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Native Trail just eclipsed ahead of another super Saturday


Native Trail emerged with plenty of credit on his first start against older opposition with a rallying third in the G1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on Saturday.

Taking on a field that included the winners of eight G1 races, last year’s Champion Two-Year-Old proved he stayed 10 furlongs as he went down by a neck and a head to Vadeni and Mishriff.

Having shown his versatility, Native Trail could now drop back to a mile for the Prix Jacques Le Marois or remain over a mile and a quarter, with the Juddmonte International and Irish Champion Stakes potential options.

Speaker’s Corner had finished third behind Flightline in the Met Mile last month and the four-year-old once again found himself up against an outstanding horse at Belmont Park as he chased home Life Is Good in the G2 John A Nerud Stakes.

There are no hiding places in the top races and Speaker’s Corner may have to face another superstar on his next start in the Forego Stakes in August, with the same Saratoga race a likely target for crack sprinter Jackie’s Warrior.

Elsewhere in the United States, Proxy closed strongly to take third in the G2 Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs. The consistent four-year-old was placing in Stakes company for a sixth time and a breakthrough Graded race win is high on the agenda for the half-brother to Micheline.

Passion And Glory made an excellent start to his European season with victory in the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown Park, while Soft Whisper scored on the all-weather in the Listed Queen Charlotte Stakes at Chelmsford City, adding to her previous Listed wins on dirt and turf.

Naval Crown and Creative Force fought out a thrilling finish to the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the duo could take each other on again in Saturday’s G1 Darley July Cup, highlight of this week’s July Festival at Newmarket.

The three-day meeting could also see Yibir line up in Thursday’s G2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes, with Royal Ascot runner-up Mawj in the frame for the G2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes 24 hours later.

Godolphin juveniles have dominated the recent roll of honour for Saturday’s G2 Superlative Stakes. Unbeaten duo Naval Power and Victory Dance feature among the entries for this year’s race, won 12 months ago by Native Trail.

A strong squad of horses from Moulton Paddocks has already travelled out to Belmont Park for important turf races on Saturday.

Nations Pride tackles the G1 Belmont Derby, while With The Moonlight takes her chance in the G1 Belmont Oaks.

Creative Flair also shipped to New York ahead of the G1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga later in the month, a contest in which Godolphin enjoyed a 1-2 in 2021 with Althiqa and Summer Romance.

Modern Games is on course make a third appearance in France this year at Deauville on Sunday, with the Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner and Prix du Jockey Club third dropping down to seven furlongs for the G1 Prix Jean Prat.