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Newmarket - Racing: Native Trail among bet365 Craven Meeting stars

The new Flat season at Newmarket gets underway with the bet365 Craven Meeting on Tuesday when many of the leading three-year-olds get the chance to showcase their Classic credentials.

The three-day meeting on the Rowley Mile continues through to Thursday.

2000 Guineas favourite Native Trail set for final prep run

Native Trail is the star attraction in the Group Three bet365 Craven Stakes on Wednesday. Charlie Appleby's runner, who is 4/11 to win, ended last season as the leading two-year-old colt in then UK and there is a lot of excitement about what the colt can achieve this year.

The son of Oasis Dream won the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst Stakes over this C & D when he was full of running in the closing stages of both of those two Group One races.

The unbeaten colt is the 5/2 favourite to win the opening British Classic of the season at this course later this month and all eyes will be on Godolphin runner to see if he has improved further on his first start as a three-year-old.

Opposition to Native Trail in the Craven includes Star Of India from the Ballydoyle yard. He featured just once last season, scoring over 7f at Leopardstown in what was a smart performance. He won when going away from his rivals, showing no signs of inexperience.

O'Brien's runner has an entry in both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby. The Irish trainer has yet to win this race, so it would be a first for him if the son of Galileo was able to prevail at odds of 9/1 on just his second start.

Cachet leads declarations for Nell Gwyn

The Nell Gwyn Stakes in the feature race on day one of the Craven Meeting on Tuesday. It is a 7f contest for three-year-old fillies and a number of these runners have entries in the 1000 Guineas.

Cachet is 7/4 to win this race and put down an early marker for the British Classic for fillies next month. George Boughey's runner had a solid campaign, as she was close by at the finish in bet365 Fillies' Mile and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The daughter of Acclaim has plenty of appearances on the track, featuring eight times last season with her sole success coming on her debut at this course over 6f. She was less than three lengths behind Inspiral back in October, while she was just headed inside the final 100 yards at the Breeders' Cup Meeting.

Rockfel Stakes winner Hello You also travelled across to Del Mar for the juvenile race last November and was less than a length behind Cachet in fourth place. David Loughnane's filly is 9/4 to win her final prep run before the Guineas Meeting.

Last year's Craven winner back in Earl of Sefton

Master Of The Seas finished strongly to land the Craven Stakes 12 months ago and then came home second in the 2000 Guineas, crossing the line just a short head behind the winner Poetic Flare.

Appleby's runner makes his first start of the British Flat season at this meeting again when he is 11/10 for the Earl Of Sefton Stakes on Tuesday in what is his first appearance since he was gelded back in January.

John and Thady Gosden will be hoping to get off to a good start to the season at the Craven Meeting. They will saddle Megallan in this 1m1f contest, who won a Grade Three contest at Salisbury in 2021. The Kingman colt will carry the Anthony Oppenheimer silks in the race and Frankie Dettori has been booked for the ride on the improving horse.

Sprinters in action in Abernant Stakes

Many of the leading sprinters in the UK and Ireland are in action in the Group Three Abernant Stakes on day two of the Craven Meeting.

The highest rated of those is Ebro River, a colt who was successful three times last time season as a two-year-old. Hugo Palmer's speedster prevailed in the Grade One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh back in August and this will be his first start in open-age company. The Al Shaqab Racing runner is 7/4 to make a winning return to action.

Jumby won over this C & D last season, one of three victories across the campaign and was in great form at the back end of the year. Eve Johnson-Houghton's runner was outclassed in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but this is a much easier assignment on his second shot at a group race.

Feilden Stakes could give Derby clues

The feature race on day three of the Craven Meeting is the bet365 Feilden Stakes, a Listed contest over 1m1f. This has been won by the likes of Intello and Golden Horn over the years, before they went on to Classic success.

O'Brien may use this race to give Aikhal his first appearance of the season. The Listowel winner was less than two lengths behind Angel Bleu in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud last October.

Two-time winner Blue Trail also has an entry for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin and will need to bounce back after a disappointing performance at Chelmsford last month.

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