Charlie Appleby is confident Old Persian will make his presence felt in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf on Saturday, with the race live on Sky Sports Racing.
Winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March, the four-year-old son of Dubawi has run only three times since – disappointing in the Coronation Cup at Epsom before finishing third in Germany and winning his second top-level prize in Canada last month.
He was the first of the European horses to clear quarantine and go out on the training track in California on Tuesday morning – and Appleby was on hand to supervise the light exercise.
He said: “The horse has shipped in well and this sort of thing is second nature to him as he came via Germany and Canada.
“It’s his first day out of the barn and he’s really on his toes and as fresh as paint – they are the signs I like to see.
“This was our target after Dubai. He ran a bit flat in the Coronation Cup, where he was showing the exertions of the Carnival, so I backed off him and gave him a break.
“I was pleased with his run in Germany, after which it was all systems go to head for the Northern Dancer at Woodbine. He was the class horse in that race and he showed it.
“I’ve always wanted to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf and he’s kept the dream alive.”
Six years on from saddling his very first Breeders’ Cup winner with Outstrip in the Juvenile Turf, Appleby has returned to America’s showpiece meeting with just one representative in 2019.
However, the on-course reporters were unsurprisingly keen to get his views on the brilliant Pinatubo – the undoubted star juvenile back in Europe after rounding off an unbeaten campaign with victory in the Dewhurst at Newmarket earlier this month.
“A lot has happened since my first winner at the Breeders’ Cup. Some people have asked me why I didn’t bring another two-year-old here this year, but I came to the conclusion there wasn’t anything suitable,” Appleby continued.
“It’s been a diverse season for us in terms of success. Pinatubo has been a big contributor with his six from six and I have to say his win in the Dewhurst was something very special – the way he handled the ground and galloped out when he met the rising ground.
“I hope, like the very good horses that come along now and again, the public will enjoy following him and we’re looking forward to his three-year-old campaign with real optimism.”