Native Trail battles to Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas glory

Sat 21 May 2022
 Charlie Appleby celebrates an historic third Guineas triumph with three different horses in the same season (Photo: Healy/Focusonracing)
Charlie Appleby celebrates an historic third Guineas triumph with three different horses in the same season (Photo: Healy/Focusonracing)

Native Trail justified his short-priced billing to score in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas for trainer Charlie Appleby, jockey William Buick and owners Godolphin at the Curragh.

Last season's outstanding juvenile began his campaign with victory in the Craven Stakes before losing his unbeaten record to stablemate Coroebus in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last time, but the Oasis Dream colt bagged his Group One prize as a three-year-old with a gritty success at Irish Flat racing headquarters.

Ridden patiently in the early stages from his plum draw in stall 1, Native Trail hit the front from Wexford Native a furlong and a half from home and was never headed from that point.

While the 2-5 favourite did not show the dominance his starting price might have suggested he did pull away slightly from his rivals late in the piece to score by a length and three quarters from New Energy (40-1) in second and British raider Imperial Fighter (28-1) in third. Wexford Native filled fourth and Duke De Sessa took fifth.

This was an historic success for Appleby, who has enjoyed such success with his three-year-old colts this season and the trainer became the first to land the English, French and Irish 2,000 Guineas in the same season and all with different horses.

"It's amazing - the team at Moulton Paddocks have done a fantastic job from all winter and this horse has never missed a beat," Appleby told Racing TV.

"We've been very fortunate to come into these Group One races with fancied horses and of course there is a certian amount of excitement, nerves and everything else.

"When I saw him cross the line today I have to say it was a sigh of relief to say he's got the job done!

"Everyone wants to see the champion of the two-year-old generation come out and fulfil their three-year-old careers and that's what he's done. He lost nothing in defeat (at Newmarket). Coroebus is a horse we thought highly of and had they be drawn together would it have been a closer contest?

"We'll never know that, but this horse doesn't have to prove himself any more - he's a Classic winner at three and I'm delighted for the whole team."

William Buick: Native Trail really deserved to win a Guineas

Appleby said "some nice conversations" will need to be had over the next 10 days to decide whether Native Trail will take his chance in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot - in another rematch with stablemate and Newmarket winner Coroebus.

"I don't know is the honest answer," said Appleby.

"We all know that the St James's Palace is a fantastic race and the last chance for these three-year-olds over a mile to compete against each other."

Appleby confirmed that French 2,000 Guineas winner Modern Games will head back to France for the Prix du Jockey-Club next.

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