Appleby’s hopes for Folkswood

Folkswood (far right): Lines up at Chester.

Charlie Appleby is keeping his fingers crossed Folkswood can secure his first victory at Group-race level in the Huxley Stakes at Chester on Thursday.

The Godolphin-owned four-year-old has had a busy year already having kicked off his campaign in Dubai where he won a valuable handicap before being beaten a neck by Decorated Knight in the Group One Jebel Hatta.

He suffered another narrow reverse on his return to British soil when a close second to Steel Of Madrid in last month's Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket and Appleby is expecting another bold show on the Roodee.

"We've been very happy with him since the Earl of Sefton and we're looking forward to tomorrow," said the Newmarket handler.

"I think the track will suit him. He showed in Meydan he can be very effective on the turn when he gets on the rail and although it's only a small field, it's nice he's got a good draw in stall two.

"It's a trappy little race, but he's in good order and hopefully he'll run very well."

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Folkswood features in an intriguing field of six runners.

Tim Easterby's Snoano is a big outsider, but just 3lb separates the other five participants on official ratings.

Sir Michael Stoute has landed this Group Three prize a record six times and has another major contender in Poet's Word, who made a smart start to his campaign in a valuable handicap at Chelmsford last month.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Saeed Suhail, said: "He's working nicely and we feel he will improve for his run at Chelmsford, where he won quite tidily.

"Everyone has been very happy with him since then and I think he's a typical Sir Michael Stoute improving four-year-old.

"It does look a tough race, so he'll have to be useful if he's going to win it."

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore team up with the classy Deauville. The son of Galileo won a Grade One in America last summer and can be expected to strip fitter for his recent comeback run in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown, when he finished second to Ulysses.

Richard Fahey's Gabrial and the John Gosden-trained Royal Artillery complete the line-up.

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