Tag Archives: Newbury

The Lockinge Stakes (G1)

The Lockinge kicks off the G1 season for older horses in Britain over a mile.

Laurens entering the parade ring at Leopardstown before winning the Matron Stakes

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)

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2019 Horse, PRWC 2019 Jockey, PRWC 2019 Trainer, PRWC 2019 Sire, PRWC 2019 Owner, PRWC 2019 Breeder

View last years championships here by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder

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Lockinge Stakes (G1)

The Hannon factor added to the Godolphin factor makes Toormore favourite here. Between the pair they have won five of the last six runnings with only Frankel in 2012 interrupting the sequence. As a partnership Night Of Thunder did the business for them last year when Toormore ran a fine race in third. At G1 level it was his best run of the season. Therafter he bagged two G2’s beating Dutch Connection in the Lennox Stakes (form he franked on his return this year) and going to Turkey to win the Topkapi Trophy. In between he was beaten in the Queen Anne, Jacques Le Marois, Prix De La Foret and Hong Kong Mile.

He’s worth taking on.

Two who should be considered are Euro Charline and Arod.

Euro charline with Frankie in the plate on her way out for the Matron Stakes last September

Euro Charline with Frankie in the plate on her way out for the Matron Stakes last September

Arod ran third here last year and like the favourite scored at G2 level in the Summer Mile. He then ran a cracker to get within a 1/2L of Solow in the Sussex. That form reproduced here would be enough. Connections were confident enough of his capabilities to send him to Australia to contest the Cox Plate and Emirates Stakes. The trip didn’t work out. Maybe it was the exertions behind Solow or maybe he just wasn’t a traveller. In any event it’s forgivable and he deserves another chance.

Euro Charline has scored at G1 though we’ve to go back to the Beverley D in August of 2014 for that. It’s what she done lately is the encouraging piece. On a spring trip to Dubai she ran second in the Balanchine. That was a prep for the Dubai Turf where she repeated the dose chasing home Japan’s Real Steel. She must be in good form as last year on her return from Dubai she didn’t see a racecourse until July when she ran second in the Falmouth. Marco Botti must feel she’s in good form to bring her back two month’s earlier this year. She has the added benefit of Ryan Moore on her back.

There both worth backing.

Recommendation: Arod 20/1 EW, Euro Charline 20/1 EW

Lockinge Stakes (Group 1)

The first clash in England of the older generation at top-level.

It’s not vintage, yet. The field is led by last years Guineas winner Night Of Thunder who hasn’t won since. He’s been beaten four times but he’s still the absolute rock of form for this race. Kingman and Charm Spirit twice have been his undoing at the mile and in all reality the only blot on the copy book is when his stamina was stretched beyond his capacity to 10 f in the Eclipse.

Toormore accompanies him from the Richard Hannon stable a horse who beat The Grey Gatsby in the Craven last year. He was a brilliant two-year old who’s three-year career didn’t quite match up to that early Craven win but he’s not far off the pace.

Embed from Getty Images

Integral a double G1 winner ( Falmouth and Sun Chariot) last year is the main act to oppose. Can she beat the boys? who’d rule it out in the hands of Michael Stoute with Ryan Moore in the plate.

Tullius went to all the big dances after coming second here last year and with give in the ground has to come into calculations.

Custom Cut has yet to score at top-level but he keeps getting better, a Dermot Weld baby is becoming a man with David O”Meara.

And of those that stand out under the radar.

Yeften’s disqualified second in the Jean Prat behind Charm Spirit doesn’t look too shabby nor does Here Comes When Challenge Stakes victory but the one that is most intriguing is Cougar Mountain.

You would have to think Aidan O’Brien lost the plot when he threw this once raced into the July Cup last year yet he only went down a 3 L  fifth to Slade Power. Next time out in the Nunthorpe ninth was the best he could muster yet only 2 L separated him from Sole Power.

It’s a shot to nothing stepping him up to a mile, if he doesn’t stay he’ll revert to sprinting. If he does stay that turn of foot proven with the best sprinters in the world will put this fella as the main opposition to Able Friend in the Queen Anne.

Recommendation : Cougar Mountain 25/1 win

Ante Post : Royal Ascot – Queen Anne 40/1 ew 

 

 

The JLT Lockinge Stakes Stakes (Group 1)

Frankel.