Luxembourg - Timeform rating of 118p
Luxembourg - Timeform rating of 118p

Timeform ratings review: Luxembourg didn't need to improve

Luxembourg heads into winter quarters behind only Native Trail on Timeform's two-year-old ratings despite not needing to improve to win at Doncaster.

Luxembourg exciting prospect for 2022

Some were questioning the form of the Aidan O’Brien yard heading into this year’s Vertem Futurity Trophy, but that proved no barrier to success as he matched Sir Henry Cecil’s record in the race by landing a tenth victory in the Group One with the exciting Luxembourg (118p).

Luxembourg didn’t need to improve to stretch his unbeaten record to three, but he did win with plenty in hand in conditions which probably weren’t ideal, always travelling well and essentially getting to the front too easily and too soon.

He only did what was required once moving into the lead approaching the final furlong, but the placed horses, who all finished in a heap, never looked like getting to him.

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There is only National Stakes and Dewhurst winner Native Trail (122p) rated higher than him among this season’s juveniles, but Luxembourg looks as likely a Derby winner that has been seen out so far.

Luxembourg showed he isn’t devoid of speed with his closing sectional in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh, though, and it would be no surprise if he is to be aimed at the 2000 Guineas first, where he would once again have the chance to emulate his sire, Camelot, who made a winning start to his three-year-old career in the Newmarket classic before going on to Derby success at Epsom. The stable’s last two winners of the Vertem Futurity, Magna Grecia and Saxon Warrior, also won the 2000 Guineas on their next start.

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Thrilling start for Lucki

Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting took place on Friday and Saturday and the standout performance on Day One came from the Dan Skelton-trained Third Time Lucki (151p), who impressed with every aspect of his performance on chase debut (it was also his first start since undergoing a wind operation).

He had superior hurdling form to all of his rivals but there was a lot to like about the manner in which he took to the larger obstacles, jumping fluently – as so many do form this yard – and making good headway on the bridle on the second circuit.

Third Time Lucki impresses at Cheltenham
Third Time Lucki impresses at Cheltenham

He drew clear from four out in impressive fashion and, though his victory was more style over substance given that two of his main three rivals failed to give their running, Third Time Lucki looked an exciting recruit to the chasing ranks, sure to be stepped up into graded company next time.

There was also a nice performance on Saturday from I Like To Move It (138p from 128P), who added his name to the likes of Sceau Royal, Tiger Roll and Dodging Bullets in winning the Materson Holdings Hurdle.

Timeform Horses To Follow

He lacked the experience of Stepney Causeway (137 from 138p) and Tritonic (141), who started joint favourites, but that didn’t stop him from coming out on top and he clearly possesses a fair amount of ability.

I Like To Move It didn’t impress with his hurdling when winning on debut at Worcester earlier this month, conceding ground at most flights, but he looked much more assured here for all he again wasn’t always fluent. There is plenty to like about him physically and he looks the type that can progress again.

Stepney Causeway looked fit beforehand on his first run since undergoing a breathing operation but probably did too much too soon in front, while his wins last season all came on sharper tracks. Tritonic ran well on form attempting to give weight away all round, and will likely be one for handicaps now.

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