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Loughnane looking to pick up where he left off on Newcastle return

Rising star Billy Loughnane became something of an overnight sensation in front of the Sky Sports Racing cameras at the start of 2023 and returns from a break at Newcastle on Thursday.

3.10 Newcastle – Appleby has Loughnane booked for Newcastle return

Rarely has a young jockey riding on the all-weather in deep mid-winter attracted such attention but such was the sudden success of 16-year-old Loughnane, even the BBC News At Six cameras came calling to hear of his remarkable rise.

After a short break to further learn his trade in the USA and protect his valuable 5lb claim, Loughnane is back with one ride at Gosforth Park.

He resumes his partnership with Michael Appleby’s Zealot, who looks to have a favourite’s chance in the Top Odds Every Day With BetUK Handicap (3.10).

The five-year-old, who has won five of his last six starts, made a successful step up to 10 furlongs in January, one of the most recent of Loughnane’s 29 career victories from an impressive 159 rides since his debut at this track in late October last year.

Andrea Atzeni made his return to domestic action last week and has been in flying form with four victories from 12 rides. He gets aboard Terry Kent’s Obsidian Knight, a winner over 10 furlongs at Lingfield last time under Tom Marquand.

Trainer Ian Williams has turned out Dream Harder just three days after scoring at Wolverhampton and must now tackle a 5lb rise in the weights. He has also finished behind both Obsidian Knight and Zealot already this year.

Zealot has managed five victories on the all-weather since December
Image: Zealot has managed five victories on the all-weather since December

2.00 Newcastle – Williams’ Buxted Too seeks five-timer up in class

Williams has enjoyed a fine all-weather campaign with his very own rising star Buxted Too and the five-year-old will be well-fancied to land the BetUK Over 40,000 Live Streamed Races Handicap (2.00) and complete a five-timer under Paul Mulrennan.

He faces five rivals and most overcome not only a 5lb rise but a significant step up in grade to class three company.

In his way, David O’Meara’s Barenboim has to be respected stepping back to a mile-and-a-half and could provide a welcome form boost to the aforementioned Obsidian Knight

Harry and Roger Charlton’s lightly-raced Vega Sicilia has been in fine form – placed on all four all-weather starts – and remains open to plenty of improvement.

At 11-years-old, former Northumberland Plate winner Nicholas T may have his best days behind him but is an intriguing contender nonetheless.

2.35 Newcastle – Appleby unleashed well-bred relation to Yibir

You will do well to find a better pedigree sheet than that of Charlie Appleby’s Through The Ages, who debuts in the Huge Daily Boosts Only At BetUK Maiden Stakes (2.35) over a mile-and-a-quarter.

The three-year-old is the seventh foal out of classy mare Rumh, making him a half-brother to fellow Appleby inmates and Group One-winning stars Yibir and Wild Illusion.

That alone should make him extremely popular under Luke Morris, with five rivals to beat.

They include fellow newcomer Jumeira Vision for John and Thady Gosden and Roaring Lion colt Saint George for Andrew Balding.

Thursday racecards | Latest Sky Bet odds

Watch every race from Newcastle live on Sky Sports Racing on Thursday, March 2.


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