Charlie Appleby, 43, is a fairly recent addition to the training ranks, having been chosen by Sheikh Mohammed to take over the training licence at Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket from the disgraced Mahmood Al Zarooni, who was ‘warned off’ for eight years after several of his horses tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2013.
However, Appleby had previously worked for Godolphin for 15 years in various capacities, including as assistant trainer to Al Zarooni, Saeed bin Suroor and David Loder, so was hardly wet behind the ears when it came to preparing race horses to compete.
Appleby is based at Moulton Paddocks during the British Flat season and at Marmoom Stables, in the desert south of Dubai, during the British winter. Having embarked upon a training career, in his own right, in July, 2013, he saddled his first Grade 1 winner in November that same year, when Outstrip lead close home to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita Park in California. He saddled his first domestic Group 1 winner, Charming Thought, in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, less than a year later and the following summer opened his account at Royal Ascot, when Space Age made most of the running to beat 16 rivals in the King George V Stakes.
Appleby recorded another high-profile success with Hawkbill in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in 2016 and, in 2018, raised the bar again with three more winners at the highest level. The most notable of them, of course, was Masar, who reversed 2,000 Guineas form with Saxon Warrior to win the Derby at Epsom. In so doing, the son of New Approach provided Appleby with his first Classic winner and Godolphin with its first Derby winner. Further victories for Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and Wild Illusion in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood contributed to his most successful season so far, financially, with £3.69 million in prize money at the time of writing. With over 500 winners to his name in his short career, Appleby looks bound for plenty more success in the future.