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Breeders’ Cup report

Auguste Rodin crowned a remarkable season when he won the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita last night.  A Group 1 winner at two, a dual Derby winner at three, and winner of the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September, Aidan O’Brien’s colt overcame a less than perfect run through the race to run out an emphatic winner under a masterful ride from Ryan Moore.  

“He was drawn handy, and Ryan thought he might be handier,” said the winning trainer.  “But he had faith in him.  You could see the pace that he has, he was able to quicken when he wanted him.  He gave him a brilliant ride.  He’s a super horse.”

A son of the Japanese champion Deep Impact, Auguste Rodin is out of the Galileo mare Rhododendron, herself a Group 1 winner at two, at three and at four.

“He’s so important to the breed,” said Aidan.  “The two continents he brings together.  I’m so delighted for the lads, they put so much into it.  Obviously John sent the mare over there for this job.  She was one of the best Galileo mares we ever had.  But he knew what he was doing.”

Ryan Moore knew what he was doing too.  Auguste Rodin was shuffled back in the field early on, so the rider had to improvise, implement a new plan.  But the constants were his clarity of thought, and the faith that he had in his horse.  

“He started well, but I got squeezed a little bit,” said the rider.  “There was no rhythm to the race early.  All I wanted to do was get this horse into a rhythm, and I wasn’t able to do that.  I was caught back further than ideal, and I thought, I have to do something a bit different, because it’s going to be hard to come around them.  We went to one of the last resorts, and we got a lovely run around.  He got to the front very quickly, and then, as he always does, he just waits there.”

Auguste Rodin just maintained his one-length advantage all the way to the line.  

“He has been an unbelievable horse,” said Moore. “We’ve always thought the world of him, he has a special pedigree.  We thought this was the perfect race for him.  It was a deep field, but Aidan has done a fantastic job with this horse.  Everyone has.  He’s been a pleasure to ride, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”

Earlier on the day, the Cheveley Park Stud’s filly Inspiral, trained by John and Thady Gosden, finished off her race strongly, getting up deep inside the final furlong to get home by a neck from Warm Heart in the Filly & Mare Turf.

This was vintage Dettori.  Inspiral missed the break and was almost last after they had gone a hundred yards.  Dettori took his medicine though, allowed his filly settle into her rhythm towards the rear of the field.  He angled her out at the top of the home straight, came widest of all and hit the front inside the final 100 yards.

“Amazing!” said Dettori.  “I love America, especially California, I retired for one week and I changed my mind.  How can you beat this?  The support from people have been phenomenal, I can’t go without the horses, she has been a star, today, her first time over this trip, she’s shown what she can do.  It’s a great relief for me, because I thought that this was my banker for the week.”

There was a 1-2 for Godolphin in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, with the Charlie Appleby-trained Master Of The Seas just getting up under William Buick to beat the Saaed Bin Suroor-trained filly Mawj by a nose, and emotions were high when another Godolphin horse, Cody’s Wish, trained by Bill Mott, won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile for the second year in a row.

© The Sunday Times, 5th November 2023