Modern Games made every yard of the running to claim an impressive victory in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket – putting himself in line for a trip to the Breeders’ Cup.
Trained by Charlie Appleby, who can do no wrong at present, the Dubawi colt bounded out of the stalls and barely saw another rival.
Winner of a nursery at Doncaster when last seen, Modern Games led the favourite Trident in a pair on the far side of Newmarket’s expanse.
In the centre of the track were Harrow and Cresta, while on the near side Richard Hughes’ Ring Of Beara and Claim The Crown soon appeared to be disadvantaged by racing closest to the stands rail. Marcus Tregoning’s Ribhi bolted with Jim Crowley to post and was withdrawn.
Mickael Barzalona looked confident on Andre Fabre’s Trident going into the dip, but William Buick had saved plenty on Modern Games (3-1) and on meeting the rising ground, he began to pull away.
He eventually won by two and a half lengths with Harrow pipping Cresta for third.
Coral cut the winner to 14-1 from 33s for next year’s 2000 Guineas, while Paddy Power offer 6-1 about his chance for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
The victory added further strength to Appleby’s formidable hand in the juvenile department, one which contains current Guineas favourite Native Trail.
“Full credit to everyone at home. He’s not a big, imposing horse by any stretch – but Lorna, who rides him at home, said this morning it would take a good one to beat him,” said the Moulton Paddocks handler.
“He did a bit of work on Saturday and while he didn’t surprise us, he worked particularly well.
“That was always the plan today – to go out there and make it and get them to come at us. It was a great ride by William and it paid off.”
Appleby confirmed a trip to Del Mar could be next on the agenda for Modern Games – and he is set to be joined by Albahr, who heads the market at 5-1 following his Grade One win at Woodbine last weekend.
“He’s a neat, little horse and maybe we’ll have a look at the Breeders’ Cup,” Appleby added.
“He’s got plenty of experience under his belt now. I wouldn’t quite think of him as a Dewhurst horse as if you were to put him and Native Trail together at home, it wouldn’t be much of a competition.
“It would be a shame to run the two of them in the Dewhurst. If Native Trail wasn’t around, then as we all know this race today is a springboard to a Dewhurst.
“We’ve got Albahr for the Breeders’ Cup as well. He has a slightly different profile, but they’re two hard-knocking sons of Dubawi who can go to the Breeders’ Cup and might just run all right over there.”