Dubai: Native Trail completed a momentous Classic hat-trick for Godolphin colts this season with a resolute display in the G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.
The royal blue silks had already been carried to victory by Coroebus in the G1 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and by Modern Games in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains, the French 2,000 Guineas, at Longchamp.
Native Trail, who had filled the runner-up spot behind Coroebus at Newmarket, soon disputed fourth on the inside of Ivy League as Malex set the pace for the nine-strong field.
Last year’s Champion two-year-old briefly looked set to be denied a clear run as the pace quickened but was angled off the rail by William Buick when a gap presented itself two and a half furlongs out.
Native Trail bore down on the leaders, taking up the running approaching the final furlong before finding plenty under pressure for a comfortable length and three-quarter success over New Energy.
It was a remarkable result for Charlie Appleby, who became only the second trainer to win the English, French and Irish 2,000 Guineas in the same season, and the first to achieve the feat with three different colts.
Appleby said: “It’s fantastic to make history for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and team Godolphin. The team at Moulton Paddocks have done such a fantastic job — they are long winters with the two-year-olds and Native Trail has never missed a beat. We have been very fortunate to be coming into these G1 races with fancied horses. Of course, there is a certain amount of excitement and nerves, but it was a sigh of relief when Native Trail crossed the line today,” the trainer was quoted by Godolphin website.
“William [Buick] has ridden Native Trail in all his starts and rides him so much at home, he knows the horse inside out. I was confident with where William was because he knows the horse so well. Native Trail was in a bit of a pocket but I was confident coming into the race that he was the class horse and he had the strength. He is a big, imposing horse and it was a nice race to watch — I wasn’t anxious throughout. Everyone wants to see the Champion two-year-old hopefully fulfil their three-year-old careers and that is what Native Trail has done.
“Now Native Trail will have to come into the Royal Ascot conversation as well over the next 10 days or two weeks. We all know that the St James’s Palace Stakes is a fantastic race and it’s the last chance for the three-year-olds to compete against each other over a mile.”
William Buick said: “Native Trail is an exceptional horse and a real joy to ride. He’s uncomplicated, he’s there for you when you need him, and he really deserved to win a Guineas after going down narrowly at Newmarket. “I knew from a fair way out that I would be having to work my way out a little bit but I had the horse to do it. He has plenty of size and scope. We got a nice seam towards the outside and got running in time, so it was actually very straightforward.
“It’s amazing to win all three Guineas with three different horses, it’s unbelievable. Credit to Charlie and his whole team, and to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. It’s great to be part of it.”