Dan Kelly’s FFP – Week 1
Charlie Appleby. You don’t know what you’re doing.
Working within the Godolphin operation for 15 years, Charlie Appleby knew the “Boys in Blue” outfit inside out and in the fallout of Mahmood Al Zarooni case, he was offered the keys to Moulton Paddocks.
He had served his apprenticeship working under the wings of David Loder and Saeed Bin Suroor, from travelling head lad to Assistant Trainer in 2007, then working with Mahmood Al Zarooni at Moulton Paddocks from 2009. It was then time to see if this good number two could step up.
You can’t say no to being offered the job of Godolphin trainer, but had he taken over at the worst possible time?
A cloud hanging over the operation due to MAZ affair and Simon Crisford on his way out as Racing Manager with no likely successor; Charlie Appleby was left holding the baby. 2014 would be make or break.
Godolphin’s modus operandi in UK is a slow start and then hit the ground running from June onwards. But Charlie Appleby has done things differently:
|Runs GB Flat April & May|
|Saeed Bin Suroor||44||36||64||37||53||47|
|Mahmood Al Zarooni||54||61||70||62|
That is a big hike in numbers. SBS and MAZ averaged 3 and 10 runs respectively in 2yo races during the same period; Appleby had 22 this year. So has the buying policy changed so much that they are now housing far sharper types than previously?
Appleby only took over the reins in 2013 so it wouldn’t have changed that much, surely? Is the yard equipped for a fast start, work patterns bedded in, full yard on board and committed? Or is Appleby simply trying too hard. I think it is a case of the latter.
Without the guidance of a racing manager, Charlie Appleby has reverted to type. That type being his ability to work with 2yo’s. During his formative years with Loder he, like Loder, dealt predominately with 2yo’s.
His best efforts last season were with his 2yo’s; Outstrip the shining example, but in a make or ‘break year and within a setup that is built for Dubai Carnival and Royal Ascot success, he has not been able to put the numbers on the board; 6 from 60 in Dubai and 0 from 17 at Royal Ascot.
Professional relationships have broken down with Mickael Barzalona’s ride on Penglai Pavilion, in the Jockey Club stakes, seemingly the straw that broke the camel’s back. Barzalona thus shipped back to Godolphin SNC; John Ferguson stated on the move “Not only is Mickael a naturally gifted sportsman, he is also a true gentleman who has handled a difficult time with the utmost professionalism and true class.”
A “difficult time”, not seeing eye to eye with Charlie Appleby? Feedback that Charlie is asking too much too soon of young stock or unable to manage a big yard without supervision? Or even other off track issues.
Either way, if things couldn’t get any worse, they did. The one person he really needed at his side, Simon Crisford, announced this week that he will be taking out a trainers licence in Newmarket after being encouraged by Sheikh Mohammed. The intention is to have his first runners in Dubai. That’s a kick in the teeth for Charlie Appleby and even if Crisford is not being groomed as a potential Godolphin trainer, it’s still going to be long summer for Appleby with a possible return to an assistant trainers position the best solution all round.
Until then, chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” will be getting louder every passing week while fans of well bred types hope for some signs of life from one half of the “Boys in Blue”
Finding For Pressure with Dan Kelly, Week 1, 25/06/14
Picture John Giles/PA Wire
Comments to Dan @muffinmannhc – #RacingFM
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