It is a week since Saeed bin Suroor’s newspaper interview set in motion the wheels that resulted in the departure of Godolphin CEO John Ferguson on Tuesday and at Newmarket on Saturday Godolphin set sail for Royal Ascot without him with four winners.
Bin Suroor had stated in his interview that Appleby had received all of the good juveniles, whereas his two-year-old cupboard was empty. It was easy to see what he meant.
Charlie Appleby took the wraps off Glorious Journey, a colt who cost Ferguson 2.6 million Guineas at the Tattersalls Book One Sale in October. As a son of Dubawi out of the 2012 Coronation Stakes winner Fallen For You the hefty price tag owed a lot to the colt’s breeding. Judging by his racecourse debut he might struggle to live up to his tall reputation.
By beating Clive Cox’s moderate Grand Koonta by a neck in the Margaret Giffen Memorial EBF Novice Stakes under William Buick Glorious Journey did nothing to suggest the 33-1 quotes about next year’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas were much to get excited about.
Glorious Journey, who was sent off at Evens, was the tenth juvenile winner to come out of Appleby’s Moulton Paddock’s base from just 14 runners this season. In contrast, Bin Suroor is still yet to have a juvenile runner.
Since Ferguson quit due to his position being ‘untenable’ Joe Osborne, the current managing director of Godolphin, has taken up the interim position replacing Ferguson and visited Newmarket this week.
Osborne is a long-standing friend of Appleby, who was quick to highlight that he is not going to get involved in the fallout to Ferguson’s departure and wants to concentrate on keeping his enviable strike-rate high.
"John made his decision and he felt it was the right decision," he said.
"I can only thank him for the help he has given me over the years. He has been a pleasure to work with.
"I am employed by Godolphin to train horses to the best of my ability with the team that I have, and that is what I will carry on doing.
"I'm not going to get involved in anything else, it's not my department. My department is the horses, and as I said to William (Buick), his department is to ride them. As long as we are doing the best at that, hopefully we will keep on getting the results."
He added: "Joe was around the other day and just introduced himself. I've known Joe for many years and for the sake of his position we just need to let him know what we are doing and work our way from there."
Appleby has trained 34 winners this campaign from 112 runners at a strike-rate of 30%. Bin Suroor has saddled 26 winners from 89 runners at a strike-rate of 29%.
Where Bin Suroor had just one unsuccessful runner at Haydock on Saturday, Glorious Journey initiated a three-timer for Appleby at Headquarters and the colt could return to the July Course next month.
"He showed good signs early on, but then about eight weeks ago he went backwards,” Appleby added.
Godolphin's 2.6million Guineas purchase Glorious Journey works hard to give trainer Charlie Appleby his ninth juvenile winner this season pic.twitter.com/zCMq6K8Dwe— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) June 10, 2017
“We backed off him and over the last four weeks he came back to himself and he put in a good piece of work last week.
"William (Buick) said he did everything right. We have not set any targets. We will let him tell us when he is ready, whether that is for the July Meeting or we wait a bit longer.
"He has got a couple of options there, as there is the July Stakes or the Superlative."
Folk Tale had worked with Glorious Journey in the mornings and followed him into the Newmarket winner’s enclosure 30 minutes later after beating Faraasah in the Margaret Memorial EBF Novice Stakes by a neck.
"He was still a bit free and he is learning on the job. He needs to learn to settle better if he is going to step up in class," Appleby said.
Appleby and Buick struck again when Culturati defied a 610-day absence to book his Royal Ascot ticket by holding off Scorching Heat by a length and a half in the Porsche Centre Cambridge Handicap.
The four-year-old, who had been sidelined with a tendon injury, was trimmed into 14-1 from 25-1 with Paddy Power for the Wokingham Handicap.
Appleby added: "I was pleased with him as a two-year-old and we felt we had a nice horse on our hands as a three-year-old, but unfortunately he met with a setback.
"The vets and the team at home have done a great job. I was confident coming into the race as his work had been good.
"I knew we had him fit as I took him to Chelmsford two weeks ago and he came out of that gallop well. He is a horse that we can hopefully head towards the Wokingham with."
Godolphin had a fourth winner when carried the royal blue silks and Martin Dwyer to a front-running victory by seven lengths for trainer John Gosden in the Animal Health Trust Celebrating 75 Years Handicap.
Stable representative Robert Havlin said: "When he won at Newbury he made all. He likes a bit of space. He has got lots of ability and hopefully that will do his confidence a bit of good."
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