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Superlative result for Appleby with Native Trail

Native Trail remained unbeaten to provide trainer Charlie Appleby with his second successive victory in Newmarket’s bet365 Superlative Stakes.

Appleby struck in the same juvenile Group Two last year with subsequent 2000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas.

William Buick, the winning rider on both occasions, challenged late up the centre of the track on Native Trail – who had made a successful start to his career on his only previous start in a Sandown maiden last month.

The 11-4 shot then held on by a short head from fast-finishing runner-up Masekela – with favourite Dhabab, who had gone clear up the far side in the final furlong, hauled back to finish another length and a half behind in third.

Appleby said: “He’s a lovely horse to ride through a race as he goes through his gears smoothly. He showed that on his first start at Sandown and we saw the same today.

“I wouldn’t say I was confident we’d be winning, but the way the race was developing, I knew he’d be doing it all the right way round and would be hitting the line strong.

“He’s a breeze-up consigned horse, so he’d have had a bit of experience put to him early doors. But you wouldn’t know that, to be fair – he’s a very laid-back character.

“It was a good achievement winning today, but I do feel that when we step him up in trip, we’ll hopefully see a bit more improvement again.”

Quorto (2018) and Master Of The Seas (2020) went on to contest the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh on their next start.

When asked whether Native Trail would follow the same route, Appleby added “It’s a well-trodden path for myself – I like to go and have a crack at it over there (in Ireland).

“I think the ground would suit him. My only concern coming into today was the quick ground. He’s by Oasis Dream and they usually prefer a fast surface, but he’s a big unit and has got some big feet on him, so a little bit of ease in the ground wouldn’t do him any harm.

“We’ll look towards the National Stakes and then potentially on to the Vertem Futurity Trophy or the Lagardere.”

Liverpool aces have Superlative chance with Mr McCann

Mr McCann will carry the colours of famous footballing connections as he bids for Group Two glory in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Third on his debut at Leicester in June, the Tom Dascombe-trained colt has since gone on to take two novice contests, most recently triumphing at Haydock when landing a seven-furlong contest by two and three-quarter lengths.

This represents a significant step up in class, as the bay is introduced to Group company for the first time, but Dascombe feels he has earnt the right to take his chance at a higher grade.

“He’s done basically everything we’ve asked of him so far,” the trainer said.

“It’s obviously a big step up in grade but he deserves this opportunity, it was always the plan to run him over seven (furlongs).”

Mr McCann will be partnered by Jane Elliott, who is based at Dascombe’s Cheshire yard and will have a significant chance of a significant weekend winner.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for Jane as well, for her to have a big winner,” Dascombe said.

“We’re really looking forward to it.”

The two-year-old is named after Liverpool Football Club’s press officer, Matt McCann, and is owned by a group of current and former Liverpool players that includes James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Adam Lallana and England star Jordan Henderson.

“It’s nice that we’ve been able to buy them a horse that’s doing quite well, just like it is with any of my owners,” Dascombe added.

Tom Dascombe has two leading chances in the Superlative Stakes
Tom Dascombe has two leading chances in the Superlative Stakes (Mike Egerton/PA)

Dascombe also runs Mot And The Messer, a Cotai Glory colt who was an impressive winner when last seen in a Ripon novice race, winning by five and a half lengths.

“Mot And The Messer is also a very straightforward horse,” Dascombe said.

“He’s done nothing wrong at all and he deserves his chance at a higher grade.

“They’re two really good chances.”

John and Thady Gosden’s Dhabab will have plenty of supporters after his sixth-placed Coventry Stakes performance at Royal Ascot, with Charlie Appleby’s Native Trail also well-fancied after winning his sole start at Sandown in June.

Appleby also runs Private Signal, with Tom Clover’s Papa Cocktail and Mark Johnston’s Austrian Theory also in action.

Great Max represents Michael Bell after finishing third in the Chesham Stakes at the Royal meeting, with Andrew Balding’s Masekela also lining up having been fifth in the same race.