Is 2,000 Guineas success a sign of things to come from Charlie Appleby this season?

Is 2,000 Guineas success a sign of things to come from Charlie Appleby this season?

Charlie Appleby’s meteoric rise to the top of the British flat racing tree scaled to new heights once again last month, as the Godolphin handler landed a maiden success in the 2,000 Guineas — taking the 2021 British flat racing Champion Trainer’s overall tally in the five British Classics to four, after two previous victories in the Derby (2018 and 2021) and a St. Leger Stakes triumph last season as well.

The Guineas Festival at Newmarket, flat racing’s iconic HQ, is often regarded as the first official meeting of the new season and every trainer wants to lay down their marker and set the tone for the rest of the campaign in the first couple of Classics of the year — with the 2,000 Guineas headlining day two of the festival, before the 1,000 Guineas takes centre stage the following day.

But it was Appleby, the World Trainer of 2021, who stole the headlines as far as this season’s renewal of the 2,000 Guineas is concerned — as his number two rider James Doyle led home Godolphin’s and Appleby’s stable jockey William Buick and the unbeaten Native Trail aboard Coroebus, who was the second favourite prior to the historic race in the horse racing betting, for what was his first Classic win.

Appleby was full of praise for Doyle after the race as well, claiming: “James is an integral part of the team and for him to have his first British Classic for us is very special because he is such a great team player.

“He has to sit there and see William getting first choice all the time and I never ever see him quiver or get upset. Off he goes and rides the same race, day in day out. I take my hat off to him, as he is a true sportsman.”

This is still just the beginning of this long season for Appleby though. Indeed, a victory in the 2,000 Guineas is a great place to start, but with the demands of a group like Godolphin, there will be plenty more big victories to come between now and the curtain being drawn on the season at British Champions Day in October.

It looks Appleby’s 2,000 Guineas 1-2 could go their separate ways now though, with Coroebus expected to build on his Newmarket victory with a win in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, while Native Trail looks likely to be sent to the Curragh in a bid to bounce back from his first defeat in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

In terms of the next two Classics, the Oaks and the Derby at Epsom Downs are early next month, Buick and Doyle could saddle the similarly priced Life Of Dreams (15/2) and With The Moonlight (8/1) in the former, with Walk Of Stars (7/1) Appleby’s best chance in Derby — especially with long-time favourite Luxembourg now ruled out of the race. Adayar, the favourite for the Coronation Cup, is another horse worth watching at Epsom.

With a long list of quality horses Appleby has at his disposal at Godolphin’s Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket, it is no wonder he has enjoyed so much success over the last couple of years. The 2,000 Guineas victory is now the marker for what is to come this summer, and at a current strike rate of 40%, they are looking as dangerous as ever!