Trainer Andrew Balding hopes for Derby Success

Credit: Betway

Trainer Andrew Balding was beaming with pride when Oisin Murphy rode Kameko to an impressive 10-1 victory this June in the 2000 Guineas. No doubt part of the reaction on the day was down to the possibility of a future Derby win, which would match the achievement of his retired horse trainer Father Ian Balding – who took the title with the legendary Mill Reef in the 70s.

Being linked to, or indeed part of Mill Reef’s success, is a matter of pride in its own right, as the champion thoroughbred is one of racing’s greats, winning not only the Derby but a whole host of high profile races such as  the King George VI, Coronation Cup, Eclipse Stakes, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. His career may well have been ended by injury, but his place in the annals of horse racing history, alongside Ian Badling, is secured. In racing terms, Andrew Balding ‘is his Father’s son’.

Here Balding candidly discusses with Betway what the Investec Derby victory would mean to him and whether Kameko, with one classic win under his belt already, has the beating of his talented Derby rivals. Kameko is currently second favourite in the betting behind the Ed Walker trained English King. Walker himself will be looking for a victory to mark his 10th anniversary of becoming a trainer. With a will to win across the board, who will come out on top on the day?

Henry Cecil

Henry Cecil was one of the most celebrated and succesful horse trainers of all time. Specialising in flat racing he won all there was to win during his career including multiple wins of all of the British classics (including the 1000 Guineas 6 times and the Epsom Oaks 8). He consistently outshone his contemporaries and was awarded Champion Jockey status 10 times over a 17 year period.

Cecil’s introduction to racing took place at his Stepfather’s Freemason Lodge stable in 1964. Going his own way in 1969 it wasn’t long before he had his first Group one winner, Wolver Hollow in the Eclipse Stakes. The next year saw him win the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot with Parthenon. Success breeds success, and the early 70s saw his first Classics win with Bolkonski at the 2,000 Guineas. It was a sign of things to come with many more wins in the Classics in the years that followed.

It wasn’t all plane sailing for Henry Cecil though. There followed a spate of deaths and relationship breakdowns in his working life, impacting his career in a big way. A fall out with Sheikh Mohammed had an especially significant effect with many horses suddenly removed from Cecil’s stable.

Like all winners in life though he would later bounce back. All it took was for an Oaks win in 2007 and the momentum was with him once more. 2011 saw him saddle 55 winners and rake in close to £3 million in prize money. The success of that and the following year was in no small part due to Frankel, a horse that would go on to have a flawless career featuring nine group one wins in a row including the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes.

Henry Cecil died in 2013 but more than set the bar for others over a decades long career. It was evident how at home he felt in racing, and his gentlemanly yet competitive way will not fade quickly from the minds of his peers or of horse racing fans in general.

Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson is a successful British horse trainer best known for his winning habit at the Cheltenham Festival where he’s amassed some 58 wins over the years – and 3000 winners in total. He’s also been crowned British Jump Racing Champion Trainer five times.

Henderson came from a racing family, and his Father was a founder of Racecourse Holdings Trust. Upon his death one of the Cheltenham Festival races was renamed the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase. Nicky Henderson went on to win this very race, which was a fitting tribute to his Father. Many put his love and affinity for the Cheltenham Festival down to this connection to the event.

His successes at the Cheltenham Festival are numerous. There’s Remittance Man, the 1992 winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Champion Hurdle wins with Binocular in 2010 and See You There in 1985, 1986 and 1987, and Cheltenham Gold Cup wins with Long Run in 2011 and Bobs Worth in 2013.

Henderson has himself rode as a jockey in his younger years, riding 75 winners in the process. His training career started as assistant to Fred Winter, before going it alone after 4 years.

Although he’s known for his Cheltenham successes, Nicky Henderson lacks a Grand National win and has had numerous attempts at rectifying this since his first entry, Zongalero, in 1979. Despite the omission he did experience plenty of success at the wider 2018 Grand National meeting. Henderson’s Might Bite won the Betway Bowl on the opening day of the meeting, while We Have A Dream and L’Ami Serge also won. It’s clear that 40 year in, Henderson has lost none of his love for the sport.

Charlie Appleby

Charlie Appleby, 43, is a fairly recent addition to the training ranks, having been chosen by Sheikh Mohammed to take over the training licence at Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket from the disgraced Mahmood Al Zarooni, who was ‘warned off’ for eight years after several of his horses tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2013.


However, Appleby had previously worked for Godolphin for 15 years in various capacities, including as assistant trainer to Al Zarooni, Saeed bin Suroor and David Loder, so was hardly wet behind the ears when it came to preparing race horses to compete.


Appleby is based at Moulton Paddocks during the British Flat season and at Marmoom Stables, in the desert south of Dubai, during the British winter. Having embarked upon a training career, in his own right, in July, 2013, he saddled his first Grade 1 winner in November that same year, when Outstrip lead close home to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita Park in California. He saddled his first domestic Group 1 winner, Charming Thought, in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, less than a year later and the following summer opened his account at Royal Ascot, when Space Age made most of the running to beat 16 rivals in the King George V Stakes.


Appleby recorded another high-profile success with Hawkbill in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in 2016 and, in 2018, raised the bar again with three more winners at the highest level. The most notable of them, of course, was Masar, who reversed 2,000 Guineas form with Saxon Warrior to win the Derby at Epsom. In so doing, the son of New Approach provided Appleby with his first Classic winner and Godolphin with its first Derby winner. Further victories for Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and Wild Illusion in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood contributed to his most successful season so far, financially, with £3.69 million in prize money at the time of writing. With over 500 winners to his name in his short career, Appleby looks bound for plenty more success in the future.