JLT Lockinge Stakes Preview

Frankel, Farhh and Canford Cliffs; a trio of horses that collectively won 26 races and they also make up the last three horses to win the Lockinge Stakes. Raced over a mile at Newbury it is a part of the Champion Series and a recognised Grade 1 event. Multiple group winner OLYMPIC GLORY obviously sets the standard in a race he should really be winning and has the beating of most of these on form and ratings. Rated 125, he finished last campaign with a thumping of Top Notch Tonto by 3.5l in the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot where a field of Dawn Approach, Soft Falling Rain and Kingsbarns were all beaten in what was a sensational performance. Tracking Dawn Approach for much of the race and being held up by Hughes, he let him go inside the 2f and he fought off Top Notch Tonto very easily showing a smart turn of foot. They re-oppose today.  

Olympic Glory likes the track as we know, winning on his only start here in the Greenham last year and what was a very busy campaign. That was his reappearance that day and although he wasn’t at his best; he got the job done. Ground should not be an issue unless it gets very quick as all his best form is over either soft or good to soft. 

The interesting one for me is the O’Brien horse that has been running out in America, Verrazano. Joey takes the ride on this 4 year old who has won at a top level in America and a good run in the Breeders Cup before placing in a Grade 1 at Aqueduct in November. This is his British debut and also his debut on turf so is certainly unexposed, bold connections, great pedigree and for Aiden to send him straight in here into a Champions Series Grade 1, it’s obvious he rates the horse. The downside for me is that I would have liked to see Ryan Moore in the saddle, but I suppose Joey isn’t a bad alternative.   

Tulius ran very well on his reappearance in the Lincoln and then put his claim to Group races, but I have several concerns. He looks progressive; and a very good workmanlike performance in the Bet365 Mile a few weeks ago was very encouraging but his best form seems to be over soft related grounds and could get found out tomorrow in the higher grade against better horses. Top Notch Tonto on his reappearance in this race was 7l behind but last year he improved for every run and if the same pattern comes this year, he will get closer especially on the ground. Richard Hannon’s gets the ride on Montridge who was in that Sandown race, splitting both Top Notch Tonto and Tulius and he wants fast ground; no doubt about that and I fully expect him to reverse the form with Tulius tomorrow. 

Sruthan has much to find on ratings but has been very progressive and beat a subsequent next time out winner on his latest appearance at the Curragh. Empire Storm has been running in Meydan and finished a long way back on his British reappearance and has a lot to find today. Chopin run well in the Derby last year but is interesting brought back in trip today. Although, he was disappointing in Dusseldorf last time out, it was his first run for nearly a year so will come on for the run.  

Advice: OLYMPIC GLORY @ 11/10 

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Posted in Kieran Mcginley
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