Appleby to replace Al Zarooni

Charlie Appleby - stepping out of the shadows

Charlie Appleby - stepping out of the shadows

From today, Saeed bin Suroor is responsible for training 391 horses eligible to run. It’s clearly not a long-term solution to the problems that have beset Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin, but it’s the best they can do for the moment.

Two of his new charges, from the Moulton Paddocks yard previously run by Mahmood Al Zarooni make their debuts today. Unraced three year olds Air Of Glory and Hunting Ground run at Lingfield this afternoon. Whilst Godolphin will clearly be glad that all their horses bar the 22 that tested positive are back on the go, there remains much thinking to do before they appoint a permanent replacement.

Simon Crisford, Godolphin racing manager summed up the current position, saying, "It's impossible for Saeed to train so many, so Sheikh Mohammed would like Charlie Appleby to step in while he considers what arrangements he makes long-term."

Appleby has worked for Godolphin for the past 14 years, first with David Loder, then as senior head groom for bin Suroor and most recently with Al Zarooni. He knows the horses, the staff and the set up at Moulton Paddocks. The drawback is that he doesn’t have a trainers’ licence, and won’t do for several weeks. This week he’s at the British Racing School on the racehorse management programme, but he has a further two courses to complete before he can apply for a licence.

Making the step up into a role he certainly would not have expected just two months ago will be a huge challenge for Appleby, particularly as he will be in charge of so many top class horses. If he makes a success in what remains of the season once he gains his licence, he’ll be in prime position to claim the role permanently. And if in the end Godolphin brings in someone more experienced, Appleby will have his loyalty to the organisation severely tested.

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