A good weekend for English trainer Charlie Appleby, rider William Buick and Godolphin continued with Group 1 success in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh on Day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
The winning connections took the Group 1 Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster, England, the previous day with Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Hurricane Lane.
On Sunday, the 18th Group 1 winner for Oasis Dream, Native Trail (7/2), defeated the well-touted Ballydoyle horse Point Lonsdale (8/13), who suffered his first career defeat, with the Appleby colt made favourite for next year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, England, as a result of the victory.
For Newmarket-based handler Appleby it was his third winner of the National Stakes (traditionally a top-quality late-season juvenile race for colts) in the last four years as Native Trail put daylight between himself and the remainder of the field inside the last one-eighth pole. The Englishman won with Quorto in 2018 and the highly impressive Pinatubo a year later, though the latter would ultimately disappoint during his three-year-old season.
Winning rider William Buick looked at ease in the saddle as Native Trail, a 210,000 guineas Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up purchase, took him to a comfortable three and a half length success over the Aidan O’Brien-trained favourite Point Lonsdale, a son of Coolmore stallion Australia.
The Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes winner at The Curragh in August, Ebro River (13/2), was another half-length behind in third place.
Speaking post-race, Appleby suggested Native Trail, who was a last start winner of the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, would next run in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes back at Newmarket, a traditional end of season target for top two-year-old.
La Petite Coco beats dual Classic winner Love in Group 2 Blandford Stakes
The three-year-old La Petite Coco (16/5) got the better of four-year-old Love (6/5f) in a thrilling finish to the Group 2 Moyglare Stud “Jewels” Blandford Stakes at The Curragh.
The winning daughter of Ruler of the World had her head down when it mattered, at the winning line, as the Team Valor-owned filly reeled in the Aidan O’Brien-trained Love at the end of the 1 mile 2 furlong race.
Love, winner of the Group 1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Cazoo Oaks at Epsom, England, in 2020, was running in Group 2 company for the first time, and as result, had to give weight away all-around.
Despite giving nine pounds to the winner La Petite Coco, the runner-up lost nothing in defeat, going down by a short-head to the Paddy Twomey-trained filly.
A further three lengths behind in third was the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes winner at The Curragh on 27 June, Thundering Nights (7/2) (who had subsequent Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes winner Santa Barbara behind her in second that day), who prior to that had been beaten a nose by Mean Mary in the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont Park on 4 June.
La Petite Coco’s trainer Paddy Twomey has suggested the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot next month as his filly’s next target.
Photos: Courtesy of Breandán Ó hUallacháin