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Niel next for future star Loxley as Appleby dominates Deauville

J A McGrath

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has been approaching Deauville like a Frenchman, using the popular Normandy seaside venue as a launching pad for his future stars.

British-born Appleby has sent out seven winners from 15 runners there in August, including one at quaint Clairefontaine, a country course within walking distance of the main track.

The G2 Grand Prix de Deauville, inaugurated in 1866, may have lost a little of its lustre in latter years, but it is still capable of showcasing a good horse on the upward curve, and Sunday’s winner Loxley fits that description exactly.

The son of New Approach displayed a nice turn-of-foot as he quickly disposed of his opposition to record his second course win for the month.

Appleby said Loxley was showing the promise of a horse who could develop into a very valuable member of the Godolphin squad next year.

“I have spoken to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed about Loxley, and he has agreed he should have an entry in the G2 Prix Niel at Longchamp (on Sunday, 16 September), in which he could run without a penalty,” Appleby said.

But because Loxley will contest one of the traditional Arc ‘trials’ does not necessarily guarantee he will line up in the big race itself.

“If he is going to run in the Arc, then he would have to be supplemented,” the trainer explained. “We will review the situation after the Prix Niel. We will know exactly where we are at that point,” he added.

Another pleasing win over the weekend was that of Ghostwatch in York’s Melrose Handicap.

“He’s very much a horse for next year. It was his first start since being gelded, which I think has helped him,” Appleby pointed out.