'Who'd I encourage William to ride in the Guineas? Native Trail without a doubt'

Native Trail (William Buick) win the Craven StakesNewmarket 13.4.22 Pic: Edward Whitaker
Native Trail stretches three and a half lengths clear at Newmarket under William BuickCredit: Edward Whitaker

Wednesday: Craven Stakes, Newmarket

Native Trail is known as the 'tractor horse' at Charlie Appleby's Newmarket yard and certainly put his Qipco 2,000 Guineas bid into overdrive when extending his unbeaten record in the course-and- distance Classic rehearsal.

Last year's champion two-year-old was sent off at 1-4, the shortest-priced 2,000 Guineas trialist since Frankel won the Greenham Stakes at similar odds in 2011 before mowing down promising maiden winner Claymore and outsider Hoo Ya Mal.

Just like last year, Native Trail towered over everything in the preliminaries as well as the race, and hit his customary flat spot in the Dip before winning going away by three and a half lengths.

Bookmakers initially trimmed the winner, who had been well-backed for the 2,000 Guineas in the morning, into 7-4 (from 9-4) favourite for the April 30 Classic, but the punters were obviously more impressed than the layers and he was later cut further into 6-4 by Paddy Power and Coral.

Native Trail and Charlie Appleby before the Craven StakesNewmarket 13.4.22 Pic: Edward Whitaker
Charlie Appleby tends to Native Trail before the CravenCredit: Edward Whitaker

Following four wins at 7f as a juvenile, Native Trail had always shaped as if the step up to a mile would suit him well and his presence added a class edge to the six-runner race.

Winning trainer Charlie Appleby, who is on the threshold of adding the first colts' Classic to his CV, said: "We know this horse now and he won this like he did the National Stakes last year in which he was under the pump before picking up, and it was the same in the Dewhurst when he picked up when he hit the rising ground.

"What I love about him is he does things all the right way around. He's not one of these horses that's a free traveller and you think he's doing too much and what's he going to find. You know when this horse gets into a battle he's going to be finding right to the line, and I'm delighted. He and Coroebus are two different types of horses."

Expert jury: is Native Trail your idea of the 2,000 Guineas winner?

Appleby, who was winning his third Craven Stakes after Masar (2018) and Master Of The Seas a year ago, added: "I was delighted with his disposition pre-race and also how he had prepped on the Limekilns. He was two kilos heavier than he was before the Dewhurst, but he's always been a big horse and he's on a par with the weight of our four-year-olds Adayar and Hurricane Lane.

"After the Dewhurst I always thought that stepping up to a mile was always going to suit him and he proved that today. Who would I encourage William [Buick] to ride in the 2,000 Guineas today? It would be Native Trail without a doubt.

"I was impressed with Coroebus's work this morning and it will be a hard call, but William can't get off Native Trail and I would expect James Doyle will be sitting there happy to be riding Coroebus.

"The most important thing for Godolphin is that they both turn up fit and well and turn up on the big day. We have never had a better chance of landing a 2,000 Guineas and it's exciting to be part of it."

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: William Buick riding Native Trail win The bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse on April 13, 2022 in Newmarket, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Native Trail kicks clear of the field to run out an easy winnerCredit: Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

Buick said: "They went a fair pace for a small field trial and he stayed the mile very well. Native Trail does what he usually does which is he goes into the Dip very well and come out of it very well, and he runs all the way to the line.

"I rode Coroebus this morning and I will have a choice to make which to ride in the 2,000 Guineas nearer the time."

On runner-up Claymore, Hugo Lascelles, racing manager to owner Mary Slack said: "That was a great run from a maiden winner and it was no disgrace to be beaten by last year's champion two-year-old.

"He's French-bred so I think the plan would be to head to the French 2,000 Guineas as he will get all the premiums."

Watch Native Trail's impressive return in the bet365 Craven Stakes

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Newmarket correspondent

Published on inReports

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