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Modern Games, Space Blues & Yibir star in unprecedented Breeders’ Cup treble


Godolphin became the first owner and breeder to win three races at a single Breeders’ Cup meeting as Modern Games, Space Blues and Yibir completed a famous G1 hat-trick at Del Mar.

Charlie Appleby and William Buick teamed up with all three sons of Dubawi, who also becomes the first horse to sire three winners at a Breeders’ Cup fixture.

Modern Games overcame drama before the start of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, when he was briefly scratched alongside Albahr before being allowed to take his chance.

He powered home to beat the best of the US-trained two-year-olds and looks set to join Native Trail and Coroebus in being prepared for the 2,000 Guineas in the spring.

Remarkably, the same set of circumstances repeated 24 hours later as Space Blues showed his electric turn of foot to gain a third G1 success on his final appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Mile – a race in which Master Of The Seas was withdrawn at the start.

Yibir had already scored a major win in North America in the Jockey Club Derby in September and the three-year-old unleashed a storming late run to capture the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Further international targets await Yibir, with the Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup Night high on his agenda.

Essential Quality narrowly failed in his bid to become the fifth horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races with a rallying third in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hero, who has been retired to stand at Jonabell Farm, is the leading contender for Champion three-year-old honours at the Eclipse Awards thanks to his determined victories in the Belmont and Travers Stakes.

A fabulous weekend has taken Godolphin’s prize money haul in North America this year past the US$16 million mark, more than double the previous best total set in 2015.

In Australia, Willowy continued her remarkable rise with a breakthrough G1 success in the VRC Oaks at Flemington, just five days after taking the G2 Wakeful Stakes at the same course.

Cascadian also backed up quickly from his third in the Cantala Stakes as he produced another admirable performance when chasing home Zaaki in the G1 Mackinnon Stakes on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.