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VIDEO: Native Trail defeats Point Lonsdale
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VIDEO: Native Trail defeats Point Lonsdale
on 12 September 2021
Godolphin won the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes for the third time in four years

Native Trail rocketed to 2000 Guineas favouritism as he maintained his unbeaten record with a brilliant victory in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, giving trainer Charlie Appleby a third win in the Curragh showpiece.

Previously successful in the Group 1 contest with Quorto (2019) and the brilliant Pinatubo (2020), the Moulton Paddocks handler – on the mark 24 hours earlier with Hurricane Lane in the St Leger at Doncaster – sent another high-class juvenile across the Irish Sea in search of top-level honours.

A son of Oasis Dream, the Superlative Stakes winner faced a far from straightforward task, with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Point Lonsdale the 8/13 favourite to make it five from five, and Hugo Palmer’s Ebro River bidding to follow up success in last month’s Phoenix Stakes.

William Buick had to nudge Native Trail (7/2) into contention with a couple of furlongs to run – but he really found top gear late on.

Point Lonsdale did his best to make a race of it, but Appleby’s ace was three and a half lengths clear of the odds-on shot at the line, with Ebro River close up in third.

Appleby said: “This is a route we’ve taken with Pinatubo and Quorto before him – and it was always our plan immediately after the Superlative to come here with this horse.

“People ask ‘why don’t you look at the Champagne Stakes’ (at Doncaster), but I didn’t feel carrying a penalty there on softer conditions was potentially going to suit him.

“I think this is a great race and an indicator to the Dewhurst. It’s a Group 1 and a great weekend to be involved in. To have another winner of the National Stakes is very satisfying.”

He added: “He’s an interesting horse to be around. I took him to Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and if you’d asked me there if we’d have been winning a National Stakes, I might have been sat on the fence slightly.

“Full credit to the team at home. We definitely felt the horse had come forward for that gallop and we changed a bit of equipment on him today.

“William said he’s still so green and it felt like he was going down to the start on a maiden.

“He gave him a shove early doors to get up the revs, but I knew with two furlongs to go the one thing this horse was going to do was gallop out strong.

“I’d say we’ll go straight to the Dewhurst. I don’t know if he’s quite got the head for a Breeders’ Cup yet.”

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