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.
“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.
“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.
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