REBEL’S ROMANCE: BC’22 Longines Turf Press Conference

November 5, 2022

Photo by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

~ James Doyle
~ Charlie Appleby
~ Hugh Anderson

THE MODERATOR: Rebel’s Romance wins the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. We’re joined by jockey James Doyle. What a fantastic race. Take us first through the running of the race.

JAMES DOYLE: Yes, I mean, we kind of had, myself and Charlie spoke before the race, and we were just kind of went into it with a pretty open mind. I think that’s a better way to approach these races.

Obviously a lot depends on how we break from the stalls. We were a little slow away, like you can be, but we ended up in a nice position behind Nations Pride. We knew he would take me into the race nicely. I think through watching all the Turf races, I think it’s quite important to maybe get off the inside rail and come with a nice smooth run down through the center of the track.

Obviously you’re hostage to fortune the way things pan out but it panned out perfectly today.

THE MODERATOR: Seemed like everything from the start worked out very well for his running style for you.

JAMES DOYLE: He was a little bit raw on the turn. There was a couple of hairy moments where we were in tight racing room. So I was relieved once we got into the straight — that was just early on. But once we got into the straight he became more comfortable and we were able to get a little bit more room. He’s a tremendous performance and I think back on faster ground definitely suited him.

THE MODERATOR: I told you I was watching the race behind your mother actually in the warmups. She was talking quite a great bit about you before the race and how well you were handling this horse who can, I gather, be a little difficult.

JAMES DOYLE: He can be. But he was pretty good today. He even took me by surprise. He was very relaxed. I think having the pony and everything is quite nice for him and he took to it well.

The guys have done a magnificent job. Charlie and his team and Robbie Fitzpatrick, he rides him now and has for quite some time now. Has done a really wonderful job with him.

THE MODERATOR: First Breeders’ Cup win, I know you’ve been over here and ridden in a few and this has to be special.

JAMES DOYLE: Yes, my sister has been over here a number of years. I hope I made her proud. I’ve let her down a few times coming over. Hopefully she enjoys this one. And obviously riding for the right team. Any ride for Charlie Appleby in the Breeders’ Cup, as we’ve seen, is pretty dangerous.

THE MODERATOR: Can’t go wrong with these connections, Charlie Appleby, trainer. For Godolphin and Hugh Anderson, welcome back again. Third Breeders’ Cup win, 2022 here. Rebel’s Romance could maybe be a little bit of a difficult horse at times but heading into this race obviously in good form.

CHARLIE APPLEBY: Delighted. The horse is maturing and well traveled now. What he’s done this season on the turf has been — rejuvenated from a horse that at one stage we looked like we might have been losing him for a moment.

But a typical Dubawi, he’s gotten stronger. But full credit to the team. Delighted for James to have his first winner. It was a rough race out there. As James quite rightly said there earlier, getting a horse like him around the turns was never going to be easy, just the size of him. But you could see the way he was traveling into the race that if he had the right horse under him, which we visually could see him, we were confident that he’d get the job done. And a great ride by James. And delighted for the whole team to wrap it up again.

THE MODERATOR: Hugh, with Rebel’s Romance, if I’m reading here correctly, a gelding. So I’m assuming we’ll see him around hopefully for a bit.

HUGH ANDERSON: Yeah, I’m sure we will. That would certainly be the plan. Up to Charlie. But he’s a home bred. Fabulous performance. As Charlie said, he’s being modest as ever, but this horse was struggling last year. And he’s brought him back, and in 2022 he has been just fabulous.

And it’s wonderful that James has ridden him today. I pay tribute to William Buick yesterday. James is a fabulous rider. Won the 2000 Guineas for us this year and this Breeders’ Cup win. It’s rounded off a wonderful two-day.

Today, with Cody’s Wish, Modern Games and now Rebel’s Romance, that’s as good as it gets. I’m so grateful to the team for everything they’ve done.

THE MODERATOR: Charlie, he has been very successful on the dirt. Previously, winning the UAE Derby, would that be something you would consider over here in the future, perhaps?

CHARLIE APPLEBY: I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to switch back. But he has. With the dirt, his style of running is different here compared to what we would encounter in the UAE, in Dubai there. Because they go hard on there.

Photo by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

If you’re too far back, you’re sort of out of the game. Unfortunately, that’s his run style. I think we’ll stick to turf. If he loses form, then I might switch back to the dirt after that.

THE MODERATOR: Been on such an amazing run, and just it seems like you make it look so easy. How does that happen?

CHARLIE APPLEBY: Just a remarkable team back home. The team that traveled him over here, the support team as much as anything. But we won — I hate saying team, team, team, but it is, it’s a huge team.

William and James, I haven’t got a ton of instructions on how to ride these horses. They come in and ride them. They know their characteristics, where they need to be. My job is just to get them in the plate out of the ring, let them do the rest of it. And the guys at home prepare them, look after them second to none. My job’s easy.

Q. James, you rode the horse in Germany once, did you not?

JAMES DOYLE: Yes.

Q. How much does he get out of a trip like that? Those horses in Germany are tough, and those courses are tough too, aren’t they?

JAMES DOYLE: They are. And quite often you encounter easier ground than we would usually get in the summer at home. I think it stood him in good stead.

They’re not easy races in Germany. They can be looked upon as slightly easier targets, but they’ve got some pretty good horses over there. And he’s run against the best horses they have there.

The German Derby winner he beat last time, and there’s plenty of strength and depth in them races. But it was a little bit unknown today because we haven’t really faced those horses enough to get a true gauge how good they were.

But I certainly think his whole campaign this year has helped him grow up right from his run at Goodwood to his couple of runs in Germany.

Q. Having run in Germany and run on the dirt and turf now, Charlie says he’s done for the year, but maybe next year you could think about things like Japan, Hong Kong, places like that. Maybe it’s a question for Charlie.

CHARLIE APPLEBY: We’ll start next year as of January 1st and regroup from there. But it’s been a great year.

Like I said, I would like to thank Hugh for all of his support. There’s lucky time today. So we were up for a bit of it.

But I say thank you to everybody. Thank you to the Breeders’ Cup for looking after us so well. And it’s always a joy to come here. Even if you don’t have a win, it’s just a joy to be part of it. But thankfully we’re going home with a bag full again.

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