Moulton Paddocks, where trainer Charlie Appleby is based from April to November, is one of Godolphin’s two training establishments in and around Newmarket, England.
The historic yard was the main British base for Godolphin from 1994 until 2004 when the Dubai-based operation purchased Moulton Paddocks after previously leasing it.
An extensive redevelopment project commenced and the horses in training moved to Godolphin Stables.
With the work complete, Moulton Paddocks was used as a pre-training yard.
However, with longstanding trainer Saeed bin Suroor continuing to be based at Godolphin Stables, a new era began at the Moulton Paddocks in the spring of 2010. Charlie Appleby took charge on July 25, 2013.
A host of stars emerged from Moulton Paddocks in the first 10 years that Godolphin had horses in Newmarket. Over 90 Group One races were won during that time and the names of the top-class equine athletes responsible are inscribed on brass plates on the doors of the boxes they occupied.
Pre-eminent among those Godolphin champions that raced out of Moulton Paddocks was the great Dubai Millennium. Saeed bin Suroor’s charge was a formidable racehorse and brushed aside a superb array of opponents when winning four Group One races including the 2000 Dubai World Cup.
The brilliant filly Balanchine started off the impressive Godolphin roll of honour from Moulton Paddocks with victory in the 1994 Epsom Oaks and she followed up by beating the colts in that year’s Irish Derby.
Lammtarra, the unbeaten winner of the Derby, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, was another Moulton Paddocks champion, while Halling, Mark Of Esteem, Swain, Daylami, Fantastic Light, Sakhee and Sulamani also numbered among the finest racehorses of that decade.
Moulton Paddocks has not always been a training establishment, although it’s very name, derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Mulan Tun’, alludes to a connection. The original meaning was literally an enclosure where mules are kept.
The Moulton Paddocks estate, located just outside Newmarket beside the road to Bury St Edmunds, was developed in the 19th century by Sir Ernest Cassell, the Anglo/German banker and racehorse breeder who numbered King Edward VII, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and Winston Churchill among his close friends.
Over 100 men were employed full-time for the upkeep of the estate and the King, one of horseracing’s greatest patrons, often stayed at Moulton Paddocks on his visits to Newmarket. The estate was renowned for staging shooting parties.
Moulton Paddocks was also home for a time to one of the greatest racehorses of the 19th century, Ormonde. The unbeaten 1886 Triple Crown hero spent 1889 at the estate’s stud as a stallion.
Following Sir Edward Cassell’s death in 1921, another well-known owner and breeder, Solly Joel, bought Moulton Paddocks and used it as a training establishment. Walter Earl was the trainer and both Eclipse winner Polyphontes and Goodwood Cup hero Glonmen emerged from the yard.
Solly Joel, who died in 1931, in turn willed Moulton Paddocks to his son, Dudley Joel, who ran Moulton Paddocks as a sporting estate.
The high level of maintenance and renewal instituted by Sir Edward Cassell was not continued and Moulton Paddocks started to fall into disrepair.
Dudley Joel’s passing in 1941 saw his brother and sister inherit the estate and the house was requisitioned by the military during World War II, with Eastern Command and 35 Tank setting up their headquarters there.
By 1950, the house had been demolished, but the Moulton Paddocks estate continued its association with horseracing thanks to the inauguration of the first Newmarket point-to-point meeting in 1948. These meetings, staged over jumps, were run by the local hunts and took place on the estate up until 1974.
In 1994, Godolphin identified Moulton Paddocks as the ideal European base, located as it is, away from Newmarket’s main yards and parallel to the famous Limekilns, the best grass gallops owned and managed by Jockey Club Estates which is responsible for the extensive public training grounds in and around Newmarket, the home of horseracing.
Moulton Paddocks is now a state-of-the-art training establishment with swimming pool, spa, private training tracks, turn-out pens/paddocks, veterinary facilities, farrier rooms and laundry amenities. Godolphin also utilises its own fleet of horse boxes.