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Native Trail produces Champion performance in G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes


Native Trail maintained his unbeaten record and confirmed his place as the best of his generation with an authoritative victory in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, UK, on Saturday, 9 October.

The Oasis Dream colt was completing a G1 double over seven furlongs in the highlight of Dubai Future Champions Festival, having captured the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, in September.

Native Trail was soon covered up behind the leaders in a close fifth by William Buick as all eight runners elected to race up the stands’ rail.

The Charlie Appleby-trained juvenile was pushed along to maintain his position with three furlongs to race but quickened strongly after being switched out to deliver his challenge approaching the final furlong.

Native Trail collared long-time leader Dubawi Legend half a furlong out and readily went clear in the closing stages for a two-length verdict in the race that customarily determines Europe’s Champion two-year-old.

Charlie Appleby said: “If Native Trail had not won the National Stakes in similar style, you would probably be getting a bit twitchy when he was under the pump at halfway. Knowing how this horse is, I was comfortable because he wasn’t doing a stroke, he was just going through the motions.

“I was confident that, once William moved him out and he got enough daylight on the rising ground, the one thing Native Trail wasn’t going to do was stop galloping. It was a very similar situation to what we saw in the National Stakes – the acceleration is really quite remarkable.

“He is naturally going to be the leading contender for the 2,000 Guineas now. I can’t foresee him going any further than a mile personally, but I might be proven wrong. He will go into the winter as an exciting Guineas horse along with Coroebus.

“We have seen two nice colts in the last half an hour. It’s great to have these two-year-olds for the whole team and, most importantly, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin. This is Dubai Future Champions Festival and it’s here for a reason, to hopefully see the Champions of next year.”

William Buick said: “Native Trail is a gorgeous horse with tons of ability. It was a messy race but I expected it – tactically it was hard to get a handle on it. We ended up coming over to the stands’ rail and going slow. Wherever I asked Native Trail to go, he went, and he hit the rising ground really well. He is deservedly Champion two-year-old.

“He justified what he did in the National Stakes and it’s always great to see it backed up in the Darley Dewhurst. This is the most important two-year-old race for next year and I think he will be just as effective, if not more effective, over a mile.

“He is a big horse already, who does it all. He minds himself at home then brings it on in the afternoon.”