Tag Archive for: Nations Pride

Buick hoping to add another Derby victory to burgeoning CV

William Buick will bid to continue his fantastic start to the season by securing his second Cazoo Derby success aboard Nations Pride at Epsom on Saturday.

Charlie Appleby’s number one rider has already bagged two Classics this season, winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas aboard Native Trail and the French equivalent on Modern Games.

He does not always get it right, however, as he sided with Native Trail over James Doyle-ridden winner Coroebus in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, and chose wrong in last year’s Derby.

Buick sided with Dante Stakes winner Hurricane Lane at Epsom 12 months ago, but he had to make do with third place as stablemate as Adayar stole the show in the hands of Adam Kirby.

“Missing out on Adayar last year was just one of those things,” said Buick.

“The thing about the Derby is that it comes so early in a horse’s career, and these horses are changing week to week. Hurricane Lane had won the Dante, and Adayar had been beaten in two trials, but Adayar was a fantastic winner of the Derby and look what Hurricane Lane has gone on to do since.”

While coming up short 12 months ago, Buick does already have one Derby success on his CV, having steered the Appleby-trained Masar to success in 2018 – a day he recalls fondly.

He added: “Winning the Derby on Masar was one of the best days of my life at that stage.

William Buick and Masar winning the Derby in 2018
William Buick and Masar winning the Derby in 2018 (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’d had a few rides in the race and finished second twice. They were second best, it’s as simple as that, so I wouldn’t say they were disappointments, but I’d had a taste of it so I knew what it meant.

“Masar was at his absolute peak that day and gave me everything you could ask for in a horse around Epsom.”

In a race that forms part of the Qipco British Champions Series, Buick had the choice of three Appleby runners and has sided with impressive Newmarket Stakes winner Nations Pride, who was supplemented on Monday at a cost of £75,000, over Lingfield Derby Trial runner-up Walk Of Stars (Doyle) and Blue Riband Trial winner Nahanni (Kirby).

Nations Pride impressed in the Newmarket Stakes
Nations Pride impressed in the Newmarket Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

“Nations Pride has only been beaten once, which was first time out, so he’s a horse who has done nothing wrong. He’s a very straightforward, well-balanced colt who saves his best for the track,” said Buick.

“He won well in Dubai and then when he won at Newmarket I really stretched him and he really saw it out well. His best part of the race was the last part, and that would indicate he’s going to stay, but more importantly he travels well and he’s got speed.

“As far as a Derby goes he’s a very straightforward horse to deal with, and he’s got that nice little bit of match practice too after racing five times. He didn’t go to Epsom for the gallops morning with Nahanni, Walk Of Stars and my Coronation Cup ride Manobo, but everything has been routine at home.”

Assessing Nations Pride’s chance, Appleby said: “Being drawn in five is a nice draw. He is a horse with plenty of experience having already been out to Dubai. The first half of the race everyone will be jostling for a good position and he is a horse that has got natural pace.

“From that draw, William can hopefully park him up where he feels it is right to be.

“We never went quick enough to really test those who came to the track the other week (at the Cazoo Derby Gallops Morning) and we decided he didn’t need to come as he had already won around Lingfield and at Newmarket so hopefully he will handle this track.

“People questioned how well he handled the dip at Newmarket, but he came out of it very well and he takes plenty of experience into the race.

“We still had him in the French Derby as well (at the time of Epsom gallop). We sat down and discussed it with everyone at home but we were happy with how the horse was so we decided to come here.”

He added: “William made his mind up that if we decided to run this horse he would ride him. As I said on the gallops morning, in my mind he has chosen the right horse.

“It is a tough call for William in his position, but I feel that William has chosen the right horse for him and James the right one for him, which gives me more confidence.

“Nahanni is a horse going in there with no pressure on him at all as a 20-1 chance. Adam Kirby knows his way around this course and distance blindfolded and the horse ticks a lot of boxes, having won the Blue Riband here over a mile and a quarter. He was doing all of his best work in the last half a mile that day and he is a willing horse with a willing rider on.”

Appleby confirms Nations Pride will be added to Derby field

Charlie Appleby has confirmed Nations Pride will be supplemented for the Cazoo Derby on Saturday week.

The Moulton Paddocks handler already had two contenders for this year’s renewal of the premier Classic in Blue Riband Trial winner Nahanni and Lingfield Derby Trial runner-up Walk Of Stars.

But after giving that pair an experience of Epsom at the Cazoo Gallops Morning on Monday, Appleby revealed that Nations Pride could be added to the field pending a crucial midweek workout.

The Teofilo colt has won four of his five starts to date and Appleby confirmed on Friday morning that he will be supplemented on Monday morning at a cost of £75,000.

“He worked on Wednesday with a reliable and very able lead horse and he looked very good. Importantly, he has done well since. I have been delighted with him since the gallop,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“He has the right profile for Epsom. He’s got five runs under his belt, having won the Jumeirah Derby and then taking the Newmarket Stakes, where William (Buick) was very pleased the way he went through the line, which has given us as good an indication as any that the step up to a mile and a half is going to suit him.

“Therefore, we think he deserves to be supplemented on Monday morning.”

Appleby sees Nations Pride’s experience as a valuable asset, adding: “On Derby day there’s a huge crowd, the fanfare of it all. I feel you have to have experience to take into it.

“Cantering a mile and a half down to the start as well. There’s a lot of challenges for a three-year-old early in his career, and the more experience is beneficial, which is what he brings to the table.”

Appleby sweet on possible Derby supplementary Nations Pride

Charlie Appleby put Cazoo Derby contenders Nahanni and Walk Of Stars through their paces at Epsom on Monday morning – but rates possible supplementary entry Nations Pride as his best chance should he be added into the Classic reckoning.

Nahanni and Walk Of Stars, who are 20-1 and 16-1 shots respectively, are currently the Godolphin handler’s only remaining entries in the 12-furlong contest as he seeks to follow up Adayar’s shock 16-1 success in 2021.

However, the Godolphin handler could have a late contender for the race in Nations Pride, winner of four of his five career starts, including a seven-length demolition job in a Newmarket Listed event at the end of last month.

By Teofilo, Nations Pride has won up to 10 furlongs to date and while Appleby is not certain he will stay, connections are considering putting him into the premier Classic at a cost £75,000 next Monday.

Nations Pride first faces a crucial workout on Wednesday, though.

Speaking at the Cazoo Derby Gallops Morning, Appleby said: “With Nations Pride, he could turn up and he ticks the most boxes.

“He’s only had five runs in his life and is neat and well balanced. Pedigree wise, does he have an abundance of stamina? He will work on Wednesday which will be the defining point.

“Nations Pride is the highest rated and has done little wrong. If I was forced to say which is in with the best chance, he would be the one.”

Manobo, Walk Of Stars and Nahanni at Epsom on Monday
Manobo, Walk Of Stars and Nahanni at Epsom on Monday (Neil Morrice/PA)

Nahanni booked his place in the Derby field when winning the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom last month, while Walk Of Stars followed in Adayar’s hoofprints by finishing second in the Lingfield Derby Trial.

They worked in company with Coronation Cup joint-favourite Manobo, with last year’s Derby-winning jockey Adam Kirby riding Nahanni and William Buick on Walk Of Stars.

Appleby said: “The three I worked are all different.

“Nahanni is a different animal when he turns up at the races. At home he struggles to even warm up in a gallop. He led the way in a swinging canter under Adam.

“He’s done fantastically well in the past four weeks and turned himself inside out. He’s been here and done it, while at Leicester he put nine lengths between himself and the others in a matter of a furlong.

“He will be putting in his best work at the finish in the Derby.”

Walk Of Stars (left) with Nahanni
Walk Of Stars (left) with Nahanni (John Walton/PA)

Walk Of Stars was sent off favourite at Lingfield when beaten three-quarters of a length by United Nations and while Appleby was disappointed with the result, he felt the Dubawi colt would have learnt for the occasion, seeing him as a similar type to Adayar.

He said: “Walk Of Stars has all the ability and possesses the engine to do something exciting. He did disappoint at Lingfield, but he was jigging about and in my view he’s a work in progress.

“He will have the hood on to post in the Derby and if you could pick one that’s got the profile of an Adayar, then it’s him.

“He’s a big, scopey horse and Will said he thought he handled the track very well at Lingfield. He said that for a big horse he switches his leads very easily.

“This horse has a lot more character and is a big boy who is still immature.”

Adam Kirby struck gold on Adayar last year
Adam Kirby struck gold on Adayar last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Kirby was a late booking for Adayar in 2021 after he was replaced on expected mount John Leeper by Frankie Dettori and he could again be in the mix for a Godolphin ride, although Buick and James Doyle will have first pick.

Appleby added: “With the jockeys, in an ideal world I like them to ride the ones they are most happy to ride. I want them to go out and think they are on the best horse.

“To win an English Derby is the ultimate goal and one that keeps them dreaming through the winter.

“William, James and Adam are my jockeys and Adam is a big part of the team and sits on plenty of horses.”

Manobo was in action at Epsom
Manobo was in action at Epsom (John Walton/PA)

Manobo is Appleby’s only Coronation Cup contender after a minor setback ruled Adayar out last week, with his five-race unbeaten run having ended at Meydan in March when second to Stay Foolish in the two-mile Dubai Gold Cup.

“Manobo goes for the Coronation Cup and he cantered down the hill in a hood,” said Appleby.

“It’s the first bit he’d done since the Gold Cup in Dubai when unfortunately they went so steady, so we are dropping him back to a mile and a half.”

Nations Pride powers clear for impressive Newmarket success

Nations Pride further strengthened Charlie Appleby’s formidable three-year-old squad with a dominant display in the Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Newmarket Stakes.

As well as saddling the first two in the betting for Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas in Native Trail and Coroebus, Appleby has unearthed a clutch of potentially high-class middle-distance colts this spring, with New London, Walk Of Stars and Nahanni among those to throw their hat into the ring for the Derby.

Nations Pride is not entered for the premier Classic as things stand, but certainly looks in that bracket judged on his runaway success on the Rowley Mile.

A dual winner on the all-weather at the backend of his juvenile campaign, the Teofilo colt made a smart return in the Jumeirah Derby at Meydan in February to earn himself a shot at this Listed prize.

After taking a lead from the front-running Austrian Theory for a long way, the 7-4 chance rocketed clear racing out of the top and passed the post with seven lengths in hand under William Buick.

Hoo Ya Mal stayed on to fill the runner-up spot, with 13-8 favourite Subastar only third.

“I’m pleased with that, he’s progressed with every run,” Appleby said of the winner.

“He came out to Dubai and we pinpointed one race out there, the Jumeirah Derby.

“The one thing me and William decided was to use his experience from a little way out today, but I’m not saying that’s what has won the race because I think he’s a nice horse and going up in trip further will only suit him.

“We’ll see what Will has to say, but I see no reason why he won’t get a mile and a half.”

Charlie Appleby was pleased with the performance of Nations Pride
Charlie Appleby was pleased with the performance of Nations Pride (David Davies/PA)

While Appleby is not ruling out the possibility of supplementing Nations Pride for the Derby, it appears more likely he will sidestep Epsom in favour of an appearance at Royal Ascot.

“He’s in the King Edward VII Stakes, but we’ll see how the Derby picture unfolds,” the trainer added.

“We’ll find out more over the next two weeks or so how that picture is going to look. I’d be (leaning) more towards Ascot, but we’ll see how the cards fall into place.

“He’s a nice horse and the Derby is a race we all want to win, but two weeks later Ascot is around the corner and you have to keep a few fresh legs for it.”

Appleby and Buick completed a quickfire Listed double in the following Betfair King Charles II Stakes, with Noble Truth also blitzing his rivals in superb style.

A Listed winner at two and only narrowly denied by Ralph Beckett’s Angel Bleu in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp, the son of Kingman was tailed off in the Saudi Derby in February.

But switching back from dirt to turf, the 7-4 favourite proved a completely different proposition as he went straight to the lead readily pulled six lengths clear Honey Sweet.

Appleby added: “I have to give a lot of credit to Nathan who rides him at home as he pulls like an express train. He was happy to have a day off from riding him today to give his arms a rest!

“The plan was to just jump out and get away from everyone else and see if we could relax and get into a bit of a rhythm.

“He’s a good horse with some rock-solid juvenile form and we can disregard his run in Saudi as he’s just one of those horses that doesn’t turn up on dirt.

“Crossing the line there the first thought that went through my mind was that he could be a Jersey horse as he might be a bit vulnerable over a mile, but in fairness he wasn’t stopping.

“William actually got off and said he thinks he has enough natural pace to come back to six furlongs, so whether that puts him into a Commonwealth Cup type of horse, we’ll see.

“I would have to supplement him for the Commonwealth, so we’ll go back and have a good chat about it all. If we feel that he’s a live contender, he might be able to make his money back trying to win it.”