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Appleby gunning for Craven success with Native Approach

3 minute read

Charlie Appleby will be hoping Native Approach can give him a fourth Craven Stakes success in the last six years.

Trainer : CHARLIE APPLEBY. Picture: PA Images

Charlie Appleby, who saddled Derby hero Masar, champion two-year-old Native Trail and Breeders' Cup scorer Master of The Seas to land the Craven Stakes in recent years will be hoping to further add to the tally when Native Approach takes his first public steps on grass this afternoon.

A visually impressive winner of a Kempton maiden in February, the son of Too Darn Hot is just 5/2 to get the better of rivals Alcantor and Eben Shaddad in Newmarket's 2000 Guineas trial.

Appleby, who landed the Earl Of Sefton Stakes with Ottoman Fleet on the Rowley Mile yesterday, said: "Like a lot of these horses that come off the all-weather, we're testing them on the turf now.

"I'm not trying to sit on the fence. He looks great at home, but he's got to go and switch it on on the turf now.

"I'm always one who would rather just sit before I get too bolshy over what they have achieved or what they could achieve – like Notable Speech, he's doing it at a different level at the moment."

He added: "At the end of the day, from the outside looking in, the only way you can beat City Of Troy is by an unexposed three-year-old, because what he beat last year, I don't see anything reversing the form myself."

The Group 3 Craven Stakes is one event that has eluded master trainer Aidan O'Brien in his sparkling career, but he'll be hoping the Ryan Moore-ridden Cambridge can buck that trend at racing headquarters.

"He has a fair bit to find with the form horses Alcantor and Eben Shaddad, but he followed up his Salisbury win on lively ground for me with a decent second in a Group 3 on deep ground at Leopardstown," Moore said on the Betfair column.

He added: "Hopefully there is plenty of improvement in him at three. He will probably want further down the line but this is a good starting point for him."

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