Native Trail spearheads Godolphin’s bid to win the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes

The Oasis Dream colt steps up in distance and takes on older horses for the first time in his career

William Buick rides Native Trail to victory in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse on April 13, 2022. Getty
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Godolphin’s Native Trail lines up against five rivals in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes on Saturday when he bids to give the racing operation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, a 12th Group 1 prize for the year at Sandown Park.

Native Trail, last year’s champion juvenile, went down to stable companion Coroebus in the English 2000 Guineas before bouncing back to claim the Irish equivalent in his last start at the Curragh in May.

The Oasis Dream colt steps up in distance to a mile and a quarter and takes on older horses for the first time as he attempts to improve his record of six wins and a runner-up finish in seven career starts.

Native Trail faces the Prix du Jockey Club winner Vadeni and recent Prince Of Wales’s Stakes runner-up Bay Bridge, in addition to Dubai World Cup night winners Mishriff and Lord North.

“It’s only a small field but we are happy with our draw in stall five,” the Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“The question mark with Native Trail is the mile and a quarter trip but you can take a few pieces out of his pedigree which suggest he has a chance of staying.

“More importantly, he is a strong three-year-old who won’t look out of place against his elders. It’s a great race for three-year-olds with the weight allowance and he goes to Sandown in excellent order.

“We are very much looking forward to seeing how he stacks up and whether we keep to this distance or drop back to a mile for the rest of the season.”

On Sunday, Hurricane Lane will also be aiming to add to his Group 1 haul in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud in France.

The Frankel colt, a dual Classic winner in 2021, makes a quick return to action after coming home third on his seasonal return in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Godolphin have had a terrific year so far, crossing the 300-winner mark and 11 Group 1 prizes worldwide.

Updated: July 01, 2022, 6:26 AM