Newmarket champion trainer Charlie Appleby sets his sights on further run of success for Godolphin in 2022
After enjoying a magical year, champion trainer Charlie Appleby is eyeing up further success to maintain the standards he has set for Godolphin in 2022.
The Newmarket handler, based at Moulton Paddocks since 2013, managed to pull off a remarkable 17 Group/Grade 1 victories worldwide, including a second Cazoo Derby at Epsom Downs via Adayar, to claim a first UK Flat Trainers’ Championship.
But with the equine talent at his disposal he is ready to ensure the next 12 months can also be lined with accolades.
He said: “I’m a big stats man and it was there for all to see where Godolphin were pitching themselves back in 2013 and to see where we are now.
“To be champion owner and champion trainer and William (Buick) being two strides off being champion jockey, that shows the strength and depth of the operation and long may that continue.
“I have to give all my applause to His Highness for supporting ourselves and putting so much passion into the sport.
“The hardest point now is to try keep maintain this level in 2022 but we have an exciting team going into the new year with an excellent team of older horses combined with some very smart soon to be three year olds.”
For Derby and King George (Ascot) winner Adayar, it is set to be the Group 1 Coronation Cup over the Derby course and distance as his first port of call next season.
He said: “He is a horse that will probably go down the Coronation Cup route then work around that really.
“We can then look towards defending his crown in the King George back at Ascot.”
High on Appleby’s 2022 wish-list is to train the winner of a QIPCO 2000 Guineas. And in the unbeaten Native Trail he has an outstanding candidate capable of giving him a breakthrough success in the opening colts Classic on the Rowley Mile on Saturday, April 30.
“Native Trail crowned his unbeaten juvenile career with victory in the Dewhurst and is a justifiable favourite for the 2000 Guineas going into the winter,” he said.
“I always felt he was a man amongst the boys throughout his two year old career. I wouldn’t say he needs to grow anymore as he is soon going to be an imposing three year old.
“One bonus he will have, and something I’m a big believer in, is track experience. Surprisingly for a horse that is a big strong colt like he is, the quicker the ground the better.
“If it was good ground in the spring you would be absolutely delighted and have a job to make an excuse. It is very exciting when you have an unbeaten colt and he ticks a lot of boxes if we get a clear winter with him going into the Guineas.”
Although Native Trail is yet to tackle a mile Appleby is confident he will get that trip which he could attempt for the first time in the Group Three bet365 Craven Stakes earlier in the month.
He said: “He outstayed Dubawi Legend over seven furlongs and stepping up to the mile looks like it should see further improvement and if that is correct he will take all the beating in the Guineas.
“I think to be honest with you with the past experience we’ve had I’d like to think I would probably look towards a trial.
“Personally I’ve always been a fan of sticking closer to home and I think the Craven could be more for him.”
Appleby finds himself in the enviable position of having another leading QIPCO 2000 Guineas contender in Coroebus, who ended his year with an impressive success in the Group 3 Emirates Autumn Stakes on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket.
He said: “He got beat in the Royal Lodge but he came out the race well and I was keen to run him on a sound surface rather than wait for the Verterm Futurity Trophy.
“It is never a bad thing to get beat. As with any sports person who goes into the pinnacle of their career it sometimes does them no harm to get beat as it puts an edge on to them when they know what to do when the going gets tough.
“I felt running him in the Autumn Stakes on good ground would give him more experience and it wasn’t going to take anything out of him.
“I’m very much a Coroebus fan because I’m fortunate enough that he is by Dubawi and I feel I know how they can improve and what signs they need to show to suggest they have improved.
“I think if there was a Greenham horse it would be Coroebus as he has got a lot of pace and picks up well. We saw in the Autumn Stakes he travels for fun and he has got a serious gear change.”
After enjoying plenty of success in Europe this year Appleby could also be chasing early season Classic glory across the English Channel after earmarking the French 2000 Guineas for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Modern Games.
He said: “For him to win a Breeders’ Cup after what happened at the start where showed his great mind set and ability on the day there.
“He has still come out and won in impressive style. He is proven over the mile and very much a Dubawi so we are very much looking forward to his three-year-old career.
“We could look down the French Guineas route with him. When you are trying to win a Guineas the more chances you have the better but they are three exciting colts that you don’t ideally want to butt heads throughout their Classic careers.”
Meanwhile, he revealed working back from October’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Paris-Longchamp will be the route for Hurricane Lane, in a bid to improve on this year’s third place.
“Hurricane Lane coming out doing what he did shows we weren’t too far off the mark with him," he said.
“He came out winning an Irish Derby, a Grand Prix de Paris a St Leger then running a very creditable third in the Arc as well.
“His performances were unbelievably solid throughout his three year old career.
“If you ask me now which route we go Hurricane Lane will be working back from an Arc and so therefore will be programmed from that point.”