Sheikh backs Appleby to produce new Pinatubo in multi-million vote of confidence

Charlie Appleby appears to have been backed to the hilt by Sheikh Mohammed for the 2020 Flat season after taking delivery of the top three lots – worth nine million guineas – from last year's Tattersalls October Yearling Sales.

It is very rare the top three from any prestigious sale go to the same trainer but Appleby has seen his yearling intake rise this winter after his handling of champion two-year-old Pinatubo last year.

Pinatubo was recognised as the best juvenile in Europe for 25 years following the publication of the 2019 European two-year-old classifications last month.

During a brilliant unbeaten season, the Shamardal colt achieved a rating of 128, the highest mark for a juvenile since Celtic Swing in 1994.

Pinatubo’s six victories last year included Group 1 wins in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

In the past, such expensive new blood may have been shared out across Sheikh Mohammed's other main trainers including Saeed bin Suroor, John Gosden and Andre Fabre, but not this year.

The three colts are topped by an offspring of one of their own stallions Dubawi. The unnamed two-year-old, who cost 3.6 million guineas, is from a family Appleby knows all about as he is a half-brother to Group 1-winning stablemate Barney Roy, who was successful for the stable at Group 2 level at Meydan last month.

Also tucked away from the icy winds at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket is an equally well-bred Frankel colt, second top lot at the sale at 3.1 million guineas, who is a half-brother to Derby and Arc winner Golden Horn.

This colt has already been handed a quote of 100-1 by Paddy Power to land the Investec Derby in 2021.

Appleby is also in the early stages of preparing a son of Kingman, third top lot at the sale, who is from the family of Ascot Gold Cup winner Fame And Glory and was knocked down for 2.3 million guineas.

Appleby said: "All three colts arrived at Moulton Paddocks before Christmas and seem to be doing well. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed liked them at the sales and hopefully they can bring Godolphin further success in 2020 and beyond."

Charlie Appleby, picture