Archives for October 30, 2019

Trainer Charlie Appleby has Old Persian as a Major Player in Breeders’ Cup Turf

The Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita lost three of its European team members on Monday – including —Magical, the Champion Stakes winner – but there is still likely to be a total of 33 runners from the continent’s stables in California on Friday and Saturday …

Charlie Appleby’s challenge at the meeting was reduced from two to one in desperate circumstances on Saturday when Line Of Duty, who took the Juvenile Turf last year and was due to contest the Mile on Saturday, suffered a fatal injury on the gallops. Appleby will now rely on Old Persian, a leading contender for the Turf, as he attempts to improve an already remarkable strike rate at the Breeders’ Cup, where he has had three winners and a second from six starters.

“It was six years ago that we were here with Outstrip, bless him,” Appleby said on Tuesday, looking back to his first Breeders’ Cup runner, and winner, in the 2013 Juvenile Turf. “It’s great to be here but it’s not a holiday, as much as it’s lovely to have the [mountainous] backdrop we see out there. We try to bring the right horses out, with the experience we’ve had through the years.

“I was always looking [for a juvenile to run] but didn’t want to put one on the wagon just to have a spin around. The great thing about a horse like him [Old Persian] is that shipping is second nature to him. He went to Dubai, he went to Canada [to win the Grade One Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine last time] and he’s shipped well here.

“This race was our target from Dubai [in March, where he won the Group One Sheema Classic]. I was confident he’d take all the beating [in Canada], he was the class horse in the race and he showed it. We wanted to keep the dream alive and we were always going to come straight here.

More at The Guardian: