The five best Charlie Appleby horses

Top trainer Charlie Appleby currently has a couple of prize Group One greats on his hands, in Hurricane Lane and Adayar, but which other horses make our top five?

It's fair to say that the phrase an "embarrassment of riches" could have been coined at the Moulton Paddocks stables of Charlie Appleby with the Godolphin Empire having access to top notch racehorses.

Yet, it takes the best to train the best and Appleby has won a succession of Group One races since being unveiled as Godolphin trainer in 2013, including the Epsom Derby on two occasions.

Planet Sport chooses the best horses Appleby has trained, including a pair of modern greats in the making.

Blue Point

If you have a sprinter worth its salt you take it to Ascot for a true British summer test. Blue Point certainly delivered there, winning three Group One's at Royal Ascot.

A Shamardal colt, Blue Point had the bookies seeing red when winning the Gimcrack Stakes as an 11/8 favourite at two.

At three, Blue Point smashed the six furlong track record at Ascot, winning the 2017 Merriebelle Stable Pavilion Stakes in time of 1.11.05.

Blue Point came into his own at four and five, winning the 2018 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, defeating a certain Battaash along the way.

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The task of becoming only the second horse in 85 years to win the Group One King's Stand on back-to-back occasions didn't worry Blue Point, beating the beastly Battaash again as a five-year-old in 2019.

An emboldened Godolphin then entered Blue Point in the six furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot, and he won that too for good measure.

Blue Point was tidal-wave over his opponents and one of the greatest sprint talents of all time.

Ghaiyyath

Being named the Longines World's Best Racehorse for 2020 summed up the monster talent of Ghaiyyath.

But Ghaiyyath's career was also a battle against adversity after suffering an injury in 2018, and running just once in a Prix du Prince d'Orange win at Longchamp.

Ghaiyyath fought back as a four-year-old in 2019, winning the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden in Germany. However, he then ran a disappointing 10th in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

But his five-year-old season stamped Ghaiyyath's class as he tore the twelve furlong record apart in the Coronation Cup held at Newmarket.

Godolphin's star galloper then made all in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, putting none other than Enable in her place as Ghaiyyath's official rating skyrocketed.

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A three length win over Aidan O'Brien's mega mare Magical cemented his place at the top of the tree in 2020, as Longines celebrated the talent of Appleby's 130-rated main attraction.

Hurricane Lane

A three-year-old must have some talent to displace the seasoned Wuheida and Hawkbill from a list of the greatest Appleby Godolphin horses, but this Frankel colt has something about him.

Any progeny of Frankel comes with big expectations and Hurricane Lane has been defying doubters from the off. He started the second favourite to his stablemate Royal Touch in his maiden and then won comfortably at Newmarket.

In the 2021 Dante Stakes at York, all eyes were on Aidan O'Brien's charge High Definition, but the 5/1 shot Hurricane Lane swept in to win by three quarters of a length from the John and Thady Gosden-trained Megallan.

It was only some sticky ground, and super stable companion Adayar, in the Derby that saw Hurricane Lane finish outside the winning position in his first four starts. But he kept on for third place at Epsom.

Hurricane Lane was soon back on top spot when taking the Irish Derby at the Curragh, showing his tenacity to get up by a neck from the useful Lone Eagle, trained by Martyn Meade.

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Then Appleby sent Hurricane Lane to France for a potential warm up for the Arc to contest the Group One Grand Prix de Paris. Indeed, Hurricane Lane simply destroyed his opposition with a six length win on very soft going which means that a tilt at the big one autumnal Paris is not off the cards.

Adayar may grab the headlines but Hurricane Lane has the potential to wreak destruction on his opponents at will.

Pinatubo

Sheikh Mohammed got great pleasure out of this home bred Godolphin star who lit up the world of racing as a two-year-old.

Mount Pinatubo is a volcano in the Philippines and his namesake horse proved an immovable object in 2019, winning six races on the spin. The run culminated in the Group One Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

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Pinoturbo won a modest maiden at Wolverhampton in May 2019 and progressed rapidly to the Group One ranks. First came a win in the Class 2 Woodcote EBF Stakes at Epsom before seeing off the useful Ballydoyle colt Lope Y Fernandez in the listed Chesham Stakes at Ascot.

Then came a step up to Group Two company in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, where Pinatubo blazed the opposition in a five length win from Clive Cox's Positive.

Pinatubo showed some of his sire Sharmadal's early seven furlong form by taking on Irish all comers at the Curragh. He walked away with the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes by nine lengths from AP O'Brien's Armory in September 2019.

That win earned the molten Pinatubo an official rating of 128 making Appleby's youngster the highest rated two-year-old in 25 years.

A victory in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville at three capped a fine career for this ultra-consistent type.

"It has been a great honour and privilege to train a horse of this calibre," said Appleby on Pinatubo's retirement to stud in 2020.

Adayar

Anyone disparaging Adayar's 2021 Epsom Derby win on tricky ground were made to eat a giant slice of humble pie with the powerful Goldolphin colt's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes win at Ascot.

Finishing fourth in his opening maiden, Adayar had then finished second in the Lingfield Derby trial to 14/1 chance Third Realm, meaning he was considered a mere third string for Godolphin in the Derby.

Indeed, Adam Kirby had been jocked-off the fancied John Leeper with Adayar seen as a consolation prize of a ride.

Not so, however, as the 16/1 outsider of the three runners in Godolphin Blue proved the strongest on the day, hopping over the tacky ground like a frog over lily pads.

Adayar won the Epsom Derby by four and half lengths but Appleby knew the horse's class and so did the bookies as Adayar went to Ascot a 9/4 chance.

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In his way for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the superlative Ballydoyle filly Love, but Adayar would do anything for his opponent than hand her the win.

In the end it was Mishriff who posed the main danger, with Love in third but Adayar won going away and he looks to be approaching the god-tier of Appleby's all-time Godolphin runners.

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