On the record: Charlie Appleby, Brad Cox, Damien Oliver and more …

• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures

Horse Racing Space Blues Breeders' Cup Mile Charlie Appleby
Space Blues wins Breeders’ Cup Mile under a triumphant William Buick. Photo: Tim Sudduth/Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM

6 (from 11) Charlie Appleby

USA: Can’t let this week pass without mention of Charlie Appleby’s extraordinary performance at the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. Despite the bad luck of the starting-gate scratches of both Albahr and Master Of The Seas, the Godolphin trainer left California with three winners – from just four runners in the end.

Appleby, who is in line to win the UK trainers’ title, has a remarkable six-for-11 record overall at America’s championship meet. Modern Games, Space Blues and Yibir were all partnered by William Buick, who missed out on the Bill Shoemaker Award for top jockey only because Irad Ortiz also had a runner-up finish.

“It’s been unbelievable – an amazing weekend,” said Buick. “I’ve been coming to the Breeders’ Cup for many years and many times things have not gone my way. I understand how hard it is to have winners here so I appreciate every bit of success.” 

Ortiz, for his part, has now won the Shoemaker award at four successive Cups; he has ridden 14 Breeders’ Cup winners altogether. Mike Smith, leading rider overall, partnered Juvenile winner Corniche for his 27th BC success.

29m Brad Cox

USA: Thanks to Knicks Go’s all-the-way success in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, America’s richest race, reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer has overtaken prolific Steve Asmussen at the head of the 2021 prize-money standings.

At the conclusion of the two-day Breeders’ Cup, 41-year-old Cox had just over $29.18m to his name, whereas Asmussen – who has led all year long – had $27.87m. Asmussen also tasted Breeders’ Cup success with Juvenile Fillies’ starlet Echo Zulu; he leads the way in races won with 405, compared to Cox’s 229.

126 Damien Oliver

Australia: Damien Oliver equalled the legendary George Moore’s Australian record of 126 G1 wins when he partnered Godolphin’s Willowy to victory in the Kennedy-sponsored VRC Oaks at Flemington on Thursday [Nov 4].

Trained by James Cummings, the Godolphin filly scored by a head from outsider Douceur to give Oliver his seventh win in the VRC Oaks. That, too, equals the record mark; Oliver, 49, is already the winningmost G1 rider at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

10 Verry Elleegant

Australia: Superstar racemare Verry Elleegant was recording her tenth G1 victory when she landed a resounding four-length success in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday [Nov 2].

Trained by Chris Waller, the six-year-old is the reigning Australian horse of the year. Among her other G1 successes are the 2020 Tancred Stakes and Caulfield Cup, while a longstanding rivalry with British-trained Addeybb has become a focal point of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

10 James McDonald

Australia: James McDonald put the seal in his Melbourne Cup-winning exploits on Saturday [Nov 6] when the Kiwi rode his tenth winner of Cup week at Flemington on Zaaki in the Mackinnon Stakes.

The victory was McDonald’s fourth of the week and the 59th of his career. More significantly, it was also his tenth win of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, surpassing Brett Prebble’s record mark of nine achieved in 1999 and 2000.

McDonald had a G1 double on Saturday’s card, when he also landed the Darley Sprint Classic on Nature Strip. “It is probably my greatest three weeks in the saddle,” said the Sydney-based rider. “I got some brilliant rides and, arguably, to take home the holy grail, the Melbourne Cup – it’s been the highest achievement.”

100 Mirco Demuro

Japan: Five-time Italian champion jockey Mirco Demuro rode his 100th Pattern-race winner on the Japan Racing Association circuit aboard Circle Of Life in the G3 Artemis Stakes at Tokyo racecourse on Saturday October 30. The two-year-old filly is trained by Sakae Kunieda.

Long based in Japan, Demuro was the first overseas jockey to win the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) on Neo Universe in 2003; he won the Dubai World Cup via a brilliant ride on Japanese-trained Victoire Pisa in 2011.

82 Hugo Dittfach

Canada: Former leading rider Hugo Dittfach died on Monday [Nov 1] last week at the age of 82. A member of the Canadian Hall of Fame, he won five editions of the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg of the nation’s triple crown at Fort Erie.

A winner of the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion jockey in 1975, Dittfach rode more than 4,000 winners altogether.

TW3: Meanwhile in … Jamaica: Breeders’ Cup winner Rajiv Maragh launches Road Jockey delivery app

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