IN racing and breeding, history has a great habit of repeating itself. The team at Darley certainly hopes this will be the case with Native Trail, who commences his stallion career this spring.

Native Trail shares the distinction of winning the Group 2 Superlative Stakes, Group 1 National Stakes and the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas with just one other, Dubawi. The son of Oasis Dream (Green Desert) was rated the best juvenile in Europe after an unbeaten season, and added classic glory at three. His good looks have been wooing observers since his arrival to take up stud duties at Kildangan Stud.

After a striking debut over seven furlongs at Sandown, which he won by four lengths, Native Trail headed to Newmarket, where he annexed the Group 2 Superlative Stakes, again over seven furlongs.

Kept to that trip throughout his juvenile season, he travelled to Ireland and ran out a comprehensive winner by three and a half lengths of the Group 1 National Stakes, with Point Lonsdale in arrears, and then he capped a perfect year with a two-length victory in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes from Dubawi Legend and Bayside Boy.

On his sophomore debut he won the Group 3 Craven Stakes at a mile as a long odds-on shot should, confirming that he would start a worthy favourite for the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

In a quality field Native Trail had Luxembourg a length and a half behind, but had to give best on the day to his stable companion Coroebus. He made amends for that defeat at the Curragh in the Group 1 Irish equivalent.

Native Trail’s penultimate start of that season saw him and Vadeni take on the older horses in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes. He was only denied second place in the final strides, finishing a neck and a head behind Vadeni and Mishriff, with Lord North, Bay Bridge and Alenquer following on.

Native Trail only made two starts at four, but the promise of his runner-up finish in the Group 2 Sandown Mile was not to be built on.

Days after he ran at Royal Ascot, his retirement was announced. Liam O’Rourke, director of studs, stallions and breeding for Darley, said: “Native Trail’s had an exceptional career and owes us nothing. We feel now is the time to retire him and he will take up stud duties in 2024.” Later it was revealed that he would stand in Ireland.

An outstanding runner from the Green Desert (Danzig) sire line, Native Trail is from a female line that has consistently produced Group 1 winners. His unraced dam Needleleaf (Observatory) is a full-sister to both Group 1 Haydock Spring Cup winner African Rose, and the Group 3 winner and Group 1 runner-up Helleborine, and the latter is dam of Calyx (Kingman).

African Rose is a half-sister to the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes winner Distant Music (Distant View), and their dam Musicanti (Nijinsky) was a half-sister to the US champion Vanlandingham (Cox’s Ridge). A fractured pastern sustained in the Kentucky Derby kept him off the track for more than a year, but he came back to win three Grade 1 races.