THERE is one group contest in France today, the six-furlong Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte and it has attracted seven runners including the Kieren Cotter-trained Matilda Picotte, last seen when third in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York. She is the mount of Cristian Demuro. Roger Varian runs Charyn, third in the Mill Reef Stakes behind Sakheer while the favourite is likely to be Eddie’s Boy, Archie Watson’s is the mount of Hollie Doyle again and seeks to add to his recent Group 3 win at this track.

Native Trail to return

CHARLIE Appleby has confirmed that Native Trail will stay in training as a four-year-old.

The champion two-year-old in 2021, he was sent off the 5/4 favourite for the 2000 Guineas following an emphatic victory over the course and distance in the Craven on his reappearance.

He had to settle for second behind stablemate Coroebus in that first classic of the season, but won the Irish equivalent at the Curragh three weeks later as Appleby achieved the enviable feat of winning the English, Irish and French Guineas in the same season as Modern Games won in Paris.

Upped in trip for the Eclipse following his classic success, he was not disgraced when third, beaten only half a length by Vadeni. However, following a below-par performance in the Juddmonte International at York, the Moulton Paddocks team decided to put a halt on his campaign and take stock ahead of a four-year-old career back at his classic-winning distance.

“Native Trail is still in at Ascot, but he won’t run,” said Appleby. “He had a hard enough campaign and I think you could see it was beginning to tell.

“He is going to stay in training next season. As a team we decided to just see what the mile division is stacking up like next year and we’ll have a nice fresh horse to start off again with next season.”