History maker Appleby completes Classic sweep for Dubai's Team Godolphin

Native Trail swept to an emphatic victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1)

By Leslie Wilson Jr

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William Buick pilots Native Trail to victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. — Godolphin website
William Buick pilots Native Trail to victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. — Godolphin website

Published: Sun 22 May 2022, 12:13 AM

Charlie Appleby has been a major reason why Dubai’s Team Godolphin continues to enjoy so much success on the global scene and he delivered another impactful result at The Curragh on Saturday when Native Trail swept to an emphatic victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1).

Having won the English version last month and the French 1,000 Guineas last week, Appleby made more history to add to his illustrious resume that includes epic victories in the Epsom Derby (G1) and Melbourne Cup.

Sent off as the overwhelming favourite to give Godolphin a third success in the prestigious contest following Bachir in 2000, and Dubawi in 2005, both of whom were trained by decorated Emirati handler Saeed bin Suroor.

Runner-up to stable companion Coroebus in the English 2,000 Guineas, Native Trail showed significant improvement in attitude to see off a strong Irish challenge, for a cosy length and three-quarter success over New Energy.

Native Trail looked to have his work cut out for him when denied a clear run in the home straight but William Buick, ever the consummate pro who is blessed with nerves of steel, waited for the gap which appeared.

When asked for his effort Native Trail moved into top gear and put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby.
Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby.

Appleby made history when he became only the second trainer to win the English, French and Irish 2,000 Guineas in the same season, and the first-ever to achieve the feat with three different horses (Coroebus & Modern Games).

“It’s fantastic to make history for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the 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 Group 1 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.

“William [Buick] has ridden Native Trail in all his starts and he knows the horse inside out. 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.”

Commenting on where Native Trail will head next Appleby said: “Native Trail will have to come into the Royal Ascot conversation as well over the next 10 days or two weeks.”

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.

“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.”

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