Tom Dascombe
Tom Dascombe

Sam Maximus camp hope home turf suits at Newbury in Mill Reef Stakes

Owner John Dance is banking on a return to racing closer to home to spark Sam Maximus back to his best form in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.

The Tom Dascombe-trained juvenile won on his debut at Haydock and went on to be beaten only half a length by Lusail in the July Stakes at Newmarket, just behind Asymmetric and in front of Ebro River.

He has failed to reproduce that form in two runs since in France and Ireland, without being disgraced, but Dance feel less travelling could be in his favour on Saturday.

“Our intention is to run him,” he said.

“We flirted with dropping him back to five furlongs, because he hasn’t really seen out his last two races.

“In France, he just didn’t see it out because of the soft ground, while in Ireland he had no real excuse. The only thing we could think was that he didn’t take to travelling abroad, so we want to give him another shot at six furlongs in this country.

“Newbury should suit him – he ran well at Haydock, and they’re not dissimilar. This will possibly be his last run of the season, because we want to try and look after him and see if he can improve as a three-year-old. Our priority is to see a return to form.”

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