We think the phrase 'a trainer for all seasons' perfectly sums up the prowess of Mick Appleby; both in terms of the time of year his horses achieve, but also, that he is just as suited to sprinters as with middle distance Flat performers. Furthermore, Mick is particularly adept at improving other trainers' horses to achieve at the highest level, both in terms of Heritage handicaps and Group races to boot. You only have to look at some of the horses Mick has improved no end, such as the talented Big Country, the top class Danzeno and the super-fast Caspian Prince, all big festival and Saturday winners on the turf, during the recent Summer turf seasons. He has worked wonders with our very own STAR OF SOUTHWOLD too (4 wins in 2019!)
Here we have a very fast sprinter in the form of AIRSHOW, who we purchased from the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale in Newmarket. He's by the top sire SHOWCASING, who has demonstrated with the likes of Advertise and Quiet Reflection that he can sire Group 1 winning performers at Sprint distances. Given Airshow is still going to be a very young sprinter even as a 5yo in 2020 (most sprinters do not peak until they are 5 or 6yo) there remains a huge potential, with our super looking gelding, for improvement over the next two or three seasons to race. He looks a better performer on the AW than the turf and he appears to go best around bends, where he is able to dominate the field, and advantage himself from the front. He loves Kempton, be it 5f or 6f and there are plenty of races to be won with him.
Watch him win impressively at Kempton here: https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/the-racing/race-replays/2018/06/13/#100_profit_boost_at_32redsport_com_handicap.
Given he is trained by the AW Champion trainer of 2018 and 2019 in Mick Appleby, he looks to be in the perfect place for a busy and successful All-Weather campaign. This quote is from Mick's At The Races Stable Tour in October: "Appleby has been top dog three times in six seasons of the All-Weather Championships and finished second in the others to two of racing’s super powers, Mark Johnston and Charlie Appleby. With a team of over 70 horses to go to war with this winter, the Oakham-based trainer is fully focussed on retaining his title but acknowledges how tough it might be. 'It gets harder every year but I’m as keen as ever to win it again,' says Appleby, who beat John Gosden by just one in a nail-biting Good Friday finale with a tally of 50 last season."
Seemingly an All Weather specialist, and a very talented one too, so who better to train him, than the last two seasons’ Champion AW trainer, Mick Appleby. He’ll win a BIG AW race at some point in his career, we feel sure.
Syndicate manager update: 2020 started superbly, with Airshow and Alistair Rawlinson flying home to win the feature £15,000 5f sprint at Southwell on New Year's day, after 134 days off! Mick has freshened him up nicely since having him and we think he’s very well handicapped and probably still progressive. All roads lead to the very valuable Epsom Dash on Derby Day.