Where Next After Guineas For Native Trail ?

Where Next After Guineas For Native Trail ?

Last weekend saw the first Classics of the season take place with the 2000 Guineas on Saturday going the way of Coroebus who got the better of stablemate Native Trail and Group 1 winning juvenile Luxembourg over a mile of the Rowley Mile at Newmarket.

While the winner would seem an obvious candidate to stay at a mile and tackle the Irish 2000 Guineas, St James’ Palace Stakes and other big mile three-year-old races, and Luxembourg losing little in defeat given he’s likely to prove better over further it raises a number of questions about the second home and favourite going into the race, Native Trail.

A stablemate of the winner, Native Trail was unbeaten going into the race having justified short-priced favouritism when running out the impressive winner of the Craven Stakes over the Guineas course and distance on seasonal debut last month.

While ultimately he had little to beat on that occasion with his highest rated rival on official ratings having over a stone to find with the Godolphin colt the manner of that victory given how well he travelled in the race was possibly the most eyecatching element of it.

However with Godolphin winning with the apparent second string it does raise many questions with regards to where they head with Native Trail. 

Mile Options

The previously mentioned Irish 2000 Guineas and St James’ Palace Stakes would both be obvious targets for the son of Oasis Dream and while he’d likely reoppose stablemate Coroebus in at least one of those races it would be no surprise if connections opted to try him round a bend in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp in around a weeks time assuming he is over his Newmarket exertions.

As previously mentioned the colt beat little in the Craven and while immediately after the 2000 Guineas connections suggested that a trip to The Curragh for the Irish 2000 Guineas later this month is on the cards there may be some issues with him over a straight mile and down the line he may prove better racing around a bend.

With that in mind races like the St James’ Palace Stakes which is a reported target for Coroebus and the Sussex Stakes against his elders would likely prove suitable targets while steering clear of straight mile contests such as the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August.

Further down the line an autumn trip to the US for the Breeders’ Cup Mile would look a fairly obvious option at present and assuming things to go to plan in the interim it would take a brave man to right him off at Keeneland with Godolphin seeking back-to-back victories in the race having won it last year with Space Blues. 

Options Over Shorter

Given the way in which Native Trail travelled into the race at Newmarket I wouldn’t be against dropping him back in trip, while sprinting after a 2000 Guineas run is generally the preserve of top juveniles who finish down the field it’s notable that Mozart among others performed well at a mile prior to reverting to shorter distances.

A race that immediately springs to mind should connections drop Native Trail in distance is Deauville’s Prix Jean Prat which is due to be held in July and is race which Godolphin have won four times in the past, including with Pinatubo, also placed in the 2000 Guineas having shown himself to be a top juvenile two years ago in the races second renewal since it was shortened to seven furlongs.

A Step Up In Trip

While to my eye a step up in distance would be the least obvious of the three feasible options it would be wrong to rule it out. Native Trail kept on nicely enough at Newmarket last weekend to suggest here’s a chance he’ll be better over further.

The colts breeding offers some hope in that regard too as while the colts dam Needleleaf was unraced his granddam, the Juddmonte Farms mare New Orchid has produced a couple of fair performers at up to an extended one-mile-two-furlongs in addition to Group 1 winning sprinter African Rose and some nice jumps horses including Forecast.

New Orchid herself broke her maiden over one-mile-two-furlongs at Newcastle and went on to place in a couple of mile-and-a-half black-type contests including when third in the 2003 running of the Group 3 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock so it’s perhaps surprising that her offspring don’t seem to have inherited her stamina but given Native Trail is her best to date there’s a chance he could buck the trend. 

With regards options upped in trip the Godolphin team looked to hold a decent Derby hand until fairly recently and there’s still time yet for something to emerge but I doubt they’d be willing to step Native Trail up so drastically in distance straight away.

That may be a blessing in itself given the possible stamina issues mentioned earlier on and a race like the Coral Eclipse at Sandown in June could be on the agenda during the summer, while the valuable Group 2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano over a mile-and-a-quarter at Deauville’s August meeting would be another option to consider. 

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