NATIVE Trail’s tremendous autumn campaign sees him sitting atop the two-year-old classifications in splendid isolation on 122 and this offers a timely reminder that Charlie Appleby’s charge is going to take a good deal of beating at Newmarket in a few months’ time if he can maintain his juvenile dominance.
More so than older horses or three-year-olds, the two-year-old division can lead to champions being ranked way ahead of their contemporaries and that is very much the case here with Native Trial topping his division by some 7lb. Interestingly Native Trail’s impressive season doesn’t translate to historical dominance as a mark of 122 is only equal to or better than eight two-year-old champions this century.
Native Trail’s position at the head of his generation is due to his efforts in the autumn where he brushed aside Point Lonsdale (114) in the National Stakes in September before he readily defeated Dubawi Legend in the Dewhurst the following month. He is a thoroughly worthy champion and is the clear benchmark for success in this division but there is surely a good deal more to come from several of those ranked behind him.
There are five colts coming at the 115 mark and one of those is Aidan O’Brien’s star juvenile colt, Luxembourg, who went from a debut success at Killarney to winning the Beresford Stakes in fine style and ended his season with a likeable triumph in the Vertem Futurity at Doncaster where he defeated the now Hong Kong-based Sissoko (111).
Over the course of his relatively brief campaign Luxembourg showed a number of very taking qualities and he appeals as being able to better his two-year-old mark by some distance over the course of 2022.
Group 1 double
Also coming at 115 are a pair of dual Group 1-winning colts and the first is Ralph Beckett’s Angel Bleu who went from victory in Goodwood’s Vintage Stakes to landing the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and the Criterium International in October. This represented a tremendous end to an eight-race season that began in Leicester in early April.
The other dual Group 1 scorer is Richard Fahey’s Perfect Power who won the Prix Morny in August, defeating the Hong Kong-bound Trident, before coming home half a length in front of Castle Star (112) in the Middle Park a month later. His earlier season form also includes a head victory over Go Bears Go in the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot and he is a colt who certainly merited being rated a few pounds higher.
Also coming in at 115 is Godolphin’s Autumn Stakes victor Coroebus and the aforementioned Dubawi Legend, while another highly rated juvenile who will now ply his trade in the Far East is Atomic Force. He reached a mark of 114 in four starts for Kevin Ryan which took in Group 3 and Group 2 wins in France in the summer.
Top honours in the fillies division, at 115, are shared between the unbeaten duo of Inspiral and Tenebrism. Inspiral won her four starts which culminated in assured triumphs in the Group 2 May Hill at Doncaster and the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile a month later.
Inspiral’s path to the head of her generation is a well-trodden one while Tenebrism’s is vastly different and this is what makes her such a fascinating filly for 2022. She looked a nice type when winning on her debut at Naas in late March but was absent from then all the way to the Cheveley Park Stakes in late September where a stunning late charge saw her defeat Flotus (112) by a length. She looks a tremendous prospect.
Other notable entries see Fozzy Stack’s Castle Star end 2021 as the highest rated juvenile in Ireland outside of Ballydoyle on a mark of 112 and this puts him 1lb ahead of Jessica Harrington’s Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Discoveries and several talented Ger Lyons runners, namely Group 1-placed Dr Zempf and the very smart Juddmonte-owned pair of Straight Answer and Sacred Bridge.