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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Europe's best not good enough in Mile as World Approval wins

World Approval (grey) wins the Mile
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Europe had half the field in a team headed by the continent's best miler Ribchester but not for the first time they were held at bay by Canadian Mark Casse.

Two years ago Casse won his first Mile with the brilliant mare Tepin who then came to Royal Ascot where she captured the Queen Anne Stakes the following year.

And he handed out another beating to Europe's turf stars when World Approval stamped his authority on the £1.5 million race.

World Approval had beaten Lancaster Bomber in the Woodbine Mile carrying 12lb more weight and he saw off the same Ballydoyle rival in an otherwise disappointing race for the visitors.

On his final start before going to stud, Ribchester was given one more chance to run on his favoured fast surface and came fifth amid a blanket finish for the minor placings in which Blackjackcat was third and Suedois fourth.

It continued a woeful run for British-trained horses who have not won the Mile since Barathea struck in 1994.

Ribchester's trainer Richard Fahey said: "If I could wind the clock back and think he was going to be fifth I wouldn't have come."

"He hasn't shirked anything this year, this horse. He missed the French race (Marois), that was the only one and that was backing up ten days after Goodwood. He's gone out not with flying colours but with his head held high and I'm proud of him.

"He's an absolute superstar. He's a very brave horse, he's been a wonderful horse to us and the boss. Let's hope he breeds horses like himself because he's tough and very quick. I'm sure he'll make a super stallion."

Jockey William Buick said: "I was a little bit disappointed as he came off the bridle a little sooner than I would have expected him to, but he has had a long season."

After a furious early pace World Approval came to the front to win by a length and a quarter in another endorsement of the behind the scenes work done by Casse's son Norman, who runs the US arm of the operation and is soon to strike out on his own name.

Mark Casse said: "I was a little concerned early on because there was so much speed. But, this horse came into this race in just great order and he was ready.

"Norman and his team deserve so much credit for getting him to this point. This is quite a way to cap our last Breeders' Cup together.  Maybe now we'll be running in Breeders' Cups against each other."

The pace was so quick Roly Poly, often a front-runner in Europe, had to come from last having struggled to get forward from stall ten and never seriously threatened leaving Lancaster Bomber to emerge as Ballydoyle's best finisher.

She finished 11th as Zelzal took sixth, Karar (seventh) and Home Of The Brave last.

Lancaster Bomber's jockey Seamie Heffernan said: "I had a peach of a position throughout the race and they all knew I was there on the inside. He’s been running well all year. He loves the fast ground."

Shadwell Mile winner Suedois, in fourth, delivered another solid Breeders' Cup result for David O'Meara and Danny Tudhope who produced Mondialiste to run second to Tepin in 2015.

Tudhope said: "I was very pleased with his run. We knew it would be a tough assignment and it was. But he gave me everything as usual." 

Results and analysis

This is quite a way to cap our last Breeders' Cup together. Maybe now we'll be running in Breeders' Cups against each other
E.W. Terms
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