The Lockinge kicks off the G1 season for older horses in Britain over a mile.
It’s an open contest, favouritism falls to the Aidan O’Brien trained Le Brevido, an intake from the Andre Fabre yard in France. This is his second run for Ballydoyle having made his reappearance in the Gladness Stakes at Naas three weeks ago where he put in an adequate performance running third.
His market position is largely due to reputation, a talking horse whose best performances came in 2017. In the French Guineas he was beaten a short head by Brametot and followed up with a win at Royal Ascot in the Jersey Stakes. He looked to have an exciting future.
Injury curtailed his season and Andre Fabre only got him to the racecourse once last year where favouritism was not justified when sixth in the Abernant Stakes last April at Newmarket.
He’s there to be shot at.
Last year the mile division was dominated by Alpha Centurai, alas injury in the Matron Stakes on very firm ground led to retirement. She was beaten by Laurens herself a multiple G1 winner who was a nose winner over September in the Fillies Mile at Ascot as a juvenile. As a three-year-old she lit up the season for connections with wins in the Prix Saint-Alary, Prix Diane, Matron Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes, all confined to her own sex.
Two other fillies will also take on the boys, I Can Fly and Billesdon Brock. I Can Fly did just that at G2 level last year in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown coming from last to first under a hands and heel ride. She proved it was no fluke when pushing Roaring Loin to a neck in the Queen Elizebeth 11 Stakes on Champion Stakes Day. Billesdon Brock took the Newmarket Guineas at a big price, 66/1 but failed to build on that later in the season.
No stand out colt emerged from the mile division last year. Three G1 winners come here, Romanised (Irish Guineas), Without Parole (St James’s Palace Stakes) and Accidental Agent (Queen Anne) to try to add another. Of them, Ken Condon’s Romanised offers most appeal. He won at the Curragh (tipped here) on very fast ground coming from the back, picking off the pack and pipping Saxon Warrior.
He never hit those heights again in three subsequent runs at G1 level but he’s had a comeback run like Le Brevido, in the Gladness Stakes where he couldn’t get daylight until too late. The run suggested the engine is still there, Le Brevido was only a ½ L in front of him come the line.
Of the others Beat The Bank and Lord Glitters are appealing to try to make the top level breakthrough, the latter put in a great performance behind Almond Eye at Meydan over a slightly longer trip of 9F in the Dubai Turf.
Aidan might have rebuilt Le Brevido but he offers little value. Laurens might need an extra couple of furlongs to really shine however her class may win out. It’s Romanised on quick ground, the quicker the better, that stands out most. If he gets a bit of racing room he can come late to steal it.
Recommendation: Romanised 22/1 ew
Romanised and Laurens (RFC)
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