Team Godolphin renews its pursuit of the major prizes on the planet when it sends out a strong team of horses to contest the Guineas Festival in Newmarket, England, this weekend.

The Dubai-owned stable, which has won over 5,000 races worldwide since its inception in 1994, is well-represented in the three-day meeting which heralds the start of the 2023 British season.

The weekend highlights at racing’s UK headquarters are the first two Classics of the year, the 20000 Guineas for colts on Saturday and the fillies equivalent, the 1000 Guineas on Sunday.

Charlie Appleby, who won the former contest twelve months ago, bids for back-to-back wins with an interesting pair of colts – course and distance winner Silver Knott (the mount of James Doyle) and the unbeaten Gimcrack Stakes scorer Noble Style (William Buick).

On Sunday, Appleby is joined by long-serving Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor as they target three fillies in a bid to win a fourth 1000 Guineas following Blue Bunting (2011), Kazzia (2002) and Cape Verdi (1998).

Meanwhile, several stars from the globe-trotting stable make their much-anticipated seasonal debuts in the main supporting races at the Festival which dates back to 1809.

The Godolphin team is headed by 2021 European Champion Two-Year-Old and Irish 2000 Guineas victor Native Trail when he lines up in the Group 2 Mile on day one of the Festival on Friday.

The exciting son of Oasis Dream posted dominant wins in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes and the G3 Craven Stakes before finishing an eye-catching second to Coroebus in the G1 2,000 Guineas.

Charlie Appleby said he was eagerly anticipating the four-year-old’s first start of the season.

“Native Trail (William Buick) is coming off a decent layoff but I have been pleased with his work,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.

“He is proven over the Rowley Mile, having won a Dewhurst and a Craven as well as finishing second in a 2,000 Guineas, so we have no excuses in terms of the track.

“He goes into this in good shape and we are looking forward to seeing him back over a mile.”

Shadwell, the breeding empire owned by Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is represented by Dubai Joel Stakes winner Mutasaabeq.

Appleby also saddles three-time Group 1 scorer Hurricane Lane (William Buick) in the G2 Jockey Club Stakes. The son of the legendary Frankel is looking to bounce back to form that saw him victorious in Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris, and St Leger in 2021.

He is joined by stable-mate Global Story who was last seen winning the G2 Dubai City Of Gold at Meydan Racecourse in March.

Appleby commented: “Hurricane Lane was disappointing at Newbury. The ground was very testing that day and he was racing on the back of a long layoff. William (Buick) felt that he got very tired in the last couple of furlongs.

“From what we have seen at home, he has come out of the race very well. We have applied the cheekpieces to hopefully encourage some more enthusiasm."

Godolphin previously won Friday’s Listed Newmarket Stakes with Hawkbill and Nations Prince and seeks more success in the 2000 meter contest with Caste Way (William Buick) and Victory Dance (James Doyle).

"Castle Way brings good course experience, having ended his campaign with a nice win on the Rowley Mile, and goes into the race in good order,” said Appleby. “The trip is not a concern at all and we will potentially be stepping up further in distance after this.

“Victory Dance showed a high level of form as a two-year-old. This is a big step up from seven to 10 furlongs but it is something that we feel he will appreciate based on his work at home. He could be an interesting horse over this distance.”

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