Yibir bounced back from a disappointing run at Goodwood to land the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.
The Dubawi gelding was the second string for Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby behind Kemari after finishing unplaced in the Gordon Stakes, but came out on top with an emphatic display in this Group Two over a mile and a half.
The Mediterranean, one of three runners for trainer Aidan O’Brien, set the pace and did not give up the lead without a fight but he finally had to give way to Yibir.
The 6-1 shot, who had won the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket’s July meeting, was produced by James Doyle to hit the front in the final furlong and pull away to score by a length and a quarter. The Mediterranean held on for second by half a length from Youth Spirit, who just held Sir Lucan for third spot.
The Mediterranean was cut to 10-1 from 33-1 for the Cazoo St Leger with Betfair. Yibir is not qualified to run at Doncaster as he is a gelding.
Appleby said: “Everyone is asking me if it was a surprise, but the rule of thumb is I try not to run them if I don’t think they’re going to run well. It doesn’t always work out, mind you!
“He’s been such a great work horse and has danced every dance.
“We put him in those (Derby) trials for a reason in the spring – we really fancied him as being a proper mile-and-a-half horse.
“We’ve had our quirks with him – he’s been gelded and we’ve had the hood on and the hood off.
“We were delighted with him on his first start after the gelding operation in the Bahrain Trophy, but he still tended to have a little wander, and then at Goodwood he just latched on and ran his race the wrong way round.
“The plan today was to put the hood on and I told James to bury him, so he can learn to do things the right way round going forward.
“He’s got a lot of potential and it’s just about trying to get him on his right day.
“His constitution is a credit to himself as he’s had plenty of racing and doesn’t miss out in the mornings.”
On future plans, the trainer added: “It was always the plan after this to hopefully go to America with him for the Jockey Club Stakes at Belmont – a three-year-old race over a mile and a half.
“He’s a gelding now, so he’ll up for a bit of travelling and we’ll have a bit of fun with him.”
The Moulton Paddocks handler also provided an update on plans for his Derby and King George hero Adayar and his Irish Derby-winning stablemate Hurricane Lane.
He said: “Thankfully we seem to have the strength in depth with the three-year-olds and we’re coming into the autumn now with Adayar and Hurricane Lane.
“They’re both in great order and have had a nice little break since their last starts.
“We’ll head to the Prix Niel with Adayar and the plan is to go straight to the St Leger with Hurricane Lane.”
Andrew Balding is planning to head to Doncaster with Youth Spirit.
He said: “I’m thrilled with that, he seems to stay very well. He’s got the Leger entry and that is probably where we’ll head with him.”
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