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Posted 2021-12-07 06:16:57  
Appleby Crowned Champion Trainer

Charlie Appleby was officially crowned Britain’s Champion Trainer for 2021 at a special presentation during the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association Derby awards lunch in London today (Monday, 6 December).

Appleby thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for entrusting him with the role of Godolphin trainer and he praised his stable staff at Moulton Paddocks for their dedication and hard work locally and internationally during a long, eventful season.

Although the Flat season does not end until Friday, 31 December, Appleby is an unassailable lead, having sent out 113 winners at a 29% strike rate for prize money of £4.88 million, leaving him more than £570,000 ahead of his nearest rival Andrew Balding.

Appleby nominated Adayar’s triumph in the G1 Cazoo Derby at Epsom in June as the highlight of a stellar year that included major wins for the stable at the Dubai World Cup meeting, Royal Ascot, Arc weekend in Paris and the Breeders’ Cup meet at Del Mar.

“It has been the most incredible season, the most enjoyable year I have experienced as a trainer, and I think everybody at Moulton Paddocks feels the same. It has become something of a cliche to say it is a team effort…but, it really is, and that must be acknowledged.

“We are fortunate to have a wealth of experience and expertise in our team. I would like to particularly thank my assistant trainers Marie Murphy and Alex Merriam, as well as Hannah Pollard in the office, and Chris Connett, our travelling head lad, who has been all over the world with the Godolphin horses.

“But also our jockeys, work riders, head lads, the management team at Godolphin, the stud farms, plus the staff in the yard, whose tireless efforts have enabled the stable to take it to another level this year,” he added.

Appleby said Sheikh Mohammed had always been instrumental in the success enjoyed by Godolphin, but especially this year. “His backing and support on all levels gives me the confidence as trainer to make the calls that have to be made.

“But His Highness’s advice before the Derby was something for which we will forever be grateful. I was of the opinion, at the time, that Adayar would probably be a better horse later in the season and that the St Leger might be a more suitable target.

“We already had Hurricane Lane and One Ruler running, so I was thinking we could by-pass the Derby with Adayar and head to Royal Ascot. But Sheikh Mohammed said ‘Charlie, you need to stay to win a Derby…run him.’ The rest is history.”

Appleby cited Adayar as his personal choice as ‘Horse of the Year,’ though the Derby winner must have been hotly pressed by G1 St Leger hero and G1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Hurricane Lane, with the pair closely followed by Yibir, with his spectacular win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf still fresh in the memory.

Six of the seven headline horses for Moulton Paddocks will remain in training in 2022, with a series of G1 targets ahead of them. The one exception is Space Blues, the G1 Prix de La Foret winner, who as been retired to the Darley stallion roster in Ireland.

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