At the time of writing the 2021 Cheltenham Festival is inching ever closer albeit it will be taking place behind closed doors due to the on-going Covid situation.
Just a couple of weeks after the curtain has come down at Prestbury Park our attention will be switched to the new Flat Turf campaign and one trainer who is sure to have an impact is Charlie Appleby.
Charlie Appleby was appointed as a Godolphin trainer in July 2013, after 15 years working for Sheikh Mohammed as a travelling head lad, stable head lad and assistant trainer.
He was a keen horseman having previously ridden in a number of point-to-points and amateur flat races and within a few months of his new role he saddled his first G1 winner in November 2013 when Outstrip landed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, USA.
In the period 2013 to the end of 2020, he had trained in excess of 700 winners in the UK with his first domestic UK Group 1 winner coming in October 2014, when Charming Thought won the Middle Park Stakes on Dubai Future Champions Day at Newmarket.
The following year, 2015, he landed his first Royal Ascot winner when Space Age won the King George V Stakes.
Just 4 years after starting out in his training career he saddled four G1 winners around the world: one in Australia, two in France and Wuheida's scintillating victory in the G1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar, USA, in November.
The following year, 2018, he was crowned Champion Trainer at the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival and enjoyed a cracking Dubai World Cup night with two winners at the highest level, courtesy of Jungle Cat and Hawkbill who won the G1 Al Quoz Sprint and G1 Dubai Sheema Classic respectively.
In June 2018 Appleby saddled the first horse from Godolphin to win the Blue Riband Group 1 Epsom Derby when Masar followed up his third place in the 2000 Guineas to land the big prize at 16/1. What a way to break your duck with Classic winners!
Just 2 ½ weeks later another Appleby inmate Blue Point emerged victorious in the G1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, becoming his first Group 1 winner at the prestigious Royal meeting and Godolphin's first winner of the race.
The big race winners came thick and fast and later in 2018 Appleby trained Cross Counter to win the G1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Australia, just 4 days after Line of Duty landed the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs, USA, clearly demonstrating the Godolphin ambition of pushing global boundaries.
With such a powerful owner at the helm it allows Appleby to divide his year between the Marmoom stables in Dubai in the winter months and Moulton Paddocks at HQ Newmarket the rest of the year.
We will kick off the research into the trainers’ performance by focussing on the UK racing over the past 5 complete years: –
To achieve a level stake profit at the Betfair SP of just shy of 5% blindly backing the yards runners is quite remarkable given the high profile of the stable.
Clearly 2019 is the exception on that front but normal service, albeit at a lower level, resumed in 2020.
If we next consider how the different age groups of the horses have panned out it quickly becomes apparent where the potential profits may lie.
It is the Classic generation of 3yo’s that have produced the best level stake returns and although these have dipped in the most recent couple of years it does seem an area worthy of closer inspection.
System 11: Back the horses aged 3 from the Charlie Appleby yard when running in the UK.
For Gold readers Steve has picked apart the Appleby operation and has determined where the majority of winners are to be found.
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Results to date (15th March 2021) of 2021 Research Corner Systems
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