David Loughnane is “quietly confident” Fizzy Feet can claim a poignant victory in the Betway Kachy Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.
Formerly known as the Cleves Stakes, the six-furlong Listed contest has this year been named in honour of the horse who won successive renewals in 2018 and 2019, before tragically suffering a fatal injury when bidding for a fifth course win last February.
Like Kachy, Fizzy Feet carries the colours of owner David Lowe, and produced a performance reminiscent of the former all-weather sprinting star when dominating from the front in a course and distance handicap a fortnight ago.
Loughnane said: “I couldn’t be happier with her and she’s got a perfect draw (stall two). I think she’s the only out-and-out front-runner in the race and we’re looking forward to it.
“We’re hoping, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going there quietly confident as well.
“She’s in the best form we’ve ever had her in and everything has fallen right for her so far. If she can improve from her last run, which we think she has, we think she’ll be involved at the business end of things.
“It will be a huge day for the owners if she was able to go and win the Kachy Stakes. Six months ago we wouldn’t even have been considering a race like this for her, but she’s just kept improving, so fingers crossed.”
Kachy’s trainer, Tom Dascombe, is represented by Misty Grey, who is unbeaten in three starts since moving from Mark Johnston’s yard.
Of the race being named after his former stable star, the trainer said: “This is obviously a race we would dearly love to win. Kachy was a real star for us and it was very considerate from everybody involved to think of doing something like this, because I know how much it means to his owners.
“They have a real chance in the race with Fizzy Feet and both of us are trying our best to win it. If our horse doesn’t win, I sincerely hope they do.”
The Manor House handler is keeping his fingers crossed Misty Grey can continue his progression, adding: “To put it simply, when you are sent a horse, particularly from a top trainer like Mr Johnston, your expectations are pretty low.
“I don’t think we have improved the horse; I just think we have given him a change of scenery and a different outlook, which seems to have brightened him up.
“If I am honest, I am slightly concerned about six furlongs around this track. I think it is very likely that six furlongs on a sharp track like this will not play to all of his strengths, but at the same time this looks an obvious race to go for.
“I do seem to remember that he was placed behind Pinatubo in the Woodcote at Epsom, not beaten far, and Epsom and Lingfield aren’t too dissimilar in that they are left-handed tracks with a downhill section.
“It is not going to be foreign to him, but if the race was run at Wolverhampton, I would be slightly more confident.”
The other Listed contest on the card is the Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes, which throws up a rematch between Marco Botti’s Felix, the Andrew Balding-trained Bangkok and Forest Of Dean from John Gosden’s yard.
The trio were first, second and third respectively in a conditions race at Wolverhampton last month, with Felix finishing powerfully to beat hot favourite Bangkok by a head on what was his first outing since last March.
Botti said: “He ran well at Wolverhampton. He’d had a little bit of a break and was coming back from 10 months off.
“We were very pleased with that run. He got up on the line and I would imagine there is some improvement to come from that race.
“That (Winter Derby) is the plan, along with (All-Weather Championships) Finals Day.”
Bangkok won the Winter Derby Trial 12 months ago and connections are hopeful he can reverse the form with Felix.
Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing, said: “Things didn’t really go to plan at Wolverhampton last time – he had to do it the tough way and I think he just idled in front a little bit.
“He was giving the winner 3lb, he has a pretty good record at Lingfield and it looks a good opportunity for him.
“He was impressive in this race last year. He has got an excellent turn of foot and I think he’s the one to beat, albeit Felix is obviously an improving horse.
“It’s a pretty even field, but I don’t think I’d swap Bangkok.”