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Talking Horses: Appleby’s Success Could Be Signal of Shallow Racing Performance Shift | Sports

TTeam Europe turned out to be Team Charlie Appleby at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in Del Mar at the weekend, when the man from Moulton Paddocks rounded off the best season of his career with all three winners trained in Europe over the 14 races.

Appleby has had runners in 11 races in North America in 2021 and has won seven of them, and is returning from California with an additional £ 2.7 million in prize money, despite two cocky runners being scratched in bizarrely similar circumstances after getting excited in the stands.

And all in a week, when Appleby’s predecessor at the shipyard, a certain Mahmood al-Zarooni, saddled his first runners in eight and a half years in the Meydan in Dubai. They finished eighth out of nine and twelfth out of 13. Hands up: Who saw sliding doors?

Zarooni was, of course, the architect of his own downfall, and Appleby’s considerable skill in horse training has been evident since the former assistant followed in Zarooni’s footsteps in the summer of 2013, feeling that this season has a special meaning, and not just because Appleby is sure for the first time Will become Britain’s master coach.

For about 20 years – since the extraordinary Galileo offspring actually appeared on the racetrack – the simple fact is that the Ballydoyle / Coolmore axle wins the game of international flat racing. Of course, Godolphin had their own champions on occasion – Appleby landed a first derby for the Royal Blues with Masar in 2018, but it never really felt like a real match on equal terms. For the most part, the Coolmore crew was at least one step ahead.

However, Aidan O’Brien had filled a void at Del Mar, where, unusually, he only had one runner in any of the youth competitions, and only six in total. Although he has won two classics, he is now only fifth in the British coaching table and could be relegated by Mark Johnston to sixth place before the end of the season on December 31st.

Inevitably, O’Brien was Ireland’s championship coach again, for the 23rd time in a row and the 24th overall. After four consecutive seasons in which his prize money was more than double that of the runner-up, the lead this year – over his son Joseph – was € 2.4 to 1.5 million and two other coaches – Jessica Harrington and Ger Lyons – were hot on Joseph’s heels.

It may be a slip up – O’Brien has had one on occasion – but of course this was also the year Coolmore Galileo lost. His last cohorts will keep things going for a few more seasons, but unless St. Mark’s Basilica – a grandson of Galileo on his mother’s side – has inherited much more than 25% of the great stallion’s victorious father ability, Ballydoyle’s dominance, especially in middle-distance races, inevitably slips.

quick start Guide

Greg Woods Monday Tips


Wolverhampton 12.10 Silk tie 12.40 Robbie Roger 1.10 Dark Swansong 1.45 Meganseighteen 2.20 Bella Caelia 2.50 Apex King (nb) 3.20 Ocean Heights 3.55 Grand Pianola

Carlisle 12.30 Hidor De Bersy 1.00 Midnight River 1.35 Gine Sacre 2.10 Minella Drama 2.40 Captain Biggles 3.10 Frenchy Du Large (nap) 3.40 Stylish moment

Kempton Park 12.50 Jay Jay Reilly 1.20 Soprano Thor 1.55 Doddiethegreat 2.30 Isolate 3.00 Jersey Wonder 3.30 Lost In Montmartre 4.00 Thahab Ifraj

Newcastle 3.45 Hathlool 4.20 Proclaimer 4.55 Flippin ‘Eck 5.30 Liangel Hope 6.00 Whiteandblue 6.30 Benzema 7.00 Matamua 7.30 Hurstwood

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Whether O’Brien feels the need to call Ballydoyle for changes remains to be seen. Suggestions late last year that Colin Keane could replace Ryan Moore as his number one turned out to be way off the mark, and Keane only had a handful of rides for Ballydoyle in 2021 while retaining his title with a record-breaking total number of winners.

And while Frankie Dettori rode O’Brien’s two British Classics – Mother Earth and Snowfall – in second row this year, Moore was on board St. Mark’s Basilica, Mother Earth, Snowfall and with eight wins in Group One in Europe from midsummer most recently Luxembourg, Ballydoyle’s great hope for the Classics next year, at the Vertem Trophy in Doncaster.

quick start Guide

Greg Woods Tuesday tips


Huntingdon 12.30 pm Chosen Haven 1.00 Rafferty 1.30 Takeit Easy 2.00 Military 2.30 Billy Ray 3.00 Salley Gardens 3.30 Alazwar

Hereford 12.52 Le Chiffre D’Or 1.22 Legend Of Zorro 1.52 Steinkraus (Nap) 2.22 Neville’s Cross 2.52 Don’t Fear 3.25 Peterborough

Lingfield Park 1.07 Quickbuck 1.37 Khan 2.07 Movethechains 2.37 Fragrant Delitiep 3.07 Siroco Jo 3.37 Alcopop

Newcastle 3.45 Victoriano 4.20 Philosophy 4.55 Azure 5.30 Instinct 6.00 Ey Up Its The Boss 6.30 Vintage Polly (nb) 7.00 Tamaska ​​7.30 Stronsay

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However, Appleby had top-notch offspring this year on the Native Trail, while Modern Games, its Juvenile Turf winner, also looks very progressive. Adayar and Hurricane Lane, his Derby and St. Leger winners, are expected to continue at four. The best season of Appleby’s career may well turn out to be the best season of his career yet.

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