Craven Stakes 2022 Tips: India to Star behind Native Trail at Newmarket
Seven will go to post for the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Wednesday afternoon, but the star of the show is sure to be Native Trail, who puts his 2000 Guineas credentials on the line and will be a warm order for this event...
Unbeaten in all four juvenile starts, Native Trail improved immeasurably as the season progressed last season and having won the National Stakes at the Curragh he then went on to taste more Group 1 glory at Newmarket in his final run, as he ran out a ready winner of the Dewhurst Stakes. Launching to an outright 11/4 favourite for the 2000 Guineas, Native Trail will put his Classic credentials on the line on Wednesday and he's a red-hot 2/5 market leader to make it five wins from five starts.
Imperious when storming to Dewhurst glory, Native Trail will look to follow in the footsteps of last year's winner Master Of The Seas, who came from the yard of Appleby and the son of Galileo shaped like a real star last season, and providing he has trained on then he should have far too much class for his rivals here.
His two-year-old form is far superior to that of any of his rivals, so it's hard to look past him in what is a fascinating renewal, but at such prohibitive odds punters are likely to look elsewhere for a possible value alternative in a race awash with potential.
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Astonishingly, Aidan O'Brien is yet to train the winner of the Craven Stakes, but he will look to finally taste victory in the Group 3 event as he saddles the once-raced Star Of India, who was an eye-catching winner on debut at Leopardstown at the back end of last season. Currently as big as 9/1 for this event, Star Of India holds both 2000 Guineas (33/1) and Derby (33/1) entries, and he could be a colt that progresses as the season goes on. However, he left a lasting impression on his debut success, so he could well put it up to Native Trail here, and while there's only seven runners he could still be the value each-way alternative to finish in the first two.
A two-and-a-half length winner of a York maiden, Andrew Balding's Hoo Ya Mal then went on to finish second in the Listed Flying Scotsman at Doncaster, where he was just touched off by Noble Truth. That is excellent form, so he's entitled to take his chance here and at 11/1 could be another thorn in the side of Native Trail.
Both Claymore (11/1) and Al Mubhir (16/1) have won their only start to date, but both will need to kick on considerably from those efforts, and they may just lack the class of the aforementioned trio in what is a hot renewal at Flat Headquarters.
Martyn Meade's Zechariah bagged back-to-back wins at the end of last season, and was a taking winner at Newbury last time out, so if he can continue on an upward curve could be challenging for a top three finish here at 20/1, while Kingmax (33/1) completes the seven-strong line-up, and he's the only one to have raced this season, so will have fitness on his side, but this is a huge step up.