The Newmarket trainer bagged three winners at Del Mar for Godolphin to crown a fantastic year but he is already planning ahead
Charlie Appleby has set his sights on 2022 after ending a “magical year” in “surreal” fashion at the Breeders’ Cup.
Appleby concluded the self-styled World Championships with three winners – the trio were partnered by William Buick – as Modern Games (Juvenile Turf), Space Blues (Mile) and Yibir (Turf) triumphed for Godolphin.
Modern Games was withdrawn by the vets at Del Mar before being allowed to compete for prize money only, while Master Of The Seas was also a late scratching from the Mile after rearing in the starting stalls.
“It was a surreal weekend to end a magical year,” reflected Appleby. “I was walking to the car after Modern Games was pulled out and then decided to watch the race before he was allowed to run.
“I knew this would be Space Blues’ last run and he’s been a Trojan for us, while Yibir was so keen during the early stages of the Turf that I thought he wouldn’t be able to do what he did against that calibre of opposition. Even William was shaking his head afterwards.”
Appleby will be crowned champion trainer for the first time in 2021 thanks in part to the exploits of Cazoo Derby hero Adayar, Irish Derby and St Leger victor Hurricane Lane and Native Trail, who capped an unbeaten juvenile campaign with triumphs in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh and Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.“
Adayar and Hurricane Lane will stay in training next year and, with Native Trail – we hope he will be crowned champion two-year-old, we’ve got lots to look forward to next year,” added Appleby.In the Breeders’ Cup Classic that rounded off the two-day meeting, Knicks Go made all the running under Joel Rosario to give Brad Cox his first success in the race.
Medina Spirit, the controversial winner of the Kentucky Derby, was second, with Essential Quality, the favourite, back in third.