Tag Archive for: Dewhurst Stakes

Native Trail stays unbeaten in Dewhurst Stakes

Native Trail underlined his Classic credentials by extending his unbeaten record in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Hugely impressive on his racecourse introduction at Sandown in June, Charlie Appleby’s colt had since edged a thrilling renewal of the Superlative Stakes on Newmarket’s July Course before successfully graduating to Group One level in the National Stakes at the Curragh.

The brilliant Pinatubo completed the National Stakes-Dewhurst double for Appleby, jockey William Buick and the Godolphin team two years ago to confirm his status as 2019’s champion juvenile – and Native Trail was the 5-6 favourite to follow suit on the Rowley Mile.

It was not entirely straightforward for the market leader, with Dubawi Legend proving why he is held in such high regard by trainer Hugo Palmer with a bold effort from the front.

Buick had to get to work with a couple of furlongs still to run – but once angled out to challenge Dubawi Legend, Native Trail picked up smartly and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post two lengths to the good.

Champagne Stakes winner Bayside Boy was just half a length further away in third.

Coral make Native Trail their 3-1 favourite (from 4-1) for next year’s 2000 Guineas, with his stablemate Coroebus – winner of the Autumn Stakes just half-an-hour earlier – next in the market at 5-1.

Appleby said of Native Trail: “When he was walking around the paddock I was getting more confident, because he was the standout.

“Today is a huge day, and we have two smart colts on our hands for next year’s Guineas. We’re fortunate to be going into the winter with two fantastic colts.

Charlie Appleby was delighted with Native Trail's Dewhurst success
Charlie Appleby was delighted with Native Trail’s Dewhurst success (Mike Egerton/PA)

“There’s a lot more to come, you’d like to say, but he (Native Trail) is unbeaten with two Group Ones. I’m not going to get too carried away.

“He’s a big boy, 540 kilos, and came in at that weight from the breeze-ups. Full credit to the team who purchased him, and Norman Williamson who consigned him. Since then, Norman has taken a keen interest.

“Norman said after the National Stakes he still didn’t know what he was doing – and he was correct, because his work at home wasn’t too exciting, but he warms into a race and does it the right way round.

“I was confident once William gave him the office he would pick up well.”

He added: “I don’t know if he’ll have a trial. We’ll try and split them up, but we’ll look forward to the spring.

“I’ve never put him anywhere near Coroebus at home – they are different types. Coroebus travels very well and has a smart turn of foot, whereas this horse does things in a different manner.”

Buick said: “It was a messy race, and we went a messy pace. Obviously we ended up on this rail for some reason, but I sort of half-expected that.

“I gave myself options the whole way through, and I knew ultimately that when I gave him a clear run he would pick up, and he did.”

When asked to compare Native Trail to Coroebus, he added: “It’s very hard – they are both very good. But one is a dual Group One winner, so at this stage, he’s ahead.

“We’ll see next year, but if they both develop it will be interesting.”

Native Trail in top shape for Dewhurst showdown

Charlie Appleby admits Native Trail “looks the one to beat” in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

The Godolphin colt goes to Headquarters on Saturday unbeaten in three starts, and bids to cement his place as the number one two-year-old in Europe.

The son of Oasis Dream laid claim to that title with an emphatic three-and-a-half-length victory over Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale in the National Stakes at the Curragh last month – a race Appleby won with Pinatubo in 2019 on his way to Dewhurst glory.

“Native Trail has been faultless to date, and we feel that he is a horse who is improving mentally with each race,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com, of his 2000 Guineas favourite.

“As a physical specimen, we have always felt that he was a man amongst boys, but he has sharpened up mentally again since the National Stakes.

“On all evidence to date, he looks the one to beat.”

Roger Varian has been delighted with Bayside Boy since he lowered the colours of the highly-regarded Reach For The Moon in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

“He’s in good shape. We’re very happy with his condition. He hasn’t put a foot wrong at home since he won the Champagne Stakes,” said the Newmarket handler.

“We’re very much looking forward to him turning up in a race like the Dewhurst.

“Bayside Boy goes into the race with a strong line of form. It’s a very good race. It’s going to be tough to come out on top, but I couldn’t be more pleased with his condition, and we’re excited about running him.

“He did nothing wrong that day at Doncaster. It was only his third ever start. It showed he had learnt a little bit from the scrap he had with Andrew Balding’s horse (Masekela) at Newbury. He has improved with every start, and I’m hoping his best performances still lie ahead of him.”

Hugo Palmer has always thought a lot of Dubawi Legend and is excited at pitching him in at the top level.

The Newmarket trainer has not had an opportunity to run his colt since he scoped badly when disappointing in the Acomb Stakes at York in August.

He was sent off the 7-4 favourite for that Group Three, after making a big impression on his debut at Doncaster in July.

Hugo Palmer is looking forward to running Dubawi Legend in the Dewhurst Stakes
Hugo Palmer is looking forward to running Dubawi Legend in the Dewhurst Stakes (Simon Cooper/PA)

“I’m looking forward to running him. We’ve had a stop-start time with him, but his work has been very good, and I’m very pleased with him,” said Palmer.

O’Brien, meanwhile, relies on Glounthaune to give him a record-equalling eighth success in the prestigious seven-furlong contest.

The Kodiac colt is the least experienced of the eight runners – with just one run under his belt, when the neck winner of a Curragh maiden in April.

“He won nicely on his debut at the Curragh, but it’s a long time since he ran,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

“He beat a nice horse that day (Castle Star), but then he had a little problem which just held him up.

Aidan O’Brien bids to win the Dewhurst for a record-equalling eighth time
Aidan O’Brien bids to win the Dewhurst for a record-equalling eighth time (Nigel French/PA)

“It was just a little setback after his maiden and it just required time.

“We’ve been happy with him lately. It’s obviously only his second run, but he seems to be in good form.”

There is a second Irish entry in the Ger Lyons-trained Straight Answer, who was supplemented at Monday’s confirmation stage.

The son of Kodiac, owned by Juddmonte Farms, has earned his big opportunity by winning both his starts to date.

Go Bears Go tries seven furlongs for the first time after showing classy form over six, with his victory in the Railway Stakes at the Curragh the highlight.

The Balding-trained Coventry Stakes scorer Berkshire Shadow and John and Thady Gosden’s Dhabab, third to Native Trail in the Superlative Stakes, complete the field.

Native Trail heads Dewhurst field

Native Trail will face seven rivals when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Since making an impressive start to his career at Sandown in June, Charlie Appleby’s colt has claimed a narrow victory in the Superlative Stakes on Newmarket’s July Course and run out an emphatic winner of the National Stakes at the Curragh.

The Oasis Dream colt is a hot favourite to follow in the hoofprints of the former Appleby-trained star Pinatubo, who won the National Stakes two years ago before following up on the Rowley Mile.

One of the biggest threats to Native Trail appears to be Roger Varian’s Bayside Boy, who lines-up off the back of a victory in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Irish hopes are carried by the Ger Lyons-trained Straight Answer, who was supplemented at the start of the week, and the once-raced maiden winner Glounthaune, who bids to provide Aidan O’Brien with an eighth Dewhurst success.

Hugo Palmer has not made any secret of the regard in which he holds Dubawi Legend, while Dave Loughnane’s Go Bears Go bids to make it third time lucky at Group One level after going close in the Phoenix Stakes and the Middle Park on his last couple of appearances.

Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the Cesarewitch
Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the Cesarewitch (Niall Carson/PA)

Royal Ascot winner Berkshire Shadow (Andrew Balding) and Dhabab (John and Thady Gosden) complete the line-up.

Ante-post favourite M C Muldoon is one of six runners for Willie Mullins in the Together For Racing International Cesarewitch.

The Closutton handler has saddled the last three winners of the prestigious staying handicap and appears intent on adding to his tally – with M C Muldoon joined by defending champion Great White Shark, Micro Manage, Whiskey Sour, Burning Victory and Foveros.

Mullins, no stranger to making history, is bidding to become the first trainer to win a fourth Cesarewitch since Matthew Dawson equalled William Day’s record in the race with Stone Clink in 1886.

He said: “Any of those long-distance handicaps are always a target. The prize-money has moved up significantly in the race as well, and chasing big prize-money is always another of our targets.

“With the two combined together, it becomes an obvious race to go for – and as we buy a lot of ex-Flat horses to go jumping, it is easy for them to switch back into a race like this.

“The Cesarewitch is something we can consider for a number of our horses, so we keep it in the back of our mind – and as the season goes on, we sharpen the focus a little bit more for the right ones.

“It is a privilege to have horses good enough to compete in these races and it would be an honour to equal the record. We are going to give it a good go with the team that we are bringing over.”

Of his runners, Mullins added: “M C Muldoon is in good shape, and I think that the track and trip will suit him. His last run over hurdles in Galway was a nice prep for this.

“The conditions of the races suited Burning Victory in France, and she will probably go back to France after this, then continue her hurdling career over the winter.

“Jason Watson gave Great White Shark a great ride in the race last year. It is going to be very tough for her to come back and be very competitive in a handicap like this after a bit of time off. She loves the track and will handle everything, so she takes her chance.

“It does seem like Whiskey Sour has been around forever, but he is still only eight and is in good shape. The trip and the ground won’t be any problem to him, so I hope he will run his usual good race.

“Foveros ​is an Authorized gelding that won in soft ground at Longchamp before he came to us. He ran a great race in Galway. That run puts him well in here with a chance off 8st 3lb.

“Micro Manage would definitely have the ability, and I think he should stay the trip. He might want to settle a little better, and he needs to learn a little bit more about racing.”

Go Bears Go heading for red-hot Dewhurst assignment

Go Bears Go will bid to make it third time lucky at Group One level in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Since making a successful start to his career at Ascot in early May, Dave Loughnane’s star colt has finished second in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, won the Railway Stakes, finished third in the Phoenix Stakes and most recently placed fourth in the Middle Park.

On his last two starts Go Bears Go has been beaten only a length, and his trainer feels he merits a place in a race that traditionally crowns the year’s champion juvenile.

Loughnane said: “The plan is very much to run in the Dewhurst on Saturday.

“Obviously Native Trail looks like he’ll be very hard to beat and Ger Lyons’ horse that has been supplemented (Straight Answer) looks very good as well, but you’ve got to take these chances and can’t run from a fight.

“He’s came out of the Middle Park in great order, so fingers crossed he can run a big race.”

Dave Loughnane still has high hopes for Go Bears Go
Dave Loughnane still has high hopes for Go Bears Go (Mike Egerton/PA)

Go Bears Go will be stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time on his return to the Rowley Mile, but Loughnane insists he has no worries about his stamina.

He added: “The trip is not a concern whatsoever – we came away from the Middle Park thinking he wanted further.

“We always new he’d want seven furlongs at some stage and it was just a question of whether it would be this year or next. He’s definitely ready for it now.

“He’s not done anything wrong for us and deserves to be in these type of races, so we’re going to roll the dice and see what happens.”

Dubawi Legend could chart direct Dewhurst route

Dubawi Legend could head straight for Darley Dewhurst Stakes after missing an intended outing at Doncaster last week.

Hugo Palmer’s juvenile made a huge impression on his racecourse debut at Doncaster in July and was a hot favourite to follow up in the Group Three Acomb Stakes at York last month.

Dubawi Legend was not disgraced in finishing third on the Knavesmire, but Palmer admitted to being disappointed, such is the regard in which he is held.

The youngster was pencilled in to contest either the Flying Scotsman or the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival, but following an unsatisfactory scope, he could now step up to Group One level at Newmarket on October 9.

“We were so disappointed when he didn’t win the Acomb, so he was scoped before declarations (for Doncaster) and his scope wasn’t good enough to run. He’s not ill, so we will just have to see,” said Palmer.

“I expect he’ll go straight to the Dewhurst, just because of lack of options.

“I don’t think we’ll take him to France (for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere), unless the ground was fast in France and looked like being soft at Newmarket.

“They’re only a week apart and he is a top of the ground horse.”

Chindit tops 14 contenders seeking Dewhurst gold

Ante-post favourite Chindit is set to face 13 rivals when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in Saturday’s Darley Dewhurst Stakes.

A winner on his Doncaster debut in early July, Richard Hannon’s juvenile doubled his tally in a Listed race at Ascot before returning to Doncaster to complete his hat-trick in last month’s Group Two Champagne Stakes.

Hannon, who has never won the Dewhurst, also saddles a second unbeaten colt in Etonian, who has won twice at Sandown, most recently claiming the Group Three Solario Stakes in August.

Alkumait was added to the Dewhurst field on Monday
Alkumait was added to the Dewhurst field on Monday (Dan Abraham/PA)

Leading owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum has a strong hand after Marcus Tregoning’s impressive Mill Reef scorer Alkumait was supplemented to join the Owen Burrows-trained Albasheer. The latter was beaten a length into second place by Chindit at Doncaster four weeks ago.

A formidable Irish challenge is headed by National Stakes winner Thunder Moon, trained by Joseph O’Brien, whose father Aidan saddles a couple of runners in St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley in a bid for a seventh win in the race.

Jim Bolger also has a fine Dewhurst record with five victories and is represented by an interesting outsider in Poetic Flare, who has not been seen since making a winning debut at Naas in March, while Jessica Harrington sends Group Two winner Cadillac.

A stellar field is completed by Andrew Balding’s pair of Fivethousandtoone and Tactical, Decisive Edge (Brian Meehan), Devilwala (Ralph Beckett) and Devious Company (Tom Dascombe).