Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas (Group 1)
IT mightn’t have been the tour de force that the betting suggested but Godolphin’s Native Trail, as he has done on six of his seven career starts to date, got the job done in straightforward fashion to secure the classic success that his talents so richly deserved.
After suffering the first defeat of his career in the 2000 Guineas at the hands of stablemate Coreobus, Native Trail was a 2/5 chance to make amends.
There might have been a time during the race when his connections and supporters could have been looking on anxiously but Native Trail raised his effort in typically willing fashion on what turned out to be a day of days for his trainer Charlie Appleby.
Never before in the history of the sport has a trainer won the British, French and Irish 2000 Guineas with three different colts in the one season but that is just what Appleby achieved with this success.
Thus, before end of May arrived, Appleby has already made this season his own and in Native Trail he has a truly fascinating prospect who gave the impression that there could even be more to come when he tackles 10 furlongs.
William Buick’s mount possibly didn’t have the most enticing of positions from early on as he was locked away on the inner and one wondered how he might extricate himself from this position.
However, the rider deftly managed to manoeuvre out at a vital stage and engineer some clear running for the Oasis Dream colt to use his long, raking stride.
When he got out and found his best stride Native Trail quickly loomed up to the leaders and with over a furlong to run he took over in front from Wexford Native.
In behind, Sheila Lavery’s New Energy was scything through the pack with some menace and Imperial Fighter was also launching a strong charge on the outer.
Native Trail was unfaltering in the last furlong though and kept on well to defeat New Energy by just under two lengths.
Imperial Fighter was a further three-parts of a length back in third with Wexford Native running a splendid race to secure fourth on just the third outing of his career.
As he reflected on a race that might have made for anxious viewing at times, a delighted Charlie Appleby said: “I’m just confident in William and the horse and William knows him so well.
“When I saw that we weren’t going to get the box seat I could see what William was trying to do and the one thing about this horse is that he never falters when asked a question”.
“We were coming here today trying to win both a Guineas and win the three Guineas with three different horses so there was perhaps a little bit of extra pressure.
“It’s a huge achievement to pull it off and I’m just so pleased for everyone involved and this is great for all the team,” he added.
In terms of where Native Trail might now go and whether he might cross swords again with Coroebus at Ascot the trainer added: “Those are the discussions that we will have over the next few days.
“In terms of Ascot and the St James’s Palace Stakes, it’s the last chance for three-year-olds to run in their own age group at a mile which will be something to consider.”
Meanwhile a delighted William Buick commented: “This horse really does deliver. He’s only been beaten once and that was by a freak. He really deserved to win a Guineas and I’m delighted he’s done it today.
“Today I was on the best horse and when we were drawn one I was wondering how would we get out but once we got into the clear I thought the race was over.
“He’s a lovely horse and everything he does is so professional. He’s a fast miler but I think he would get a mile and a quarter too,” continued the rider.
Equally thrilled was Sheila Lavery whose decision to field the 40/1 shot New Energy was rewarded with a tremendous display from the son of New Bay.
“I’m thrilled. I was really looking forward to running him. He’s not been able to get a proper lead in his races so we weren’t sure exactly what we had but Billy gave him a beautiful ride,” stated the trainer.
“My heart goes out to Robbie (Colgan) who would have ridden him but he got injured off a horse in my place.
“I’m delighted for John (Lavery, brother and owner) who has put so much money into horses and shown so much faith in me.
“This colt is in the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot and after that run I think we will go there and live the dream.”