Charlie Appleby Hoping For Another Record Breaking Season

Charlie Appleby last season had one of his best to date picking up some of the major races across the world and breaking records and he has a primed team of runners ready to do the same this season.

He claimed his first Epsom Derby win last year with Masar before rounding off his superb season winning the Melbourne Cup in Australia with Cross Counter, to become the first British trainer to ever do so.

His Derby winner Masar and one of the most exciting young and unbeaten prospects Quorto are set to miss the start of the flat season through injury but will play a part all being well in Group 1 action this season.

The 43 year old is hoping that he can start early with his big race winners and his best chance could come through Line Of Duty who won over in America at the Breeders Cup meeting back at the end of last season and this year will first be heading for the 2,000 Guineas.

(Credit At The Races) Appleby said: “The plan is to start off in the 2000 Guineas. He is a horse I am hoping we are working back from a potential Derby route with. He is an individual where I think the track will suit at Epsom.

“I think he has shown all the right signs, where stepping up in trip is going to suit him as well.

“I think he will run very well in the Guineas. If we are happy with the Guineas and we think stepping him up in trip will be his forte, we will freshen him up and have a crack at the Derby”

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With the Newmarket trainer having so many star performers at his yard he will constantly be looking at different options for horses that go over various distances.

One of those is his Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter who on his latest outing picked up the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan to add to his already elusive CV and this season in Britain will be taking a firm look at the staying division.

“I think on the evidence of what we saw on Dubai World Cup night we are pretty confident we are going to go down the Gold Cup route and head to Royal Ascot.

“Hopefully he has cemented himself as being one of the serious stayers this season.”

Masar, as said before, will not be seen until mid way through the season and Royal Ascot is being looked at for his reappearance but his overall target for the season looks to be one of the races of the year in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

He said: “I mentioned the Hardwicke at Ascot as a potential comeback as that is the most obvious race for him and at the moment timing-wise it looks potentially achievable.

“If we missed Royal Ascot it wouldn’t be the be all and end all, as the Arc is my aim and that is what we are working back from.”


Other winners at the Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan were sprinting sensation Blue Point and Great Voltigeur winner Old Persian and they are also set for fine seasons on the turf in Europe.

Appleby said: “Blue Point is five now and, as I’ve said all year, I think he is the finished article and I think he will improve on his three starts in Dubai.

“More importantly from our point of view we are just dealing with a different horse at home, mentally and physically.

“The plan will be to give him a nice little break now and then work back from the King’s Stand Stakes, as that stiff five at Ascot is probably his best trip.”

On Old Persian, he added: “We saw something we hadn’t seen before on his first start in Dubai, in that we saw a serious gear change there, as they crawled that night and it turned into a sprint.

“They went a good, solid gallop in the Sheema and they quickened up off that pace. Hopefully that was the sign of a serious horse going into the European season.

“I think we might potentially drop him back to a mile and a quarter, which won’t be a problem, and look at the Prince of Wales’s at Royal Ascot and work back from a King George, which is the key race we are going to aim for.”

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Ghayyiath is a horse that last season missed out on his chance off going after a Classic in England but this season could be going towards that, especially after winning in a Group 2 at Longchamp on Sunday to make his seasonal return.

He said: “I was delighted with his performance on Sunday and hopefully it is a stepping stone to further big-race success.

“He is a strong traveller, he shows that in the morning, and we were not really taken by surprise, but it is nice to see him do it on the racetrack.

“He is in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, but the most logical target is the Prix Ganay and that is his first main aim.”

Quorto is another horse that could be interesting off the few runs he had last season, proving in his final outing to date when winning the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, showing just how good he could be.

The trainer said: “He had a great season last year winning the Group One in Ireland, but unfortunately he met with a setback earlier this year.

“It is four weeks since it was announced he would miss the Guineas and we re-scanned the injury the other day and we are pleased with it.

“Come the end of this month we will be able to say if we are going to hit a summer target or have an autumn campaign.”