Doncaster’s St Leger is ultimate target for Appleby’s Loxley

Trainer Charlie Appleby.
Trainer Charlie Appleby.
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ST LEGER hopeful Loxley is set to put his Classic credentials to the test next month.

Trainer Charlie Appleby has earmarked Newmarket’s Bahrain Trophy on July 12 as the next target for the son of New Approach, who finished seventh in last year’s Racing Post Trophy.

“I was pleased with that performance at Newmarket. I loved him as a two-year-old and I probably just threw him in at the deep end in the Racing Post Trophy,” said Appleby, who says Doncaster’s St Leger in mid-September is the ultimate target.

“We went into Friday night’s race very confident the step up to a mile and a quarter would suit him well, which it did.

“I will be looking towards the Bahrain Trophy with him now and we will treat him as a horse that could go to the St Leger,” he added.

Last year’s Duke of Edinburgh Stakes winner Rare Rhythm faces a spell on the sidelines after meeting with a setback that ruled him out of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Mark Johnston’s Irish Derby challenger Dee Ex Bee will be ridden by champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa.

The Brazilian-born rider was in the saddle when the Yorkshire challenger finished second to the Charlie Appleby-trained Masar in the Epsom Derby.

It was originally thought that de Sousa would be in action at Newcastle’s Northumberland Plate meeting, but he now switches to the Curragh.

Favourite is still 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior, who was only fourth at Epsom for trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore.

Saeed bin Suroor will “keep options open” for Benbatl after ruling him out of the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday week.

The Newmarket handler feels the mile-and-a-quarter Group One prize at the Esher track comes too soon for the son of Dubawi following his below-par effort in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Bin Suroor said: “We are looking at the Juddmonte International as his main target.

“Before this we could either go for the Sky Bet York Stakes with a penalty or the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich. He has come back sound and we will keep options open for him.”