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Coroebus (5-1) prevailed from his better-fancied stable companion Native Trail (5-4 Favourite) in the first Classic of the season, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas (1m) at Newmarket today.
It was a fourth Classic winner for trainer Charlie Appleby following his triumphs in the Derby (2018 Masar, 2021 Adayar) and St Leger (2021 Hurricane Lane) and a first for jockey James Doyle. Doyle had come close to QIPCO 2000 Guineas success in the past, finishing runner-up aboard both Kingman (2014) and Barney Roy (2017).
Coroebus is a third 2000 Guineas winner for his sire Dubawi following Makfi (2010) and Night Of Thunder (2014).
Travelling supremely well throughout Coroebus hit the front entering the final furlong and went on to win by three-quarters of a length from Native Trail, partnered by William Buick, with Irish raider Luxembourg another length and a half back in third.
Winning trainer Charlie Appleby told ITV Racing: “I’m delighted for the whole team but also he’s a home-bred. He’s a Dubawi – I’m not saying we’re spoilt but I’d like to think I know the Dubawis by now. We’ve had enough of them through our hands and he’s shown us all the right signs.
“That was always going to be a hard call for William (Buick) to get off Native Trail to get on him. But I’m also delighted for James (Doyle) – he’s an integral part of the team and for him to have his first English Classic winner is fantastic and for us to provide it, it’s even more special.
“I don’t think William will have any excuses. He’s just been beaten by the better horse. I could see James was travelling for fun and that’s what this horse does – they can’t go quick enough for him. He’s a seven furlong horse who could potentially get a bit further than a mile in time, I think, but I’m just delighted for the whole team.
“You can’t take anything away from Native Trail. He’s gone down, as always, on his sword but one horse had been there and done it and one had the scope to potentially go there and do it.
“I think we’ll potentially try to keep them apart to be brutally honest. It would be a shame for them to keep butting heads with one another and on the evidence of what we’ve seen today they are the best two three year old colts around to date and after nice healthy discussions over the next few weeks we can probably say one will go to Ireland and one we can keep our powder dry and go straight to the St James’s Palace.”
Appleby went on to say subsequently: “Obviously it is a relief. I was third with Pinatubo, second with Master Of The Seas, so we had been getting closer and hopefully our time was going to come.
“With both of those horses, every target we have set for them they have met. Native Trail came up here and won the Craven and we galloped Coroebus that morning.
“William said ‘Charlie, if you didn’t have Native Trail I couldn’t be more excited about riding Coroebus’. He said what a second horse to have.
“William couldn’t get off Native Trail given what he has achieved and so like I say, coming into I felt we had two live contenders.
“The draw never worried me. I’m a big believer if you have a good horse and it is a straight line keep it simple and the best will come to the top at the end of the day and that is what they have achieved.
“James is an integral part of the team and for him to have his first British Classic for us is very special because he is such a great team player. He has to sit there and see William getting first choice all the time and I never ever see him quiver or get upset. Off he goes and rides the same race, day in day out. I take my hat off to him as he is a true sportsman.
“I’m in a privileged position that I have had so many of Dubawi’s through our hands. I’m feeling we are starting to know them.
“This horse has always shown like any good horse natural pace and when they have that natural pace in the physique he has you can’t do nothing apart from get excited about it.
“It is a nice discussion to have with the team but I would let this horse go straight to the St James’s Palace Stakes and let Native Trail go back to the Curragh where we have seen him be impressive before and take him over to the Irish 2000 Guineas.
“I see the pair sticking to the mile at the moment.”
Winning jockey James Doyle was close to tears as he told ITV Racing: “I’m super proud of Charlie (Appleby). For once I have to say I’m actually emotional to ride a big winner today. This race has always been something that’s always annoyed me, looking at replays over and over again of Kingman’s Guineas, Barney Roy’s Guineas, and then it goes so simple the way it has today.
“Full credit to Charlie. He’s an incredible man and an incredible man to work for. It’s honestly a privilege to work for him and to ride a 2000 Guineas winner. It’s a privilege to be a part of what’s happening at the minute, it really is.
“The main thing speaking to William was that he (Coroebus) has been very relaxed in his work but the furst run of the year you always have to watch that they don’’t want to do too much too early and from that draw my only worry was getting left without any cover but after going for half a furlong I was pretty happy.
“He still slightly travelled a little bit stronger than was ideal and I had to fetch him back a couple of times but he just warmed into the race so easily I could have afforded to sit for a bit longer but it must have been Ryan I think, something came a bit quick on my outside and I kind of had to go fior it then. If that didn’t come then he’d have been much more impressive but we were going a little bit on what we saw at the back end of last year at Newmarket. You’re banking on potential he showed that day but by God he’s got potential alright! I have to say the turn of foot he showed there was incredible.
“I remember after Adayar won The Derby I spoke to Charlie and I said ‘am I ever going to get one of these rides?’ and he said ‘don’t worry – we’re getting it right now and there’s every chance it’ll happen next year we’re just starting to get the hang of this game’ and he was dead right once again!
“He’s (Coroebus) got an incredible turn of foot. Whether he wants to go further is completely up to the team. We can just ride these horses – I’;m not a genius at race planning at all so we leave that job to Charlie and his team and they do so well.
“William just came up to me said ‘you deserved that one’. He could see how much it meant to me. I was emotional and we’re best of friends and it’s tough out there. You’re competing against each other day in, day out and we sit next to each other but it’s been that way for about 15 years so it’s just great.”
Doyle went on to say: “I think after half a furlong I was happy – there was just one moment where it looked like I could be caught on a wing and he was quite fresh early on.
“I was a little bit worried but no sooner did we go a couple of strides I just had to bring him back slightly just to make sure I could get him. I have to say he travelled incredibly strong throughout.
“There is no reason to believe he won’t improve from today as he was quite exuberant through the early part of the race. I was thinking at half-way, ‘this is all going pretty well’. I had talked a good game beforehand how I hoped it would unfold and at half-way I was pretty happy.
“I just thought we will keep very patient and I guess around the two I thought it must have been Ryan as I couldn’t see him in front of me and something joined me quite quick and I just asked him a couple of questions going into the dip and he responded incredibly and he hit the line great and showed a potent turn of foot.
“I think had Ryan not joined me and forced my hand to go early – if that didn’t happen I could have afforded to be even cheekier and he would have won even more impressively I think.
“I could see him (William Buick on Native Trail) to my left and that was no surprise at all. I felt like saying to Will before we went out I’ll see you at the other end as I thought that is how it probably would kind of happen.
“It is just amazing how hard it is to win this race. I’ve ridden some very good horses, Kingman and Barney Roy, I hate to mention them, but they were as good as their generation at this stage, but they both fell short through no fault of their own but a victim of circumstances i.e draw biases and how the races unfolded.
“Half-way through the race I couldn’t believe it had worked out the way I hoped and that is testament to Charlie and the belief he has in us guys. We briefly spoke how the race would go and he said, ‘I understand everything can go wrong but ride it as you see fit’. For a jockey go out in a big race is an incredible feeling that you do have a free rein to change things up if it does go pear-shaped.
“I was a bit emotional pulling up as I couldn’t believe the way it worked out. It has been a tough couple of years. I’ve had good opportunities on Hurricane Lane in the Arc and things like that but it just hasn’t worked out for whatever reason, so you have a few years on the sidelines a bit when you have previously had a good time of getting to feel what it is like to win these big races and when you don’t for a little while it does frustrate you a little bit.
“When you do feel it again it is incredible. William is a great friend of mine and I think he would have known this meant a lot. He came up and said ‘you deserve that, well done’. He sees the work we both put in the mornings and we have been best mates and competitors for a long time and he can sense I get frustrated when I see him riding all these good horses.
“Don’t get me wrong he is top drawer and it is incredible to be in the same team, but he can sense that I have been frustrated.
“I remember after Adayar won The Derby I thought, ‘Oh Christ – this is so tough to get on the right one!’ I remember Charlie rang me afterwards and said, ‘we are just starting to get the hang of this so don’t worry, sit tight and it will all be fine’. He is an incredible man to work for and it is so enjoyable going into Moulton Paddocks four days a week and getting to know these horses and being part of this incredible team.
“My mother flew back from America against my sister’s wishes, who is pregnant and is due in July, but my mother said James has got a good chance in the Guineas and I’m not missing that for the world so she flew back especially a couple of days ago.
“I have spoken to her and she was waiting for me before the prize giving and she gave me a big hug. She has been on the path with me and has seen the struggles I had to go through. She flew to Dubai the night Cityscape won the Dubai Duty Free which was my first big winner and she met me off the track and it was the same story today. She can relate and feel the things I go through and she has been a great mentor to me throughout my career.”
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of third-placed Luxembourg and Point Lonsdale (11-2, 10th), said: “We were delighted with Luxembourg. The lads had the plan to come here and then we’d go to the Derby. I don’t think there’s anything that would change that but obviously we’ll see how the horse is after today.
“We knew he was a middle-distance horse and we were happy with where he was coming into this, so we were delighted with that run. Everything went perfect over the winter and Ryan was delighted, – he said he just stepped half a length slow out of the stalls and it just lost him a length or two but he was full of praise and Ryan did everything perfect.
“It was a lovely starting race for him and we were happy with him coming here. We always thought he was the type of horse who was going to be comfortable over a mile and a quarter moving up to a mile and a half so it was the perfect start really. I would think we’ll go straight to Epsom now but we’ll see how the horse is and what the lads want to do but I’d imagine that’s what will happen.
“Frankie was very happy that Point Lonsdale would stay a mile and he might not have been as forward as the other horse, so we hope there’s going to be more to come from him. He’s a horse that’s going to be happy stepping up to a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half as well.”
Frankie Dettori, rider of Point Lonsdale, added: “I had a good spot. It is just physically he is not a miler and I was outpaced.”
Roger Varian, trainer of fourth home Eydon (33-1), commented: “Eydon has run a massive race as that was only his second race on turf and the three in front of him were previous Group winners.
“He’s in two Derbys and we may go up in trip with him but whether it’s up to a mile and a half, we’ll see. We’ll let Prince Faisal (owner) digest the result before we make a decision.”
Jason Watson, rider of fifth-placed Berkshire Shadow (80-1), said: “He’s travelled through the race really nicely and he hasn’t done a lot wrong at all, if anything.
“He is going to progress nicely this season. That was a good run in a very hot race. We’ve finished fifth staying on nicely, so it’s exciting to see where he can progress this year.”
The QIPCO 2000 Guineas is the first contest in the 2022 QIPCO British Champions Series.
About QIPCO British Champions Series:
QIPCO British Champions Series showcases 35 of the UK’s finest Flat races, including three of the world’s top 10. The Series features at all of the UK’s most iconic Flat festivals, from the Derby and St Leger, to Glorious Goodwood and Royal Ascot, presenting unparalleled, quality racing across 10 of the country’s finest racecourses.
The Series includes world-class sporting action across five different categories – Sprint, Mile, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Fillies & Mares.
Five top-class races mark the climax of the Series on the Ultimate Raceday, QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15th October, where the world’s best compete at the nation’s richest raceday.
Put simply, QIPCO British Champions Series shines the spotlight on the best horses, the best jockeys and the best racecourses, so that millions worldwide can follow the finest Flat racing.