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Coroebus beats Native Trail as duo take charge of G1 2,000 Guineas


Coroebus confirmed the immense potential he displayed as a juvenile to edge out Native Trail in the G1 2,000 Guineas as the stable-mates fought out a tremendous finish to the Classic at Newmarket on Saturday, 30 April.

Dubawi homebred Coroebus had won two of his three starts last season, including a dominant display over the same course and distance in the G3 Emirates Autumn Stakes, and lined up in the mile contest on the back of a racecourse gallop.

Native Trail, an easy winner of the G3 Craven Stakes on his three-year-old return, had scaled even greater heights during 2021, ending the year as Europe’s Champion Juvenile following an outstanding campaign that yielded two impressive G1 victories.

The Charlie Appleby-trained colts were quickly into their strides from their contrasting draws, with Native Trail settling in mid-division towards the stands’ rail and Coroebus adopting a similar position on the far side under James Doyle.

Coroebus travelled ominously well as Native Trail started to make his move for William Buick approaching the final quarter-mile. Both horses quickened through the field, with Coroebus striking the front over a furlong from home.

Native Trail gave chase in the final furlong but could not get on terms with Coroebus, who found more in the closing stages to prevail by three-quarters of a length. The front two pulled a length and a half clear of Luxembourg in third.

Charlie Appleby, the first trainer in 20 years to saddle a 1-2 in the race, said: “It’s all thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and team Godolphin in supporting me and allowing me to have these horses to train.

“Native Trail was flawless as a two-year-old, ending his year as Champion, before coming out and winning the Craven Stakes in the style that he did. William [Buick] rode Coroebus in a racecourse gallop the same morning and said that, if we didn’t have Native Trail in this race, he couldn’t have been happier to ride Coroebus. It was always going to be a very hard call for William to get off Native Trail, so naturally James [Doyle] was always going to get the ride.

“Coroebus excited us as a two-year-old and James gave him a fantastic ride today – we told him to hold onto him and press the button at the last minute. We said that we would see whether he had the gears to face up to these proper Group horses and he has shown that in spades. He is a horse that you just keep filling up and he has an electric turn of foot.

“On his page, you could question whether Coroebus would get further than a mile and he is so laid back at home – he just comes to life at the races. Having won the Guineas the way he has, I don’t see any reason to step him up in trip.

“We feel that he is going to progress throughout the season. We will have some nice conversations over the next 10 days but speaking now, I’d like to take Coroebus to the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and go to the Curragh for the G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas with Native Trail, where he won the National Stakes.

“Although Native Trail breezed here and won the Dewhurst and the Craven at the course, he’s not really built to be a Newmarket runner. He is built to meet a nice rising track, like Ascot or the Curragh. He has just finished second in the Guineas and was beaten by an exceptional horse, but his class gets him through it. He has just met one that was a bit classier on the day.”

James Doyle said: “I was happy after half a furlong – there was one moment when it looked like I could be caught on a wing and Coroebus was quite fresh early on, but I just had to bring him back slightly to make sure I could tuck in.

“He travelled incredibly strongly throughout and there is no reason to believe he won’t improve because he was quite exuberant through the early part of the race. I was thinking that it was all going pretty well at halfway, I just thought of keeping very patient.

“Something joined me around the two-furlong pole, so I asked Coroebus a couple of questions going into the dip and he responded incredibly. He showed a potent turn of foot and I think if that other horse hadn’t forced my hand a little early, I could have afforded to be even cheekier and won more impressively.”