By Geoffrey Riddle and Alex Steedman in Del Mar
World Approval could be in line for a trip to Royal Ascot next year after the grey spread-eagled the field in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on Saturday.
World Approval cruised to the front under John Velazquez and held of Aidan O’Brien’s Lancaster Bomber to become the first favourite of the night to prevail at 11-4.
Mark Casse is famous for dispatching Tepin to win the Queen Anne Stakes last year, and the trainer did not rule out a trip to Berkshire for the same race next season. The Queen Anne is the most likely target for Australian superstar Winx, whould she make the trip from down under.
“He would handle things as well as Tepin did over there, he’s doing the same things as she used to do so it’s something to sit down over a nice meal, maybe a baseball game, and talk about,” he said.World Approval got up the hat-trick of wins at Del Mar on Saturday (EclipseSportswire)
“We’re a stable who plans things in advance and his main aim next year is to come back to the Breeders’ Cup and win again. But we’re in the racing game.”
When asked about a trip to Royal Ascot owner/breeder Charlotte Weber said: "There's never a never. He's there to ride. He's there to win."
There was much attention focused on the likes of Richard Fahey's Ribchester and Aidan O'Brien's Roly Poly, but neither were able to get in a really serious blow on the winner, although the former was just out of the places and the latter came home well.
In the end it was Roly Poly's stablemate Lancaster Bomber - second in the Juvenile Turf 12 months ago - who got closest to the favourite under Seamie Heffernan, with Blackjackcat third and Suedois a highly creditable fourth for David O'Meara and Danny Tudhope.World Approval could clash with Australian superstar Winx at Royal Ascot. (EclipseSportswire)
O'Brien said of Lancaster Bomber: "He ran a great race, he's very comfortable at a mile on fast ground. He's a proven traveller, having run well at this meeting a year ago, and he's come home as strongly as anything. He's a very good colt." He added: "With Roly Poly we knew we would have to use her speed early, but I was pleased with both of them."
Ribchester was fifth and Fahey said of the four-time Group One winner, who now heads for retirement: "Horses like this don't come along very often, he's been a wonderful racehorse and this was the place to bring him for his last run.
"He just didn't come home as strongly as he usually does, but I can't blame anything to do with the draw or the track as the race went to plan and I was delighted where he was until turning for home.
"He's an absolute superstar, a wonderful horse to us and the Godolphin team. He's tough, very quick and I'm sure he'll make a super stallion.
"Godolphin are very sporting and left it to me (whether to run). There's a little regret, as it's the first time he's been out of the money all year. It's about winning, but he'll make a fantastic stallion."
His rider William Buick, who struck earlier on the card with Wuheida, said: "It would have been wonderful to top what has been a wonderful day for me on this horse, as I owe him so much, but at the business end of the race he didn't seem to have his usual kick.
"He's been a fantastic horse, Richard and the team have trained him so well. It would have been nice to go out on a high today, we were on the tail of the winner, but he didn't quite travel like I wanted him to, although he still ran a huge race.
"It was a complete blanket for the placings and he was only in the QEII two weeks ago. The horse has done nothing wrong, it's the first time he's run two turns and he's never run a bad race in his life. "He has to be a champion."