Sports games

Modern games in search of French Derby success

2021 saw the Epsom Derby winner coached by British trainer Charlie Appelby. Could this year see him coach the winner of the French Derby on June 5?

Also known as the Prix du Jockey Club, the race is contested by three-year-old children over a distance of one and a half miles. Appelby leads Modern Games who currently lead the market with odds of 1/10.

Modern Games will contest its eighth race by participating in the French Derby. He had a busy schedule as a two-year-old, but didn’t get off to a good start. Finishing fifth and 11 lengths behind the winner in Nottingham, this rider’s future success didn’t seem too likely.

Much better was yet to come though, and Modern Games took off on its next run. This delighted those who had backed him with odds of 1/10, experts from major UK betting apps reported. Backers weren’t so happy the next time around that despite odds of 5/6, Modern Games could only finish second.

Charlie Appelby’s rider was still only competing in modest Class 4 races. However, a Class 2 upgrade to Doncaster in September 2021 was successful. It turned out to be the first of four successive victories for this rider.

The quality of modern games was shown at Newmarket, 15 days after this Doncaster success. Victory came in the Group 2 Tattersalls Stakes, although it was not an expected success. French horse Trident was the 99/1 favorite with Modern Games at +300. The British horse did everything to win the race seven furlongs two and a half lengths from Trident.

Modern games had now arrived on the big stage and the next stop was the United States. He won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes, finishing a length and a half ahead of Tiz the Bomb in a rather contentious run.

There were issues in the pits and it looked like Modern Games was going to be pulled. However, he participated in the race but without betting odds. Those who wanted to support him weren’t amused at all when he won the race.

This year, Modern Games has only been in action once. It was at Longchamp in France on May 15 in the Group 1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains. Modern Games won its seasonal respawn a length and a half from Texas.

This success put him at the top of the betting market for the French Derby. It’s a race that Charlie Appelby has never won. It will be a tough race to win with the current second favorite being Al Hakeem.

The recent Prix de Suresnes winner is available at 7/1 and is trained by Jean-Claude Rouget. He has trained four previous winners of this race, so any horse he leads must be feared. Rouget also leads Vadeni (8/1) who won the Group 3 Prix de Guiche at Chantilly earlier this month and was able to enjoy the mile and a half of that race.

An interesting rider is Eydon, trained by Roger Varian. This competitor finished fourth in the 2000 Guineas but struggled to manage the drop in the Newmarket course. Perhaps Longchamp could suit this three-year-old better and are currently 7/1 to win this race. Modern Games is a worthy favorite to win this race and a trip back to the States later in the year could well be on the cards.

(Devdiscourse journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse claims no responsibility for them.)