By Jim McGrath -
Even as Charlie Appleby enjoyed reflecting on the astonishing win of Master Of The Seas in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita, his mind was simultaneously looking ahead to four months of high class racing in Dubai during the winter. Master Of The Seas has returned to Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket, where he will be kept ticking over prior to his next big overseas assignment, the Pegasus Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park on January 27. The plan is to ship out to Florida ten days before the race.
“I felt the horse deserved his win in the Breeders’ Cup,” Appleby says. “It was a great race, a crowd-pleaser, one that was great to watch. If he had been drawn low, he would have won easily. But he got the outside berth, and Will (Buick) gave him a confident ride.
“Having said that, you have to have a great engine to accelerate like he did. It was not an easy ride (for Buick) but he had no choice from that draw. “He had to drop in, then hope the pace was strong, and then sling-shot into it. It worked out perfectly,” he adds.
This is the time of the year when Appleby finds himself juggling responsibilities, that is laying fitness foundations for his string ahead of their season in England, supervising others aiming at targets in America, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as preparing a stable of horses for Meydan at His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s private Marmoom training centre in Dubai.
“We are really looking forward to the Dubai season,” the trainer says. “It has always been a very important part of our calendar at Godolphin, and it is great to be getting back into it. We have a good line-up of younger horses we believe can progress, as well as Guineas contenders both on dirt and turf, together with a selection of regular names, several that we hope will represent us on World Cup night in March,” he adds. The first major date for the Appleby squad is December 22 when one-time crack juvenile Naval Power will lead the Godolphin challenge, contesting the Group 2 Al Rashadiya, over 1800m.