Charlie Appleby has outlined potential early-season plans for his trio of leading Classic contenders over a mile.
The newly-crowned champion trainer enjoyed a magnificent 2021 and is eyeing more success in 2022, with three-year-old colts Native Trail, Coroebus and Modern Games top of his hopefuls.
Native Trail and Coroebus are being aimed at the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, with Appleby eyeing the French 2000 Guineas for Modern Games.
“Native Trail crowned his unbeaten juvenile career with victory in the Dewhurst and is a justifiable favourite for the 2000 Guineas going into the winter,” said Appleby.
“I always felt he was a man amongst the boys throughout his two-year-old career. I wouldn’t say he needs to grow any more as he is soon going to be an imposing three-year-old.
“One bonus he will have, and something I’m a big believer in, is track experience. Surprisingly for a horse that is a big, strong colt like he is, the quicker the ground the better.
“If it was good ground in the spring you would be absolutely delighted and have a job to make an excuse. It is very exciting when you have an unbeaten colt and he ticks a lot of boxes if we get a clear winter with him going into the Guineas.”
Although Native Trail is yet to tackle a mile, Appleby is confident he will get that trip – which he could attempt for the first time in the Group Three bet365 Craven Stakes earlier in the month.
The Godolphin trainer went on: “He outstayed Dubawi Legend over seven furlongs and stepping up to the mile looks like it should see further improvement and if that is correct he will take all the beating in the Guineas.
“I think to be honest with you with the past experience we’ve had I’d like to think I would probably look towards a trial.
“Personally I’ve always been a fan of sticking closer to home and I think the Craven could be more for him.”
Coroebus put himself in line for the 2000 Guineas with an impressive success in the Group Three Emirates Autumn Stakes at Newmarket.
“He got beat in the Royal Lodge ,but he came out the race well and I was keen to run him on a sound surface rather than wait for the Vertem Futurity Trophy,” said Appleby.
“It is never a bad thing to get beat. As with any sports person who goes into the pinnacle of their career it sometimes does them no harm to get beat as it puts an edge on to them when they know what to do when the going gets tough
“I felt running him in the Autumn Stakes on good ground would give him more experience and it wasn’t going to take anything out of him.
“I’m very much a Coroebus fan because I’m fortunate enough that he is by Dubawi and I feel I know how they can improve and what signs they need to show to suggest they have improved.
“I think if there was a Greenham horse it would be Coroebus as he has got a lot of pace and picks up well. We saw in the Autumn Stakes he travels for fun and he has got a serious gear change.”
Appleby is favouring ParisLongchamp for Modern Games, who progressed throughout the campaign to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar.
He said: “For him to win a Breeders’ Cup after what happened at the start where showed his great mindset and ability on the day there.
“He has still come out and won in impressive style. He is proven over the mile and very much a Dubawi so we are very much looking forward to his three-year-old career.
“We could look down the French Guineas route with him. When you are trying to win a Guineas the more chances you have the better, but they are three exciting colts that you don’t ideally want to butt heads throughout their Classic careers.”