Native on Guineas Trail after Craven success

Native Trail, already the favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, was shortened further by bookies after maintaining his unbeaten record with a ready success in the Group 3 Craven Stakes on Wednesday.

Native Trail, already the favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, was shortened further by bookmakers after maintaining his unbeaten record with a three-and-a-half length success in the Group 3 Craven Stakes.

The traditional season-opening classic trial at Newmarket drew a field of just six. Native Trail travelled strongly under William Buick, in the back half of the half dozen.

Easily smoothly through about two furlongs out, he was asked to go about his business by his jockey approaching the furlong marker and, after taking a little time to answer the call, he lengthened well to win readily at odds of 1/4.

Star Of India, representing the Ballydoyle team of Aidan O'Brien, had gone off second-best in the market at 9/1 but was a shade disappointing in beating home just one opponent.

12/1 chance Claymore was the one to chase home the winner, with Hoo Ya Mal a further one-and-a-half lengths back in third.

Perhaps overall the win didn't tell us much that we didn't already know. The son of Oasis Dream was entitled to win on what he had achieved but he did at least prove his wellbeing before stepping back into Group 1 company in the Guineas next month.

He picked up two such contests last season, winning the National Stakes and the Dewhurst, earning the crown of Europe's leading juvenile, in a season that saw him win 4-4.

After seeing his colt shorten to 2/1 from 9/4 for the Classic, Appleby said: "Watching the race I was happy throughout. Even when he came under the pump, although everyone in the stands was thinking he was under pressure, we know this horse.

"When he won the National Stakes, he was under the pump and then Will gave him a smack he picked up and he did in the Dewhurst as well - everyone thinks he's in trouble and then he hits the rising ground.

"What I love about this horse is he does it all the right way round. He's not one of those free travellers and you wonder what they're going to find - you know when this horse gets into a battle and hits that rising ground he's going to keep finding all the way to the line.

"I'm delighted we've got that run under our belt. I'm not saying there's loads of improvement there, but his racing brain has clicked in now and we look forward to the Guineas."

Appleby has a second Guineas contender Coroebus, who delighted in a racecourse gallop under Buick on the Rowley Mile on Wednesday morning.

The Godolphin handler expects both colts to line up in the Classic, with Buick maintaining his partnership with Native Trail while James Doyle takes the ride on Coroebus.

He said: "They're two different horses and I'd rather go into any gun fight with two guns.

"His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) will be keen to run the two of them. He's very sporting, as we've seen for many, many years.

"We're just in a very fortunate position to have these horses. He'll be keen to run them and I'll be keen to run them as well, knowing that there'll both be there in two and a half weeks' time, hopefully in as good a condition as we can have them in.

"A couple of days ago I was sat with the jockeys and someone posed the question who would I encourage William to ride today and it would be Native Trail - there's no doubt about it.

"But I was very pleased with how Coroebus worked this morning and he's going to come forward again for that for sure.

"It'll be hard call, but William can't get off Native Trail. He has been tightened up as favourite for the Guineas, but I'm sure James is happy to jump on Coroebus.

"From the team's point of view and Godolphin's point of view, if they both turn up fit and well it's going to be an exciting race and we're very proud to be part of it."

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