Line does his duty in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
Line Of Duty won a dramatic renewal of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile at Churchill Downs, USA on Friday, 2 November.
The two-year-old colt broke well under William Buick and raced keenly initially, disputing third place in the full field of 14 before being settled back in seventh towards the inside.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Line Of Duty, pushed along turning in, was switched out wide soon after straightening up in sixth place.
He ran on strongly, drifting left and then right, and took the lead close home to win going away by a half-length from Uncle Benny.
There was a stewards’ enquiry and an objection by the rider of the runner-up, Irad Ortiz jnr, into possible interference between the first and second turning in and close home before the announcement that the result stood.
Line Of Duty, gaining his third straight victory, gave Godolphin a 28th G1 success of a tremendous 2018. He won in 1m 40.06s for the mile on yielding turf.
Charlie Appleby, celebrating his third Breeders’ Cup success from five runners and his second victory in the race following Outstrip in 2013, commented: “It did not look promising during most of the race.
“This horse loves to be driven – the harder you drive him, the more he finds.
“It was a fantastic ride by William – he has got Line Of Duty angled out and got him a clear run.
“I wasn’t confident, but I knew when William got the horse rolling down the straight he was going to hit the line strong and that is what he did.
“It is a fantastic result for the team and I am delighted for his Highness Sheikh Mohammed.
“To have another Breeders’ Cup winner is great. William has gone from strength to strength – riding nice horses gives jockeys confidence.
“William is riding with such supreme confidence and has been all year.”
William Buick declared after giving evidence to the stewards: “What interference there was made no difference to the result. It is a tense time (waiting the stewards’ verdict).”
He added after the result was confirmed: “I have never been so tense on a racecourse, but that was a great decision by the stewards because we saw the best horse win the race.
“Line Of Duty jumped too well so I took him back. I got a couple of bumps and had to take him off heels. He has put up a great performance to go on and win.
“When he quickened, he really put the race to bed. He was very strong at the line. I was impressed with his performance. It was a very mature performance from a young horse.
" I cannot explain to you how relieved I am now right now.”
Hugh Anderson, the Godolphin Managing Director of the UK and Dubai, said on receiving the trophy: “There were a few minutes of concern after watching the head-on film, but we knew the horse had ran a fantastic race.
“It was a wonderful effort from both the jockey and the trainer.
“Charlie has supplied 11 of those 28 G1s this year and he is the one who secured the Epsom Derby victory for us with Masar.
“It has been a stellar season for Godolphin around the world.”