Appleby lands big North American double as Walton Street and Yibir score
Charlie Appleby and Godolphin enjoyed a Saturday to remember in North America with a quickfire big-race double in Canada and the US, headlined by Walton Street's ultra-impressive victory in the Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine.
The seven-year-old demolished the field in the CA$608,400 (approx £347,000/€406,000) prize, easing to victory by five and three-quarter lengths under Frankie Dettori from Desert Encounter – who ran an admirable race in his search for a Canadian International hat-trick – to provide Britain with a 1-2 in Canada's flagship race.
The seven-year-old's victory meant Dettori became the winningmost jockey in the race's history with four successes in what was a brilliant return to the Toronto track for the 50-year-old, whose last visit to Woodbine nine years ago saw him land the Canadian International on Joshua Tree.
It was also a first Grade 1 win in the Godolphin silks for Dettori since Colour Vision landed the Ascot Gold Cup in June 2012.
Appleby's assistant trainer Alex Merriam, quoted by Bloodhorse, said: "I think it worked out perfectly how we thought it would. Frankie had his game plan and always knew he was going to kick on.
"He's done it nicely. We're delighted for the horse to win a Grade 1. He's been with us a long time and he's a favourite in the yard."
Dettori was out of luck when his other mount, the Chad Brown-trained Raging Bull, disappointed behind Town Cruise in the Woodbine Mile, but he and Appleby will bid for more Grade 1 glory at the track when they team up with Wild Beauty in the Natalma Stakes (10.06) and Albahr in the Summer Stakes (10.39) on Sunday evening.
Yibir surges to Jockey Club success under cool Spencer
Appleby and Godolphin's night was made even better just ten minutes later in New York when Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Yibir landed the most lucrative success of his career in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont Park.
The son of Dubawi broke slowly and was continually urged along by Jamie Spencer at the rear of the field, but he flew from last to first in the final furlong to win by two and a half lengths in the $908,000 prize, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Bolshoi Ballet a disappointing fourth.
Appleby's other assistant Chris Connett said: "The purses here are phenomenal. Charlie and Godolphin are big advocates of taking on the best around the world, so if we can do our little part by coming over here, that's great.
"We have a great team and everyone plays their part; thankfully Sheikh Mohammed put it all in place and we just try to make him proud. Hopefully we've done that today."
The trio were out of luck with their other runner on the Belmont card as Creative Flair finished fourth in the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational.
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