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2017 Lockinge Stakes tips - 3/1 shot could strike Group 1 Gold again at Newbury

Frankie Dettori celebrates after guiding Galileo Gold to 2000 Guineas glory last season.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Lockinge Stakes and picks out one of last summer's stars to return to winning ways at Newbury.


Newbury racecourse hosts many important National Hunt races throughout the autumn and winter months. However, when the flat racing season starts to shift into top gear towards the latter stages of spring, all eyes will be on Newbury as they stage the 58th renewal of the Lockinge Stakes.

Some of the most talented one milers on the planet will take to the turf on Saturday the 20th of May, set to battle it out for this much sought-after Group 1 title and an early look at the ante-post betting suggests this year’s renewal of the Lockinge promises to be an absolute cracker.

Galileo Gold (3/1 Ladbrokes) currently leads the way in the betting and Hugo Palmer will be hoping his charge can recapture the form he showed during the early stages of last season, when he cruised to the 2000 Guineas title at Newmarket. He was beaten to the Irish 2000 Guineas title by just two lengths, but bounced back to winning form with a powerful victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Three more outings in prestigious Group 1 races followed, but Frankie Dettori was unable to spur his mount onto a third seasonal victory. His final two runs of the season were rather disappointing, crossing the line eighth in a huge race at Deauville before finishing fifth behind several potential Lockinge rivals in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Richard Fahey will have been encouraged by Ribchester’s (3/1 BetVictor) 2016 campaign, despite that notable runner-up finish behind Minding at Newmarket and a third place finish in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. After coming home three lengths behind Galileo Gold in the 2000 Guineas last May, the Godolphin-owned colt secured a maiden Group 1 triumph in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, before exacting revenge upon his 2000 Guineas conqueror by beating him to the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard at Deauville. He ran well on an off-season venture to Meydan, finishing a not-so distant third in the Group 1 Dubai Turf, so Fahey will be confident his charge can produce a winning display on his return to Newbury.

Aidan O'Brien has started the classic season in freightening form and he looks set to send Somehow (11/2 Ladbrokes) back to England after impressing on her most recent visit. The Fasntnet Rock progeny was a little out of her depth last summer when finished almost 30 lengths behind Minding in the Epsom Oaks, but returned to Ireland to win a maiden Grouped title in the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes at the Curragh in August. She kicked-off her four-year-old campaign with an excellent victory at Newmarket in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes. she won on firm ground that day, but she has shown good form on softer ground in the past, so if the heavens open in the Newbury area during the build-up to Saturday's race, her odds could begin to look very long indeed.


Ribchester winning here at Newbury at the start of his two-year-old season.

David Simcock will have been delighted with Lightning Spear’s (7/1 William Hill) run in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, when he crossed the line just over a length behind Minding and Ribchester in third. That was his best effort in a Group 1 since moving to Simcock’s yard and his only victory of the season came when dropping down to a Group 2 to beat Zonderland in the Celebration Mile title at Goodwood.

Breton Rock (50/1 bet365) will join his stablemate in the Lockinge stalls on his first start of the new season. He's been largely overlooked in the betting, but the seven-year-old is a seasoned campaigner in this calibre of race and has three Grouped title to his name, including a victory in the 2014 Hungerford Stakes here at Newbury, so he's certainly not a horse to be underestimated.

Martin Meade’s Acclaim (10/1 BetVictor) is yet to try his hand at a Group 1 contest, but three successive victories to finish off his three-year-old season - including a good victory over Lumiere in the Group 2 Dubai 100 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket - will surely see him make the step up into more esteemed company. Ennaadd (20/1 bet365) was expected to return to winning wayson his latest outing in the Listed Paradise Stakes at Ascot. He lost out to Tabarrak by a neck that day, when giving away three pounds to his conqueror and Roger Varian will be hoping from a little more from his charge as he makes his black type debut. 

Charlie Hills will have expected a little more from Dutch Connection (16/1 bet365), during his international adventures last autumn. A decent fifth place finish in a Group 1 at Deavuille was followed by two distant finishes near the rear of the field at Chantilly and on his Breeders' Cup debut. His excelent victory in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood proved he belonged in Group 1 company and he represents certain each-way value.

At his current lengthy odds, Breton Rock could prove to be a profitable each-way punt. However, there have been very few upsets in the Lockinge over recent years and, considering the overwhelming strength at the head of the betting for this year’s renewal, it’s only sensible to head back to the top end of the market to pick out a possible winner.

Soft ground can often play havock in flat races and it looks like the Lockinge entrants face going on the softer side of good this weekend. But all the leading protaganists have recorded wins on soft ground in the recent past, so it shouldn't cause the market leaders any uundue problems. Ribchester has been heavily backed recently and could come on from his narrow third-placed finish in the Dubai Turf at Meydan. Acclaim is certianly an improving sort and could justify the jump up in class, but looking at the current betting, the one to go for here could be GALILEO GOLD.

There is no doubting Hugo Palmer's charge goes best fresh, with all his worst seasonal perfromances coming in the latter stages of the season. He began last season with an excellent Grouped win on his reapearance at in the 2000 Guineas and it wouldn't be a surprise if he stormed to another prestigious title on his first start of his four-year-old campaign.

20/5/2017 2:55pm Newbury Lockinge Stakes selection – GALILEO GOLD (3/1 Ladbrokes)


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2017 Lockinge Stakes tips - 3/1 shot could strike Group 1 Gold again at Newbury

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Lockinge Stakes and picks out one of last summer's stars to return to winning ways at Newbury.

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