ITV Racing Tips: Godolphin to win first Classic battle of the year with Native Trail
It’s a Classic day on ITV which hosts the first major race of the Flat turf campaign with the staging of the 2,000 Guineas.
Many of the sport’s best racehorses, notably Frankel, have won the colt’s Classic and there are 15 runners set to line up, bidding for the chance to emulate him.
It’s another Godophin v Ballydoyle match-up, a rivalry in which Charlie Appleby has wrested the initiative from Aidan O’Brien having won both the Derby and Irish Derby in 2021.
He saddled the second in the race 12 months ago and is well placed to go one place better with the hot favourite Native Trail.
Last year’s top two-year-old could be hard to stop but his stablemate Coroebus is second favourite and Aidan O’Brien has his own quality pair in Luxembourg and Point Lonsdale, while the Richard Fahey-trained Perfect Power could be the fly in the ointment.
It promises to be a fascinating contest, well supported by three other races from Newmarket, including the Group 3 Palace House Stakes, and a race each from Goodwood and Thirsk.
Coverage begins on ITV from 13:30 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
A challenging 21-runner sprint handicap launches ITV’s coverage from Newmarket in which favourites have won the last two editions. This looks more open than previous years with the weights headed by the Queen’s Tactical, who won the Free Handicap last year.
This will be his first run in a handicap since, having had wind surgery over the winter. Jumby is another challenger dropping in class after running well in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes on his return.
Further down the weights, Strike Red offers better value. He was just hitting his stride when denied a clear run in a handicap at the Craven Meeting, in which he was sixth, and can do better as long as he finds the gaps.
It is six years since Henry Candy trained both Twilight Son and Limato to win major sprints, but the veteran trainer looks to have unearthed a potential successor in Twilight Calls.
By Twilight Son, he performed well in handicaps last season but took his form to another level on his first start since being gelded by winning a 5f handicap over course and distance very much as he liked.
Candy had no hesitation in nominating him for an immediate jump to Group company and his judgement is rarely wrong. Came From The Dark could offer the most resistance.
Under Charlie Appleby Godolphin can now go toe-to-toe with Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle juggernaut, and in many cases the team is winning the key battles.
The 2,000 Guineas is the next contest and Appleby, who captured both the Derby and Irish Derby last year, should prove too strong again. The unbeaten Native Trail was champion two-year-old last year after winning both the National Stakes, from Point Lonsdale, and Dewhurst.
He also has the benefit of having run this year, confirming he has trained on when taking the Craven Stakes by three and a half lengths. He has the ideal draw, in 15, to deliver Appleby a first 2,000 Guineas victory and a first for Godolphin for nine years.
O’Brien has talked down the chances of Luxembourg and Point Lonsdale but the ten-time race winner can never be entirely dismissed. Perfect Power could be the best of the rest.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 30th April
13:50 Newmarket – 6f Handicap
14:05 Thirsk – Thirsk Hunt Cup
14:25 Newmarket – Suffolk Handicap
14:40 Goodwood – Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes
15:00 Newmarket – Palace House Stakes
15:40 Newmarket –2,000 Guineas
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing