15:40 Newbury – Lockinge Stakes
Newbury hosts today’s feature race, the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. The first British Group 1 race this season for older horses run over the straight mile.
It’s fair to say this seasons renewal is a case of quantity over quality.
Seven of the last ten previous winners were rated 120 plus.
The highest rated horses in this years race are the filly Laurens and Romanised, both rated 117, and only 2lbs separating the entire field, with the exception of Billesdon Brook 110.
Laurens stands out as the class act in this line up.
She was most consistent at the highest level last season, improving as the season progressed. Interesting connections have kept her in training this season. A sizeable filly with plenty of scope she could improve further as a four year old, and with the handy sex allowance, she has an awful lot in her favour.
Tactics on the straight mile can be crucial. Laurens is a straight forward ride, who likes to be ridden positively. With little obvious pace in the race, with the possible exception of Ostilio who on occasions was free last season, Lauren’s could have the run of the race. A strong stayer at a mile, and with ground conditions seemingly not an issue, she could be the fifth filly in the last 16 runnings to win this a Group 1 contest.
Dangers include likely favourite Le Brivido, winner of the 2017 Jersey Stakes, now trained by the all conquering Aiden O’Brien. The move could spark some improvement, and after a satisfactory prep run could feature today, but on all known form some improvement will be necessary.
Some showers have been forecast, and if they arrive this will increase the prospects of Lord Glitters, along with joint top rated Romanised (Irish 2000 Guineas winner) and I Can Fly, who based on last seasons second in the QE2 is overpriced at 20/1.
Accidental Agent is also a big price. A winner of last years seasons Queen Anne, which is stand out form in this race. However, he could only finish 6th in this race last year, and didn’t replicate his Queen Anne victory in two subsequent starts.
Lauren’s is taken to make all followed home by I Can Fly, and Lord Glitters.
Newbury 13:50. Khaadem – (WIN)
Newmarket 14:05. Khuzaam – (WIN)
Newbury 14:25. Crystal Ocean – (WIN)
Newmarket 14:40. Jash – (WIN)
Newbury 15:00. Good Birthday – (E/W)
Newmarket 15:15. Octave – (E/W)
Newbury 15:40. Laurens – (WIN)
written by Matt Polley
The Cambridge News – PicksfromthePaddock.co.uk:
15:40 Newbury – LAURENS (WIN)
The Jersey Evening Post – Rory Paddock:
This six furlong sprint handicap will be a veritable cavalry charge if the expected 18 runners all line up. Although with such a large field making it even more competitive I just can’t look away from course and distance winner Kenny The Captain. The Tim Easterby trained eight year old has been disappointing of late however a return to Doncaster is a positive step. With a win and two second placed efforts in five attempts over today’s course and distance he clearly acts well here and a drop in class will also be of benefit. Without a win in his last eighteen outings many punters will be put off but within those runs he’s placed on seven occasions and clearly still holds a decent level of ability. Now with 16lbs less weight to carry since his highest winning mark he has a great chance of finishing with his head in front once again.
The ever consistent Wrenthorpe has finished 3rd and 2nd in his last two outings and Bryan Smart’s runner aims to go one better here. Bound to be in the fold come the winning post but has only ever won over the shorter five furlong trip.
Equiano Springs hasn’t finished outside of the first two in his last five runs and of recent form continues will do well.
Of the remainder sprinting stalwarts Lucky Beggar and Bahamian Sunrise have the ability to win a race of this nature if they still retain the ability they’ve shown at their peak.
KENNY THE CAPTAIN (WIN)
East Anglian Daily Times – Dean Kilbryde:
20:05 Doncaster – BLACK ISLE BOY (WIN)
Norwich Evening News – Chris Connolly:
14:45 Thirsk – BASHIBA (WIN)
Ipswich Star – Matt Polley:
17:25 Newbury – THRAVE (WIN)