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Modern Games outclasses the competition in G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains


Modern Games continued where he left off in 2021 as he secured back-to-back G1 wins with an impressive display in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, the French 2,000 Guineas, at Longchamp, France, on Sunday, 15 May.

The Dubawi colt, successful in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on his final two-year-old appearance, anticipated the break and dived leaving the stalls but soon recovered to dispute the early lead with Texas.

Texas strode on into a length advantage after the first quarter-mile, with Modern Games happy to race in a close fourth behind Claymore and Tribalist.

Modern Games quickened between horses to press for the lead a furlong and a half out, with Texas and Tribalist also laying down their challenges as the trio kicked away from the rest of the field.

The Charlie Appleby-trained three-year-old established a narrow advantage soon after and asserted for William Buick inside the final half-furlong, pricking his ears crossing the line as he beat Texas by a length and a quarter.

Tribalist produced an excellent performance on his first Group-race outing to take third, a further three-quarters of a length back.

Charlie Appleby said: “Modern Games was the class horse in the race on all two-year-old form and I was delighted with the weather in Paris over the past few days. If there is one thing he loves, it is quick ground and we grew with more confidence when the draw came out.

“His homework has been good. We took him away to Newmarket racecourse a couple of weeks ago and knew that he would come forward for that piece of work.

“It was a great ride by William [Buick]. Our plan was to try and make it or let someone take the lead from us. It’s easy to get overconfident with a draw like stall four and you end up getting shuffled back.

“William feels that he is so game and honest, so it’s definitely worth a crack at the Prix du Jockey Club. We are very spoilt with him, Coroebus and Native Trail, and it would be nice to keep them apart for as long as we can. Eventually, they might end up having to lock horns again but I see no reason not to have a go at the Jockey Club.”

William Buick added: “Modern Games had a nice draw in stall four. He had a slight stumble coming out of the gates but managed to gather himself pretty quickly and was well into his stride.

“I was relatively happy with the run we had round and he is a horse who goes through his gears nicely. He had plenty of time to get into top gear today and loved the beautiful, fast ground.

“The Prix du Jockey Club seems a natural next step and it’s definitely worth trying him over that distance. He has seen out the trip very well in all of his starts so far, so it’s definitely worth a try. You need a lot of tactical pace in the Jockey Club, which can sometimes be a difficult race, so I think he ticks a lot of boxes.

“He is a true professional, a joy to ride and a joy to be around. He takes everything in his stride and makes life very easy for his jockey.”