Vision talks to Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby about his enviable role training some of the racing world’s brightest hopes
After 15 years working for Godolphin as a travelling head lad, stable head lad and assistant trainer, Charlie Appleby was appointed as a Godolphin trainer in July 2013. The same year, he delivered a prestigious Grade 1 success in the United States when Outstrip won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
The following season he secured a first Group 1 victory in Britain when saddling Charming Thought to victory in the Vision.ae Middle Park Stakes. He trains proven winners such as Tryster as well as potential stars including Emotionless from his Moulton Paddocks stable in Newmarket, and was on target at this year’s Dubai Future Champions Festival when Mistrusting won the Vision EBF Stallions Boadicea Fillies’ Stakes.
Vision: How important is it to train a winner at the Dubai Future Champions Festival?
Charlie Appleby: It’s a great event. It is what it sets out to be – it’s future champions. You’re looking for good two-year-olds to go into the Classic season for next year. From my own personal point of view, I came here with Emotionless full of hope, but unfortunately it didn’t materialise.
This year we’ve built on last season – numerically we’re up on numbers and on prize-money we’re up as well
But you don’t win Group 2 races like he did and not be any good, so we’ll put a line through that, let him winter away and strengthen, and do all the things that we knew he was going to do. He’s a lovely big two-year-old but he’s got the frame of a three-year-old already, so once he fills out into that frame I’m sure he’s still going to be a high-class performer next year.
V: Having had two full seasons in the job now, how would you evaluate your time training for Godolphin and are you enjoying it now more than ever with the team you’ve assembled?
CA: For sure. This year we’ve built on last season – numerically we’re up on numbers and on prize-money we’re up as well. We’d like to have got a Group 1 winner in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes but that’s not happened, and we’ll look forward to the future. We’ve got some lovely two-year-olds and we’ve built up our three-year-old team so we’re looking forward to 2016.
V: How would you describe Dubai’s commitment to finding future champions and its contribution to the international racing industry?
CA: That’s the vision of Dubai and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. It’s always to the future. Myself being in the position I am is purely through the support and the backing of His Highness, and we are optimistic about the future ahead of us. The Dubai Future Champions Festival is fantastic but it just shows what the vision is from Dubai itself. I’ve been going out there for 20 years now and to see it grow to where it is now is incredible.