry House looks more like a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender and at 9-1 he is the shortest priced British-trained horse for that prize. The next shortest is stablemate Champ, who is due to make his seasonal debut in the Betfair Chase at Haydock a week on Saturday.