Breeders' Cup International Horse Profile: Modern Games

December 30th, 2021

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

As the Somerville Tattersall (G3) winner, Modern Games achieved more in Great Britain than his stablemate Albahr did before he plundered the Summer (G1) at Woodbine. Thus Modern Games is arguably the Charlie Appleby runner to prefer here.

Likewise a Godolphin homebred by Dubawi, Modern Games is out of Modern Ideals, who is a half-sister to 2015 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) scorer Ultra. Modern Ideals has the Epsom Derby (G1) at the forefront of her pedigree as a daughter of New Approach (by Galileo) and a Nashwan mare.

Modern Games was a green-looking fifth in his Haydock debut, where his head was cocked right a good deal of time in midpack. The winner, Mr McCann, recently captured the Epsom conditions race that offers an entry in next year’s Derby. Triple Time, second as the favorite at Haydock, has won his next two including the Ascendant S.

Graduating next time on Newmarket’s July Course, Modern Games raced with more competitive intent from the start. The 5-2 favorite took up a handy position and strode away, if still showing inexperience by hanging leftward across the course. Two lengths adrift was The Queen’s Saga, who was subsequently runner-up to Godolphin’s exciting Coroebus before breaking his maiden at Ascot.

Modern Games was then overturned at odds-on in a Leicester novice, but he was anchored by his 134-pound impost. Always prominent, he was tackled by newcomer Cresta (in receipt of nine pounds) and succumbed by three-quarters of a length. Yet Modern Games was six lengths clear of third, suggesting that he ran well in defeat on the good-to-soft going.

Back on good-to-firm for a Doncaster nursery (two-year-old handicap), Modern Games toted 131 pounds to victory as the 2-1 favorite. He advanced from a stalking position and stretched 3 1/2 lengths clear.

Modern Games wheeled back in 15 days for the Somerville Tattersall at Newmarket, over seven furlongs of the Rowley Mile, and held sway by 2 1/2 lengths on the front end. The 3-1 second choice vied early before establishing control, and he quickened too well for the pursuing even-money favorite, Trident. Aside from beating that talented French shipper, who was coming off a second in the Prix Morny (G1), Modern Games gained revenge on Cresta, who was only fourth in their rematch at level weights (and subsequently placed second in the Horris Hill [G3]). Third in the Somerville Tattersall was Harrow, previously the winner of three straight capped by the rich Weatherbys race at Doncaster.

Granted, Modern Games capitalized on the perfect scenario, and the quick ground that suits him. Still, there was a lot to like about how he got the job done. Drawing the rail at Del Mar could work out for him, since he tends to break well, and Mendelssohn won from post 1 here in 2017. With his handy style and strong finish, Modern Games could be very tough to run down.