Welcome to our trainer profile of Godolphin Trainer Charlie Appleby:
Name – Charlie Appleby
Date of Birth – 5 July 1975
Birthplace – Southampton
Racing Yard – Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket
Big Wins: Epsom Derby, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Eclipse Stakes, International Stakes, Irish Derby, Melbourne Cup, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Coronation Cup and many more across the globe!
Charlie Appleby moved to Newmarket as a 16-year-old, hoping to make it as a jockey.
Weight problems caused him to focus his attention on training, learning his trade with Susan Piggott before joining David Loder as travelling head-lad.
He then worked under Loder in France, his first experience of working for the Godolphin empire.
His next post was as assistant trainer to Mahmood Al Zarooni who would be suspended for eight years in 2013 for administering a banned substance to 15 horses.
Sheikh Mohammed promoted Appleby to the top job and he trained his first Group 1 winner at the Breeders’ Cup in November that year.
Charlie Appleby – Key Trainer Stats
Appleby trained 60 winners in what remained of the 2013 season and topped the century the following year with 102 winners.
His best season numerically came in 2015 with 151 winners and he recorded his third century two years’ later.
His first Group 1 on home soil was provided by Charming Thought in the 2014 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse.
He chalked up a first Royal Ascot win the following year and bagged four Group 1 victories across the globe in 2017.
He was the leading trainer at the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival with Masar providing a first Epsom Derby winner for Godolphin in a memorable year.
Charlie Appleby’s Big Race Wins
Outstrip’s win in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf gave Appleby’s training career a flying start.
Group 1’s are the prime objective for Godolphin and Appleby has maintained a steady flow of top-grade winners. Notable contributors include Pinatubo (2019 and 2020) and Wuheida (2016 and 2017).
Masar’s 2018 Epsom Derby win will always rank highly in his achievements, fulfilling a long-term goal for Sheikh Mohammed to win the race in the Godolphin colours.
Appleby was also responsible for ending Godolphin’s quest for glory in the Melbourne Cup that year when Cross Counter won.
He added a second Derby in 2021 when Adayar won the race in the hands of Adam Kirby. His stable companion Hurricane Lane had been preferred in the betting but could finish only third before winning the Irish Derby.
Charlie Appleby’s – Most Famous Victories
Appleby showed masterful training to produce Masar to win the 2018 Epsom Derby. He had finished a staying-on sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile and his pedigree also suggested he would stay further. His 9 lengths win in the Craven Stakes was followed by a close third in the Guineas behind Saxon Warrior.
Most pundits felt Saxon Warrior would confirm the form over the extra half a mile but Appleby kept the faith in his charge. It was a moment for all to savour at Godolphin when the colt swept through to win at Epsom under William Buick.
Adayar’s win in 2021 was also a turn-up for the form books. He had been beaten by Third Realm in the Lingfield Derby Trial and was rated a 16-1 chance for Epsom. Adam Kirby stepped in for the ride with William Buick aboard Hurricane Lane (6-1) and James Doyle aboard One Ruler (17-2). Kirby drove him ahead with a quarter of a mile to travel and never looked like being caught.
Charlie Appleby’s appointment surprised many in 2013 but he wasted no time in justifying the decision.
He has gone on to provide Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation with some of their most important triumphs.
He and jockey William Buick make a formidable team and regularly feature in the top races around the world.