Appleby pays tribute to ‘absolute star’ Caspian Prince

Much-loved veteran sprinter Caspian Prince is set for a happy retirement after trainer Michael Appleby called time on his successful decade-long career.

The chestnut, who is a son of Dylan Thomas, was bred in Ireland but began his career under the care of Eoghan O’Neill in France and initially ran over longer distances before finding his niche as a five-furlong sprinter.

In 2013 he was bought by his current co-owner, Stephen Louch, and was transferred to the base of Tony Carroll, for whom he won the 2014 Epsom Dash.

Caspian Prince made the Epsom Dash his own
Caspian Prince made the Epsom Dash his own (Steven Paston/PA)

Throughout his career Caspian Prince would go on to win the race twice more and would switch stables six times, but it was his four-season tenure at Appleby’s Rutland base that lasted the longest.

The reappearance of an old injury was the cause of his retirement, but the gelding bows out safe and well after a 10-year career that has seen him run 115 times, winning 23 of those races and collecting 14 places and £871,746 worth of prize-money in the process.

“He’s been a legend, an absolute star, he’s a nice character and I’ve been privileged to train him,” Appleby said.

“We’ve had some great times with him. We’ve had him for the last few years of his career and he always gives his all, he’s a favourite in the yard with the staff.

“He’s broken track records as a 12-year-old, you won’t see many horses doing that, I think he’s the oldest horse in England to win a class two.

“We’ve not been hard on him at all, we didn’t do too much with him because we kept him for the track.”

Caspian Prince with Tom Marquand after victory at Newcastle
Caspian Prince with Tom Marquand after victory at Newcastle (Dan Abraham/PA)

Caspian Prince will now move on to a second career in another discipline as his trainer feels he will be happiest staying in some sort of ridden work rather than retiring completely.

“We were half-thinking of keeping him at home and just putting him in the field with a couple of horse that have retired, but I don’t think he’s ready for that,” he said.

“I think he’d still like to be active and doing something else.

“We’ll find a really nice home for him with somebody who’ll want to do ROR (retraining of racehorses) or dressage with him because I think he’d still love to be doing something.

“We’ll find a home for him and have him on loan there so that if they ever don’t want him, we’ll be having him straight back.”