Derby prospects poised to reappear at Sandown; Adayar and Native Trail ready to make their seasonal debuts

Jim McGrath
J A McGrath

Flying Honours and Military Order could commence their three-year-old season in the Bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown Park later this month, taking a proven Godolphin pathway to the Epsom Derby.

Trainer Charlie Appleby is pleased with the progress shown by both colts and has nominated them as possibles for the established Derby trial that he used when Adayar triumphed at Epsom two years ago.

In 2021, the William Haggas-trained Alenquer defeated the Godolphin duo Adayar and Yibir, who both went on to notable success as the season unfolded.

Flying Honours, a son of Sea The Stars from the family of Lammtarra, won the Zetland Stakes, over 1m 2f, at Newmarket in October and finished his first campaign with three wins from five starts.

Appleby has been impressed by the colt, who suffered defeat in the Royal Lodge Stakes. “His one blip was the Royal Lodge, and you just put a line through that run. There were excuses. He has wintered well and we look forward to seeing him on a racecourse again,” he said.

“Military Order is Adayar’s brother and he won over a mile at Newmarket last October. He is pleasing us at home and ready to take the next step,” he added.

Castle Way is another on the trainer’s list of Classic possibles and is being aimed at one of the traditional Derby trials, with several options available. Imperial Emperor, who is closely related to Ghaiyyath, is also on the short list of possible contenders.

“We will tiptoe towards the Classics with him. But I feel he is a colt who will tell us when he is ready,” he added.

Adayar and Native Trail, two of Godolphin’s older flagbearers, came through their racecourse gallops comfortably on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile today (Wednesday 19 April), with Charlie Appleby declaring both on target to make their seasonal debut.

Derby and King George winner Adayar is now set to commence his five-year-old campaign, with his main aim being to win a G1 race over 1m 2f. He will kick off in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown Park later in the month.

“I’m delighted with him. He looks great. He will be campaigned to achieve that G1 target in the first half of the season,” Appleby said.

Native Trail is being aimed at the G1 Queen Anne Stakes, over 1m at Royal Ascot on Tuesday 20 June.

“We feel that in dropping back to the mile, he will be seen at his best again. The plan is to give him an outing in the Paradise Stakes at Ascot in May before going on to the Royal meeting there in June,” Appleby reported.