Naval Power pipped at the post as G1 Turf Classic lives up to name


Naval Power filled the runner-up spot in a North American G1 for a second successive time as he was denied by Program Trading in a head-bobbing finish to the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Saturday, 4 May.

Burdened with the widest draw of stall 11, the Charlie Appleby-trained Naval Power tacked across and soon disputed second on the outside of Program Trading, two lengths behind the pace-setting Never Surprised.

Naval Power took slightly closer order to go a clear second entering the back straight before quickening to dispute the running at the top of the lane.

Sent on by Frankie Dettori, Naval Power stayed on gamely to see off Webslinger entering the final furlong. Program Trading made his challenge down the inner rail and went on with Naval Power half a furlong from home.

The duo fought all the way to the line, with Program Trading getting the verdict by a head in a photo finish. Webslinger took third, a further two lengths back.

Charlie Appleby said: “Naval Power produced a good, solid effort and could possibly drop back to a mile, so the G1 Fourstardave could be an option. He will travel up to Saratoga and we will look at the race programme.”

Frankie Dettori said: “I couldn’t ask for anymore from my horse. He made a huge run and almost got there.”