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Native Trail leaves rivals toiling in G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes


Native Trail maintained his unbeaten record and announced himself as the leading contender for next year’s 2,000 Guineas with a decisive win in the G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, on Sunday, 12 September.

It was a third race victory in the space of four years for Charlie Appleby and William Buick following Quorto and Pinatubo, and fifth in total for Godolphin, who had also previously been successful with subsequent Classic winners Dubawi and Dawn Approach.

After breaking on terms, Native Trail soon settled in fourth behind G1 Phoenix Stakes victor Ebro River, undefeated G2 scorer Point Lonsdale and Great Max, who had finished fifth behind the Godolphin colt in the G2 Superlative Stakes.

Native Trail showed signs of inexperience throughout the seven-furlong contest and the son of Oasis Dream took time to get organised when asked for his effort approaching the final quarter-mile.

He powered home after finding his stride passing the furlong-pole, taking up the running with just over half a furlong left before quickening clear to score by three and a half lengths over Point Lonsdale.

Charlie Appleby said: “It’s very satisfying to have another winner of the National Stakes - I think this is a great race and an indicator to the G1 Dewhurst Stakes. This is a route we have taken with Pinatubo and Quorto before, and it was always our plan immediately after the Superlative Stakes to come here with this horse.

“We took Native Trail for a racecourse gallop a couple of weeks ago and if you’d asked me then if we would be winning a National Stakes, I might have 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 put a cross noseband on him to help him concentrate.

“William said Native Trail is still very green and it felt like he was going down to the start on a maiden. He gave the horse a shove early doors to get the revs up, but I knew with two furlongs to go the one thing Native Trail was going to do was gallop out strongly.

“We will see how he comes out of this and discuss things, but I would say that we might give him one more start this year in the Dewhurst Stakes.”

William Buick said: “Native Trail only had the two runs coming into today’s race, so he was still learning a bit on the job. I could feel throughout the race that he was still taking everything in and learning, but he answered every call I asked of him.

“I really liked what he did in the last 100 yards, when he really stretched clear. He felt like a very good horse and it was a strong renewal of the race. He is a fine, big horse and you would imagine that there is still improvement in him. He should get a mile no problem and it was a great performance.”