Team Godolphin have made a flying start to 2015 – and not just here in the UAE. The Dubai World Cup victory of Prince Bishop, trained by Godolphin stalwart, Saeed Bin Suroor (though sporting the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum) was the culmination of yet another ultra productive Dubai World Cup Carnival.
That put the ‘icing on the cake’ of an eighth consecutive Carnival title for both Godolphin (owner) and Bin Suroor (trainer).
However, while most eyes were focused on Meydan, Godolphin’s ‘second trainer’, Charlie Appleby, has been making waves on the Polytrack in England.
The English all-weather championships, which began at the end of October, provided a goldmine for Godolphin and Appleby, in particular.
The championships concluded on Friday, after which an Appleby treble – highlighted by the victory of Tryster in the featured Easter Classic – left Godolphin on a remarkable 98 winners and Appleby alone on 76.
“TRYSTER is a very good horse and will be given a break now. There’s no reason why he can’t translate his form onto turf” – Charlie Appleby
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) April 3, 2015
To put that into context, Mark Johnston held the previous trainers’ all-weather championship record with 69 winners.
An obviously delighted Appleby said: “It is a great achievement for my whole team and vindication of a new approach from Godolphin as a whole.
“Basically, this is something we have never done but we have strategically deployed a team in the UK over the end of last year and the early part of this. Personally, I think it has been great and the whole yard has been active and buzzing.
“We sat down last year and identified certain people to stay in the UK and, obviously, horses whom we thought would suit the racing calendar available. Judging by the results, we have been pretty spot on which, hopefully, bodes well for the forthcoming summer season in Europe.
#AWChamps becomes the Charlie Appleby show. Well done to my old partner in crime.
— Alan J McCabe (@AJMccabeRacing) April 3, 2015
“Everybody has done a great job, be it in Dubai or England, and that, hopefully, takes the whole team back to Europe in a great frame of mind.
“Credit to the all-weather championships, they have introduced a great series with attractive prize money and a great variety in races and opportunities.
“We have enjoyed ultra competitive handicaps, as well as opportunities at a higher level. You really do need a decent horse to win at these meetings these days. Perhaps, in the past, it was not that competitive. It can only bode well for the future and profile of all-weather racing.
“And from our point of view, we have been able to give Godolphin apprentice jockeys Kevin Stott and Shane Gray a chance to help them in their careers.”
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