Fresh from a Doncaster treble on Saturday, highlighted by the St Leger success of Godolphin’s Hurricane Lane, William Buick and Charlie Appleby were surely left dreaming of 2022 Classic glory after the smooth victory of Native Trail in the 7f Vincent O’Brien National Stakes on The Curragh.
Winner of both his previous starts, a 7f Sandown maiden and the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, the Oasis Charm colt coped with aplomb stepped up to the highest level, in doing so emulating stable companion Quorto and the same owner’s Dubawi by adding this prize to the Newmarket one.
For jockey, trainer and owner it was a third success in the race in the last four years following Pinatubo and Quorto's victories in 2018 and 2019.
Settled off the pace by William Buick he, briefly, appeared one of the first of the septet of runners under pressure but suddenly loomed large to throw down his challenge entering the final two furlongs.
Soon in front, he never looked likely to be caught to record an impressive success and complete a great weekend for connections.
Appleby said: “This is a route we’ve taken with Pinatubo and Quorto before him and it was always our plan immediately after the Superlative to come here with this horse.
“People ask ‘why don’t you look at the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster’, but I didn’t feel carrying a penalty there on softer conditions was potentially going to suit him.
“I think this is a great race and an indicator to the Dewhurst. It’s a Group One and a great weekend to be involved in.
“To have another winner of the National Stakes is very satisfying.
“He’s an interesting horse to be around. I took him to Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and if you’d asked me there if we’d have been winning a National Stakes, I might have been sat on the fence slightly.
“Full credit to the team at home. We definitely felt the horse had come forward for that gallop and we changed a bit of equipment on him today.
“William said he’s still so green and it felt like he was going down to the start on a maiden.
“He gave him a shove early doors to get up the revs, but I knew with two furlongs to go the one thing this horse was going to do was gallop out strong.
“I’d say we’ll go straight to the Dewhurst. I don’t know if he quite has the head for a Breeders’ Cup yet.”