Tuesday 28 January 2020

Loxley looks capable of hitting peak form

At his peak: Loxley
At his peak: Loxley

Loxley can show he is in peak form on his third run following a six-month break by taking the Listed spoils in the Matchbook Floodlit Stakes at Kempton.

The four-year-old could not have gone any closer to winning at this level in the Godolphin Stakes, when touched off by a nose on the line by Mountain Hunter.

That was nonetheless a very encouraging effort, because it was a massive step up from his comeback run at Doncaster just 16 days earlier when he was last of six to Fox Tal.

That was his first start since he finished fifth to Dream Castle in the Group One Jebel Hatta at Meydan in March.

At his peak, Loxley is better than this, as he showed when picking up a Group Two at Deauville in August 2018.

This looks an ideal opportunity for him to regain the winning thread.

Establish improved markedly from his racecourse debut to his second outing, and can make it third time lucky in the British EBF Matchbook Future Stayers Maiden Stakes.

Seventh of 10 first time out at Ascot, Roger Varian's youngster found only Raaeq too good by half a length at Newbury.

The son of Australia can go one better in this seven-furlong heat.

Maximum Effect got that all important win on her fifth start over one mile three furlongs on this course, after being placed in all her previous attempts.

A 2lb rise is unlikely to stop John Gosden's three-year-old following up in the Matchbook Time To Move Over Fillies' Handicap.

He's A Laddie proved expensive at Chelmsford but can recoup losses in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Nursery Handicap at Newcastle.

The Archie Watson-trained two-year-old looked like justifying favouritism, only to be collared close home by Audio.

That was his first try in a nursery and came after a fair effort, despite a poor start, in a Listed contest at York's Ebor meeting.

He had won his first two races and should get back on the winning path.

Brushwork made a successful debut over this six furlongs five weeks ago and will be short odds to repeat the trick in the Betway Novice Stakes.

Charlie Hills' charge was unfancied at odds of 16-1 last time, but came home like a good thing as he stormed through the final furlong to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Futuristic.

Anthony Honeyball's Acey Milan is fancied to make a winning reappearance in the John And Jean Taylor's Diamond Anniversary Handicap Hurdle at Plumpton.

Fourth in the Champion Bumper at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, the five-year-old endured a largely disappointing first season over hurdles last term, but did register a narrow success at this track.

It was also a troubled campaign for his trainer, but there have been signs in the last week or so that the yard is in much better form now and Acey Milan certainly has the ability to be significantly better than his current mark of 125.

HEREFORD: 1.50 Racing Spirit, 2.20 Avoid De Master, 2.50 Cuban Pete, 3.20 Centreofexcellence, 3.50 Sense Of Adventure, 4.20 Sid Hoodie.

KEMPTON: 1.30 Kyllachys Tale, 2.00 Perfecimperfection, 2.30 Levanter, 3.00 Dargel, 3.30 Establish, 4.00 LOXLEY (NAP), 4.30 Maximum Effect, 5.00 Highway One.

NEWCASTLE: 4.05 Tonyx, 4.40 Fansurper, 5.15 Lincoln Gamble, 5.45 He's A Laddie, 6.15 Uncle Charlie, 6.45 One Last Hug, 7.15 Brushwork, 7.45 The Bull.

PLUMPTON: 1.10 Touchthesoul, 1.40 Get The Appeal, 2.10 Hit The Highway, 2.40 Acey Milan, 3.10 Shimba Hills, 3.40 Sir Egbert, 4.10 Kenny George.

DOUBLE: Establish and Loxley.

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