Master of The Seas Rockets Home To Win Breeders’ Cup Mile by a Nose

November 4, 2023

Master of The Seas prevails under William Buick (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

ARCADIA, Calif.— It was a Godolphin exacta in the 40th running of the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF for 3-year-olds and up as Master of The Seas (IRE) ($8.60) caught Mawj (IRE) in the final jump to win by a nose Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita.

Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, Master of The Seas completed the mile on a firm turf course in 1:32.45 to give the Appleby-Buick duo a third consecutive victory in the race. They won with Modern Games (IRE) last year at Keeneland and with Space Blues (IRE) in 2021 at Del Mar.

Win Carnelian (JPN) and Astronomer dueled for the early lead as Mawj, a 3-year-old filly taking on the boys, tracked in third with Master of The Seas far back. Mawj made her move heading into the stretch and assumed a clear lead at the eighth pole while Master of The Seas was making a wide move and still behind nine runners.

Master of The Seas had a clear run in the stretch and hit the front at the wire. Mawj was a half-length better than Casa Creed for second with Gina Romantica and Songline (JPN) rounding out the top five.

The victory was worth $1,040,000 and improved Mater of The Seas’s earnings to $2,214,457 with a record of 16-8-3-2 that includes two Grade 1 victories.

Master of The Seas is a 5-year-old son of Dubawi (IRE) out of the Danehill mare Firth of Lorne (IRE).

Stakes Quotes:

Winning trainer Charlie Appleby, Master of The Seas (IRE) – “Going into the race, prior to the draw, we were confident with the way the horse was. As the race was developing in its stature, we knew he’d be a big player. When we drew stall 14, I wouldn’t say it was a dampener as much as it was more of a challenge for him. The one thing the horse was doing is he was flying out here and thriving. He’s been beaten three times a short head in Grade 1s, so we know the horse has got the engine, he just needed the breaks and he got them today in a fashion from a draw where William (Buick) gave him an outstanding ride. We were always going to have to play slingshot and that’s easier said than done, but Will gave him the ride he needed and he got up on the line when it mattered. That’s the name of the game. Most importantly, it’s great for Godolphin. My heart ruled my head out there and I wanted Mawj to win because she’s a half-sister to our Modern Games (IRE). It’s a fantastic family that has given us so much fun. Racing is racing and Master of The Seas did it in his own right. He will go to Dubai now, but he’s got an invitation to the Pegasus, so we might take a look at that.”

Winning jockey William Buick, Master of The Seas (IRE) – “Obviously it was a tough post position in 14 so it was never going to be easy. We had to ride him for his turn of foot and the pace was good. I was lucky on the turn as I didn’t have to pull out as wide as expecting. Once passing the quarter-pole he took off. I was then always confident he would get there. Credit to the horse and Charlie’s record at Breeders’ Cup is amazing. These races aren’t easy at all and I’m absolutely delighted.”

Second-place trainer Saeed bin Suroor, Mawj (IRE) – “She ran a huge race and I’m happy with the way she ran. Oisin (Murphy) gave her a great ride and gave it everything and she tried so hard. She’s a tough filly. Now we will take her back to Dubai and point to the (Group 1) Jebel Hatta and (Group 1) Dubai Turf.”

Third-place trainer Bill Mott, Casa Creed – “He ran a great race. Luis (Saez) rode a great race. Perfect position. Casa Creed is one of those warriors. Look who beat him. I will go back and review their forms, they are top horses. They are top horses when they are in Europe. I have no complaints. I am grateful. I don’t know what Lee (co-owner Einsidler) thinks, but I think he will be pleased.”

Third-place jockey Luis Saez, Casa Creed – “We had a pretty good trip.  He broke nice and he was right there in a good position. At the top of the stretch I thought I was going to win.  He didn’t give up.  Those are two pretty good horses that beat us.”

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