Weekend Racing Preview: Loxley can make presence felt at Doncaster

Aidan O'Brien will be hoping Saxon Warrior can justify his lofty reputation
Aidan O'Brien will be hoping Saxon Warrior can justify his lofty reputation

Adam Baylis looks ahead to a packed Saturday of racing with Group 1 action on the Flat at Doncaster and top quality National Hunt fare at Cheltenham...

"The Newmarket handler has an embarrassment of riches in the juvenile division this year so it’s notable that he’s elected to stump up the additional fees to send the once raced son of New Approach here."

Loxley (15:25 Doncaster)


The Racing Post Trophy (15:25) headlines a strong Doncaster card with Aidan O'Brien searching for another Group 1 victory to add to his potentially record-breaking campaign. He sends over current 7/4 market leader - and 2018 Epsom Derby favourite - Saxon Warrior alongside The Pentagon, a Group 3 winner last time.

Jim Bolger's Verbal Dexterity boasts the strongest form on offer - a 3 ½ length demolition job in the National Stakes - but he does look suited to a bit more cut underfoot than he's likely to get on Saturday.

A solid case can be made for several of the home contingent, not least the unbeaten Roaring Lion who is 6/1 to make it four victories on the bounce after his success in the Royal Lodge. The most intriguing however might be the Godolphin owned Loxley who has been supplemented for this by Charlie Appleby.

The Newmarket handler has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal in the juvenile division this year so it's notable that he's elected to stump up the additional fees to send the once raced son of New Approach here.

He won on debut despite missing the break and finding trouble at every available opportunity. Currently available at 14/1, he makes plenty of each-way appeal but I wouldn't put you off having an early investment in O'Brien's Saxon Warrior for next year's Derby as the 8/1 on offer will quickly disappear should he get his head in front here.

Elsewhere, Hugo Palmer has an excellent chance of taking the Listed Doncaster Stakes at 13:45 with Never Back Down who ran well for a long way in the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar last time. The promise of better ground on Saturday will suit and 4/1 looks very fair given he was only ½ length behind a subsequent Group 3 winner on debut.


There's a strong renewal of the St Simon Stakes at 14:15 with the market headed by Frontiersman at 9/4. He looked as though he'd be plying his trade at the top level after finishing second in both the Coronation Cup and the Princess of Wales's Stakes in the summer but the ground has gone against him since and with Newbury set to be soft on Saturday, he must be taken on.

Older horses have struggled to make an impact in this contest in recent years and the eye is drawn to the three-year-old Natavia who receives lumps of weight from her rivals. She was hugely impressive when beating a decent type at this course earlier in the season but subsequently ran no sort of race in the Oaks. Following a break over the summer she ran adequately at Newmarket last time on ground that was likely a bit quick for her but it should have put her spot on for this and she rates an excellent each-way bet at 14/1.

The Hannon's have a good record in the Horris Hill Stakes at 14:50 and they rely on Tangled who kept on well for third in the Tattersalls Stakes last time but he may find it hard to get the better of Mythical Magic. The Listed Radley Stakes at 15:55 is very competitive but Irish raiders Moonlight Bay and Sunday Smart would certainly be worth a second look along with Eve Johnson Houghton's impressive course and distance winner Magnolia Springs.


Coologue aims to win back-to-back renewals of the Showcase Trophy at 14:00 and he races off the same mark as last year with his stable in flying form; he also has a habit of running well fresh and is one for the shortlist at 8/1.

Another who excels on his first run off a break is Thomas Brown, also back on a winning mark, he can make his presence felt at 10/1 for a Harry Fry stable that's been amongst the winners already this week. Although he might want a bit more juice in the ground come Saturday lunchtime.

Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil has defected from the 14:35 but Dan Skelton's Bedrock has assumed favouritism in his absence and should take all the beating at 6/5.

The two mile handicap chase at 15:10 is much more competitive fare with Paul Nicholls aiming to claim victory for the third time in five years with Le Prezien who heads the betting at 5/1.

The J P McManus owned six-year-old made an impressive start to life over fences last year but struggled to make an impact in the Grand Annual and was pulled up at Punchestown in April. He's evidently a much better horse early in the season and a mark of 144 is very workable.

Nicky Henderson's ultra-consistent Theinval shares favouritism but his only victory in the last 18 months was in a Class 3 at Plumpton. I'd be keener on the chances of his ex-stablemate Vaniteux on his first run for the David Pipe yard at 10/1, who despite lumping top weight in this, is still seemingly well handicapped based on his five length beating of Romain De Senam.

Recommended Bets

Back Natavia Each-Way @ 14/1 (Betfair Sportsbook) in the 14:15 Newbury
Back Loxley Each-Way @ 14/1 (Betfair Sportsbook) in the 15:25 Doncaster

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