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Appleby looking for first Breeders’ Cup success with Big Evs

3 minute read

Mick Appleby will be hoping to open his Breeders’ Cup account with a win as Big Evs is set to be the stable’s first runner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.

BIG EVS (red/blue cap) winning the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster in England.
BIG EVS (red/blue cap) winning the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The race features a strong UK and Irish challenge, including representatives from Aidan O'Brien (Cherry Blossom), Jessica Harrington (Givemethebeatboys) and Adrian Murray (Valiant Force).

A surprise winner of the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, Big Evs has proven himself to be one of the best juvenile sprinters in training this season, taking the Group 3 Molecombe Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Although the son of Blue Point was disappointing when tried against his elders in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes, he bounced back to winning ways when returned to two-year-old competition in the Group 2 Flying Childers at Doncaster.

"I've never really had the right ammo in the two-year-old division, but I think with this horse I've proved I can do it," said Mick Appleby.

"After Goodwood we thought about coming here and as to his blip in the Nunthorpe it came just two weeks after a hard race in soft ground and we put a line through it. In hindsight we shouldn't have run at York, it was way too soon.

"Doncaster was a most impressive win and if he reproduces it he will take a lot of beating.

"He absolutely flew out of the gate this morning and should be as good at it as any of the Americans.

"My main concern is going round a bend, but Tom breezed him yesterday and said he coped with it really well. The ground will ride on the quick side which is fine for us."

This year's Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot was won by American challenger Crimson Advocate and the filly forms part of a three-strong team for trainer George Weaver. The daughter of Nyquist has been bought by Qatari-based Wathnan Racing since her Ascot success and she will be their first runner at a Breeders' Cup meeting.

"We're excited and it will be an exciting day," said Case Clay, Wathnan's racing adviser in the USA.

"This is the Breeders' Cup so it will be very tough competition. We're just hoping for a nice clean break and the nice thing about the turf sprint is it is just get out and go – once the gates open it is going to be just that.

"We're really happy to have John Velazquez on board, especially with his great experience at Ascot, and that is reassuring. We are just very excited.

"Olly Tait [senior Wathnan representative] has given me instruction to look for quality and she is the first purchase and hopefully there will be some more."

Big Evs is currently edging favouritism for Friday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at 11/4.

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