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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Masar's Epsom Derby win the 'finest moment of my career', insists Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby 

It has been a highly successful year for the Dubai racing operation, with the most recent high-profile victory coming with Cross Counter at the Melbourne Cup

Goldolphin trainer Charlie Appleby with the Melbourne Cup during a press conference in Dubai. Leslie Pableo for The National 
Goldolphin trainer Charlie Appleby with the Melbourne Cup during a press conference in Dubai. Leslie Pableo for The National 

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has described Masar’s historic Epsom Derby victory in June as “the finest moment of my career”.

Masar, ridden by William Buick, became the first Godolphin horse to win the Epsom Derby. The Dubai racing operation, led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, had come close in the past to winning Britain’s richest horse race, which is valued at £1.5 million (Dh7.2m).

They finished second on three occasions with City Honours in 1998, Rule of Law in 2004 and Jack Hobbs in 2015.

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Read more:

Godolphin's dream 2018: Melbourne Cup, Epsom Derby and Dubai World Cup - in pictures

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid celebrates Godolphin's 'special' first Epsom Derby victory

'This is everybody's dream': Godolphin's Cross Counter wins the Melbourne Cup

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“The Epsom Derby will always go down in history in my career as the finest moment of my training career for sure,” Appleby said at a media conference at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers on Sunday.

“Not only because it’s a Derby, but as an Englishman and on home ground. It is a supreme test any three-year-old colt and just to have one of the early classics.

“It tests everything. It tests their mental situation, it tests their body and their stamina. I think we could all imagine.”

Appleby is back in Dubai after creating another piece of Godolphin history when Cross Counter became the stables’ first winner of the Melbourne Cup in Australia – the world’s richest two-mile handicap race.

“In the Australian campaign, we have a treasured Cup and I know it’s a fantastic to win it,” Appleby added. “However, the Epsom Derby is above all for me.”

Godolphin also enjoyed success in another of the world’s most prestigious races when Thunder Snow claimed the Dubai World Cup in March.

However, Appleby has ruled out the possibility of Cross Counter and Masar competing on Dubai World Cup night next year.