Charlie Appleby crowned Champion Flat Trainer

Charlie Appleby has been crowned Champion Flat Trainer for the first time in his career at the HWPA Derby Awards at the Royal Lancaster in London to cap a memorable year that included Epsom Derby glory.

Appleby has enjoyed a remarkable season with 17 Group and Grade One victories worldwide, including success with Adayar in the Epsom Derby and a remarkable Breeders’ Cup treble with Yibir, Modern Games and Space Blues.

The Trainers’ Championship runs from January 1 – December 31, 2021 and is based on prize money won in that period.

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Adayar races clear of the field to win the King George at Ascot

However, with Appleby on GBP4,888,314 – as of Monday December 6 – worth of prize money and GBP570,507 ahead of his nearest challenger Andrew Balding, fellow trainers and title rivals Balding, John and Thady Gosden and William Haggas have conceded the title with less than a month of the Championship remaining.

On winning his first Trainers’ Championship, Appleby told Great British Racing: “It’s huge for myself and the team at Moulton Paddocks.

“Most importantly, from the get-go back in 2013, we set our stall out on what we’d like to try to achieve and that was getting the success back into Godolphin and getting the big race winners on the board, while also taking on stallions and broodmares to bolster the future.

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British trainer Charlie Appleby has been labelled ‘the best trainer in the world right now’ by journalist Jack Keene after capping off a remarkable year with a treble at the Breeders’ Cup

“We began growing steadily with winners and then the nicer horses started to come into the yard. Thankfully, we’ve been able to make the most of it.

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“The success over the last three to four years has improved year on year after a breakthrough year in 2018 with Masar winning the Derby and Cross Counter winning the Melbourne Cup.

“Going into the start of this season we were confident our three-year-olds had wintered well as two-year-olds, but like everyone in the spring you’re trying to get a feeling of what you’re dealing with.

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Highlights of Charlie Appleby’s Group and Grade One winners in 2021

“We felt early doors that our Middle Distance horses were coming to the fore and on the evidence of the Trials we were very competitive.

“We went on to win the Derby, the Irish Derby, the King George and ended up with the St Leger on British soil, so we really did tick all the boxes.”

Derby winner Adayar also became the first horse since Galileo in 2001 to follow up with victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot, partnered by Adam Kirby and then latterly William Buick.

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Hurricane Lane and William Buick coming home to win the Cazoo St Leger Stakes

Appleby added: “I’d have to say the King George win gave us the most satisfaction this year. We were very lucky to win the Derby again, but to repeat history in terms of Adayar going on to win the King George, which hadn’t been done in 20 years, that was a very proud moment for the team.

“A lot of people here at Moulton Paddocks took a lot of pleasure from that.”

Appleby also succeeded in landing the world’s oldest Classic in 2021 for the first time, the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster, with Hurricane Lane, who had previously claimed Group One prizes in Ireland (Irish Derby) and France (Grand Prix de Paris).

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British trainer Charlie Appleby doubled his tally of Breeders’ Cup winners as Yibir completed a treble with victory in the Turf at Del Mar

Newmarket-based jockey Buick, retained rider for Appleby and close runner-up in this year’s Flat Jockeys’ Championship, said, “It’s a fantastic achievement for Charlie and very well deserved.

“I feel very privileged to be working so closely with him and the great team at Moulton Paddocks and Godolphin. Charlie’s management of his horses and team has been a pleasure to witness and his CV as a young trainer is outstanding.”

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