Appleby on Native Trail's Chances in Irish Guineas


Photo: Edward Whitaker/Racing Post
Native Trail wins the Craven Stakes at Newmarket

Although he was forced to relinquish his unbeaten record to Coroebus  at Newmarket, Native Trail  will be a tough nut to crack, according to Charlie Appleby as Godolphin's principal trainer goes in search of his first victory in the Tattersalls Irish Two Thousand Guineas (G1) classic.

The Curragh has been kind to Appleby in his career. Two of the three horses he sent to the venue in 2021 were successful, including Native Trail who stormed clear to win the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (G1). The other was the last-gasp Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (G1) winner Hurricane Lane 

Native Trail (Oasis Dream ) is odds-on for a reason and Appleby knows that. Everything has gone to script since finishing second in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (G1) and it will be a major shock if he fails to make it six wins out of seven.

Appleby said: "Native Trail heads back to the Curragh in great nick. We have been delighted with the way he came out of the Two Thousand Guineas and how his preparation has gone. Obviously, a repeat of his Newmarket run is going to make him the one to beat.

"There are some showers forecast but good or good to soft ground should hopefully make it a fair playing field for everyone."

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Joseph O'Brien: I Don't Think Buckaroo Will be Stuck for Pace

Joseph O'Brien had a tricky decision to make. The Irish Two Thousand Guineas or the Derby for Buckaroo ? He has opted to stay on home soil for now and, while Epsom is not off the agenda just yet, this is the moment of truth for the progressive son of Fastnet Rock .

After his narrow defeat to leading Derby contender Piz Badile , now the mount of Frankie Dettori in the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax (G3) at Leopardstown over 10 furlongs, O'Brien thought it was worth having a crack at the Coolmore Arizona Irish E.B.F. Tetrarch back over a mile. How right he was.

Buckaroo outclassed his opponents there and proved a mile was no barrier to success. O'Brien does not foresee it being an issue now upped in class. 

He said: "He showed a nice turn of foot when he won the Tetrarch, and I don't think he'll be stuck for pace. He seems to be in very good form at home."

The trainer, who won the Irish Two Thousand Guineas three consecutive times in 2011, 2012, and 2013 on Roderic O'Connor, Power, and Magician, believes Buckaroo has the ability to give hot favorite Native Trail something to think about.

He said: "No doubt Native Trail will be hard to beat but we're going there with a chance, and I think we'll give him a good run for his money."

Progressive Ivy League Can Play a Part

If you were told at the start of the season that Ivy League  would be Aidan O'Brien's sole representative in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas as he seeks a record-extending 12th win in the Classic, you would have been more than surprised.

Probably because he had never run at that stage, but the colt who only appeared for the first time in March has achieved an awful lot in a very short space of time and O'Brien is expecting a bold showing from the son of Galileo .

He said: "He is progressing all the time and we think he has improved again since he ran at Leopardstown. He's a nice colt who we have always liked."

Curragh Ground and Weather

Day one of the Curragh's Irish Guineas festival got underway May 20 with conditions described as yielding, good to yielding in places on the straight course, and good to yielding, yielding in places on the round.

Approximately 2.5mm of rain fell early Friday afternoon, and there is a possibility of limited showers and sunshine over the weekend, according to Met Eireann. Fresh ground will be in play for each of the three days.