Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
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Adayar became the first horse for 20 years to win the Epsom Derby and King George in a phenomenal season for Appleby, a retained trainer for Godolphin since 2013 and based at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket.
Appleby also trained Hurricane Lane to win the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh to secure prize-money of £4,898,030 and 114 winners (at the time of writing) to stay more that £500,000 clear of nearest rival Andrew Balding.
The trainers’ championship runs from January 1 to December 31, 2021 and is based on prizemoney won in that period. However, as Appleby is so far ahead of Balding and third-placed John & Thady Gosden, his closest rivals have conceded the title with three weeks of the season remaining.
Appleby said: “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.”
“It’s huge for myself and the team at Moulton Paddocks,” the 46-year-old told Great British Racing. “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.
“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. 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.
“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.”
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