The first classic of the season in the UK saw the relentless Charlie Appleby bandwagon continue to roll as he saddled the first two home, Coroebus and Native Trail, in the Newmarket showpiece, the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas.
Appleby had hinted last autumn that he thought Coroebus might be even better than Native Trail, who at that stage was sweeping all before him. That opinion was vindicated on the Rolwey Mile in the Guineas as Coroebus swept through from a hold up ride to hold off Native Trail by a relatively comfortable three quarters of a lengths.
Racing from opposite sides of the draw both were in the final third of the field with three furlongs to. As they made their efforts, Native Trail on the stands aside and Coroebus on the far side of the course, they quickly made up ground and, almost in a pincer movement, hit the front virtually at the same time as they approached the two pole.
Coroebus looked to be going slightly better and so it proved as he took control over a furlong out, winning well with Native Trail in second and Luxembourg running a strong trial for his key target, the Epsom Derby.
Trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey James Doyle were both winning their first 2,000 Guineas with Appleby keen to show his gratitude for the good horses he enjoys training for the all-powerful Godolphin operation. “We’ve had so many Dubawi’s through our hands we feel we are beginning to get to know them,” said Appleby as he paid tribute to the sire responsible for the winner. Godolphin will have taken satisfaction that the dam, First Victory (a half-sister to the dual Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow) was a home-bred, by Teofilo, out of another home-bred mare Eastern Joy.
Jockey Doyle, understandably elated, was looking ahead to the rest of the season. “My only worry was getting left without any cover but after half a furlong I was pretty happy. He warmed into the race so easily. My God he’s got potential. The turn of foot he showed there was incredible.”
Appleby plans to keep Coroebus to a mile, despite there being stamina in the pedigree, nominating the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot as the next target for Coroebus while he suggested that Native Trail would travel back to Ireland and the Curragh, where he won last season’s National Stakes, to contest the Irish 2,000 Guineas.