Nations Pride will not be part of Charlie Appleby’s squad for this year’s Breeders’ Cup despite claiming a third top-level victory in the Canadian International on Sunday.
Previously successful in Grade and Group One company in last year’s Saratoga Derby in New York and this summer’s Grosser Dallmayr-Preis in Germany, the Teofilo colt was a warm order to claim another big-race success at Woodbine in the hands of William Buick.
Royal Champion, also trained in Newmarket by Roger Varian, attempted to make the most of the running under James Doyle, but Nations Pride eventually reeled him in and was just over two lengths clear of his fellow British raider at the line.
“I was always happy with where William had Nations Pride, but James is always dangerous in front and he was riding his own race,” Appleby said on the Godolphin website.
“The one thing Nations Pride has is acceleration, but the rain here in the last 24 hours just blunted his finishing speed. Class took over in the end.
“Horses like Nations Pride and Modern Games are special and they get a worldwide fanbase as well. Full credit to the team that travel with them, they get to know the horses and look after them so well.”
Nations Pride finished fifth when favourite for last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, but he is set to head in a different direction this time around.
Appleby added: “We won’t go to the Breeders’ Cup. We don’t think he stretches out that mile and a half, so we’ll take him to Bahrain, and then contemplate if Hong Kong might suit him.
“Our immediate target will be the Bahrain Trophy.”
On the same card the Mark Casse-trained Fev Rover – formerly trained in Britain by Richard Fahey – secured top honours in the Grade One E. P. Taylor Stakes.
With The Moonlight filled the runner-up spot for the Appleby-Buick combination.
Appleby said: “With The Moonlight has run another solid race, although the ground was probably on the slow side for her. We have no immediate plans and will get her back to Newmarket before regrouping.”