The third British Group One is here, and this looks once again a brilliant renewal of the Lockinge. Our big preview of the Newbury showcase is here:
Ribchester favourite for first Group One prize
One of the leading milers last season comes back as a worthy favourite in this contest. A progressive type built on a Guineas third by taking the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Richard Fahey’s four-year-old won a Group One prize in France before finishing second to the brilliant Minding on Champions Day.
He finished third in a competitive contest in Dubai on his seasonal bow, and returns to the UK as a top contender. He’s won at Newbury before, and will relish the conditions.
“I’m very happy with Ribchester going into Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury,” Fahey told his SportingLife blog.
“He did great over the winter and ran really well in Dubai. His preparation since has gone without a hitch, he’ll handle the ground and I just hope he runs his race as he’s in with a real shout.”
Fahey also saddles Toscanini, who will play the role of a pacemaker for Ribchester.
“We also run Toscanini who is primarily in there to make sure they go a nice even gallop,” said Fahey.
“That said if he handles the ground he wouldn’t be without a chance of grabbing a place.”
Guineas winner Galileo out for Gold return
This time last season Galileo Gold had just been crowned a classic champion, and is searching for more Group One honours.
The four-year-old went on to enjoy St James Palace Stakes success at Royal Ascot, but finished the year midfield in runs in France and on champions’ day.
A return to form would make him a leading player, but he needs a bounce back on his reappearance.
“I’m excited to get him back into competitive action,” Palmer told his Betfair blog.
“He’s not ground dependent, winning the Guineas on good and the St James’s Palace Stakes on soft, and while he was beaten by Ribchester twice in the second half of the season, he’d lost his edge mentally by that stage, getting too wound up, and as a result he didn’t do himself justice in the Jacques Le Marois or the QEII.
“I’m delighted to say he’s been much more relaxed in demeanour at home this year, and I hope he can take that calmness into his races.
“If he does, he will be a major force in all the top races at a mile. He has been ready to go for a while now, his work has been outstanding, and he looks every inch a champion, so we go to the Lockinge with high expectations.”
Somehow flies the flag for Ballydoyle
Aidan O’Brien’s four-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season and runs Somehow.
After a promising second in listed company, she went on to win at the same level in native Ireland.
On 1000 Guineas day at Newmarket, she enhanced her credentials winning the Dahlia in good style.
She’s relished the step down in trip and class, and certainly deserves her place in this contest.
Simcock hoping Lightning can Spear him to Group One victory
Although Lightning Spear only finished a length behind Ribchester when they last clashed , trainer David Simcock insists his rival is the ‘one to beat’ in the Lockinge.
Lightning Spear won the Celebration Mile at Goodwood last August, and finished third in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot last season.
He capped off an encouraging season placing in the Queen Elizabeth II stakes on Champions’ Day.
This is another big step up in grade for the oldest horse in the field.
“Lightning Spear goes there in good order,” Simcock said.
“It looks a tight race, and a competitive one too. We know he handles cut in the ground, he dealt with it in the Queen Anne. I’m hoping for a good run from him.
“For me Ribchester is probably the one to beat, and it may be tough to do so. But I’m looking forward to trying to!
Simcock also saddles former Hungerford Stakes winner Breton Rock.
“We’re lacking options with Breton Rock as he’ll always have to carry a penalty wherever he goes,” Simcock told Hit The Front.
“We’re almost forced to run him in a Group One in that extent. He’ll like the conditions, and hopefully he will be picking up the pieces at the end.
Meade hoping to Aclaim first Group One victory
The rapidly improving Aclaim searches for his fourth straight victory for Martyn Meade.
The four-year-old enjoyed handicap and listed success before taking Newmarket’s Group Two Challenge Stakes in October.
He won in good style that day, and holds a good chance.
Mitchum Swagger completes the line-up for David Lanigan
Our tip can be found on our daily tipping article, Saturday’s tips can be read here!