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2019 Lockinge Stakes tips - Burke's 5/1 star filly can make winning return to action in Newbury's weekend feature

Brian Healy 14 May 2019
Laurens could make a triumphant return to action in Saturday's Lockinge Stakes.

Brian Healy takes a runner-by-runner look ahead to Saturday's Group One feature race at Newbury, the Lockinge Stakes.

The feature race of Saturday’s racecard at Newbury is the Group One Lockinge Stakes, which goes to post at 3.40pm and will form part of the ITV Racing coverage on a cracking afternoon of horse racing action.

The Lockinge Stakes unfolds over a straight one mile trip of the Berkshire venue, and the race is open to horses four years and older; it also forms part of the British Champions Series, and horses from this race often contest the Queen Anne Stakes and the QEII Stakes later in the season.

Some top class names have won this race down through the years, and recent past winners include Ribchester, Night Of Thunder, Frankel, Canford Cliffs, Ratki and Hawk Wing since the turn of the century.

Boasting a first prize pot just short of £200,000, the latest renewal of this top-class contest is sure to offer up thrills in abundance as some of the biggest name milers converge on the Berkshire venue to contest for this fantastic prize.

Godolphin have won three of the last four renewals of the Lockinge Stakes, and the boys in blue could be represented by Mythical Magic (14/1, Bet365) who hails from the Charlie Appleby yard.

The Iffraaj gelding was a dual-winner in France during his juvenile campaign, after which he acquitted himself well in defeat in Group company including when beaten into third here behind Nebo in the 2017 Horris Hill Stakes.

Winless last term in two outings in France, he got back on the winning trail when successful on his second start at Meydan in February with a defeat of Century Dream to win the Group Two Zabeel Mile.

He has been absent since, and that form has taken a few knocks so the likelihood is he’ll need to raise his game to feature here.

Aidan O’Brien meanwhile won the race twelve months ago with Rhododendron, and the Ballydoyle maestro could saddle Le Brivido (7/2, Coral) in this contest along with I Can Fly.

The former was a very smart operator in France for Andre Fabre, winning three of his four starts as a juvenile which included the Jersey Stakes; and he was only beaten a short-head behind Brametot on his only previous try at this trip in the French 2000 Guineas.

The Siyouni entire only saw the track once the following season, where he disappointed behind Brando in the Abernant Stakes, and he was subsequently absent for almost one year until returning to action at Naas in the Gladness Stakes where he eventually finished third behind Imaging.

Sure to be better for the run, he is worth another crack at this longer trip and he ought to go well for his top yard who have enjoyed plenty of success in recent weeks.

I Can Fly (20/1, Bet365) is no mug, as she showed last term in winning a Listed race at Killarney, as well as landing the Group Two Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown last September.

The Fastnet Rock filly also got to within a neck of Roaring Lion in the QEII Stakes on Champions Day before having a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile where she beat only two home.

She was an easy winner on her reappearance at Dundalk back in March, but she was disappointing when seen last in the Dubai Turf. She probably needs to find a good jolt of improvement to land this prize, but she can give a good account nonetheless without being quite good enough to trouble the principals.

Beat The Bank (8/1, William Hill) looked as good as ever when winning the Bet365 Mile on his reappearance, and Andrew Balding’s star showed himself to be a big talent last term, scoring wins in both the Summer Mile at Ascot and the Celebration Mile at Goodwood before floundering in the mud behind Roaring Lion in the QEII Stakes.

Not seen to best effect in the Hong Kong Mile in December, beating only three home in that contest, he nevertheless faced a very stiff task there so that run can’t be taken as gospel; he set the record straight with a narrow defeat of Sharja Bridge at Sandown latest, rallying well to Sylvestre De Sousa’s urgings having initially looked beaten.

There is a likelihood that he needed that run, and he should strip fitter for the outing. He is well worth a crack at a Group One now, and no surprise to see him posting a big effort with race-fitness under his belt.

Lord Glitters (8/1, Paddy Power) meanwhile was denied only by a neck at Ascot when the pair clashed in the Summer Mile, and David O’Meara’s charge should give another good account.  

The classy Whipper gelding had shown he was a very smart prospect when coming from last to first to win the 2017 Balmoral Handicap, after which he found only one too good in Bravo Zolo. He bumped into the high-class Addeybb on his reappearance last season in the Doncaster Lincoln, but he proved himself no back number in Group company thereafter, including in that Ascot run behind Beat The Bank.

He finally got of the mark for the season when beating Mustashry in the Strensall Stakes, after which he finished sixth in the Woodbine Mile and the QEII Stakes respectively. However, he ran a cracker on his reappearance behind Almond Eye to finish third in the Dubai Turf, and if stripping fitter for that run and able to run to a similar level here then he’s unlikely to be far away.

Sharjah Bridge (9/1, Coral) struck at the fifth attempt last term, beating Escobar in the Balmoral Handicap having earlier finished seventh in the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket; Roger Varian’s charge has since run well in both outings this term and has to be feared with the potential for better to come.

The Doncaster Mile Stakes winner, beating Red Starlight by two lengths, he made the returning Beat The Bank pull out all the stops at Sandown, going down only by a half length. 

The Oasis Dream entire looks a progressive sort, and he could have more to offer; but he faces a stiffer task to reverse Sandown form with Andrew Balding’s charge where he won’t have a race-fitness advantage over that one now.

Mustashry (9/1, Bet365) meanwhile won twice during the 2017 season for Sir Michael Stoute, winning the Strensall Stakes from Forest Ranger, after which he flopped behind Beat The Bank in the Shadwell Joel Stakes, beating only one home.

The Tamayuz gelding showed improved form last term having been gelded in the off-season, winning three of his first four starts back which included Group Two wins at Doncaster and Newmarket, and his winning run was only punctuated by a narrow defeat behind Lord Glitters when defending his Strensall Stakes crown.

The Stoute runner wasn’t seen at his best behind Expert Eye in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, beating only three home; but there wasn’t much wrong with his reappearance behind Zabeel Prince at Newmarket in the Earl Of Sefton Stakes last month, where he will surely be better for the run.

His form from last season, where he won both the Park Stakes and the Shadwell Joel Stakes gives him solid claims, although there is a feeling he’ll need to pull out a little more stepping into Group One company.

LAURENS (5/1, William Hill) proved herself to be a top-class filly last term, and what she might concede here in terms of race-fitness she more than makes up for in ability, and the five-time Group One winner could prove a tough nut to crack despite a lack of a run.

She showed last term however, that she could go fresh when finding only one too good in the 1000 Guineas, and she built markedly on that performance to win four of her six subsequent outings which included defeats of Musis Amica in the Prix de Diane, and Alpha Centauri in the Matron Stakes.

She also vanquished the classy Happily to claim the Sun Chariot Stakes, and her versatility and determination is not in question having won at one mile and also ten furlongs last term. 

She probably found 1m4f too much of a test when beaten into sixth behind Sea Of Class in the Yorkshire Oaks, and the ground went against her when disappointing in the QEII Stakes at Ascot, although connections felt that they may have gone to the well once too often with the daughter of Siyouni.

That last appearance at Ascot certainly wasn’t her true running, and back on a better surface for her reappearance, Karl Burke’s charge could prove hard to beat if turning up at Newbury with something akin to the level of form which saw her collect four Group One prizes last term.

She does have to concede race-fitness to some smart rivals, but she won’t go down without a fight and if she is near peak-fitness ahead of her return then there appears no reason why she shouldn’t go close here.

Without Parole (12/1, Ladbrokes) looked a potentially classy performer last season when building on her sole win as a juvenile to strike a trio of subsequent wins in her first three outings last term which included a defeat of Gustav Klimt to win the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes.

However, that may not have been the strongest of Group One races and the Frankel colt failed to match that level in three subsequent outings, finishing behind a few of these in starts at Goodwood, York and Longchamp respectively; although her reappearance at Meydan in March was a step back in the right direction when finishing fifth to Almond Eye in the Dubai Turf.

John Gosden’s charge has to build on that reappearance, where he finished two placed behind Lord Glitters, and he remains capable of better judging on the performance he delivered at Ascot. His later runs however were disappointing, and while he can’t be ruled out with confidence, he does appear to have a question to answer in what looks a very strong renewal of this contest.

Simon Crisford could saddle two in the race with Ostilio (16/1, Paddy Power) and Eagle Creek both possible runners.

The former looked progressive last term, winning four of his seven starts and finishing runner-up in his three defeats. The pick of his successes came when beating Oh This Is Us in the Group Two Prix Daniel Wildenstein by almost two lengths, having won only in handicaps previously.

Last of seven runners on his reappearance at Saint Cloud in May when contesting the Prix du Muguet, the New Approach colt will need to bounce back from that effort although a return to better ground will help.

On form however he looks to have a fair bit to find, and likely he’ll find a few too good. Eagle Creek (100/1, Bet365) meanwhile struck his sole win back at Lingfield back in April 2017, and he has been well beaten in handicaps since.

Not seen out since finishing sixth of nine runners behind Sir Titan at Goodwood last June, he is hard to make a case for, and if he does turn out then he looks to face a monumental task and may only be in the race to fulfill a pacemaker role.

Stormy Antarctic (20/1, Paddy Power) won a Group Three in Germany on his return to action last month, beating Madita to win the Kalkmann Fruhjahrs-Meile; but he is exposed as this level despite making the frame in Group One races around the world. 

Fourth on his last start on these shores behind Roaring Lion in the QEII Stakes, he has a big run in him but the suspicion is he may best suited by dominating lesser grades than mixing it at this level. That said, he was only beaten three-parts of a length behind Beat The Bank at Goodwood last August, and a repeat of that effort could see him go well.

Accidental Agent (25/1, Coral) was a surprise winner of the Queen Anne Stakes last term, but Eve Johnston Houghton’s charge couldn’t back up that performance in two subsequent outings at Deauville and Newmarket where he collectively beat only one other rival in those starts.

He had finished sixth in this race twelve months ago, but it is hard to see him bettering that performance here despite his subsequent Group One success.

Billesdon Brook (25/1, Paddy Power) wasn’t disgraced on her return to action at Newmarket recently in the Dahlia Stakes, and she can show the benefit of that run without quite being good enough to get back to winning ways.

The Champs Elysees filly was a surprise winner of last season’s Qipco 1000 Guineas, besting Laurens and others; but she had the advantage of race-fitness on that occasion, and she was unable to match that level of form subsequently where she was beaten twice behind Laurens in outings at Ascot and Newmarket.

Richard Hannon’s charge is certainly no back number, but she remains vulnerable in this company.

Sir Dancealot (25/1, Coral) enjoyed a brief resurgence last term, winning back-to-back Group Two contests at Goodwood and Newbury, and acquitting himself well behind the likes of One Master and Sands Of Mali in Group One races towards the end of the season.

David Elsworth’s charge failed to beat a rival home when last seen out in the Hong Kong Sprint, and the Sir Prancealot gelding could make his seasonal debut upped in trip which isn’t sure to suit. He did push Brando close on his reappearance twelve months ago, but this looks a much tougher assignment and he may struggle to see out the one mile trip if the field goes off hard.

One Master (25/1, William Hill) showed progressive form last term to win a Tipperary Group Three contest prior to short-heading Inns Of Court to win the Prix de la Foret, and William Haggas’ charge was beaten only one length into fifth when contesting the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The Fastnet Rock mare ended the campaign with a solid eighth of 14 runners behind Beauty Generation at Sha Tin in the Hong Kong Mile, running better than her finishing position suggests, and she isn’t without hope on the pick of those efforts for all she probably does need to find some improvement.

However, she looked to need her reappearance last season and it could be a similar story here if she turns out in this contest.

Irish raider Romanised (25/1, Bet365) completes the possible field of runners for Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes, but the Holy Roman Emperor colt looks up against it despite beating US Navy Flag last term to win the Irish 2000 Guineas.

Ken Condon’s charge had also chased down Epsom Derby winner Masar on his final juvenile start, but he failed to build on his Irish Classic success in three subsequent runs which include finishing fifthto Alpha Centauri in the Prix Jacques le Marois, and he beat only four home behind Roaring Lion in the QEII Stakes.

Fifth of nine runners in the Gladness Stakes on his reappearance, he will appreciate the return to this longer trip. Nevertheless, he will need more to feature in a strong renewal and he looks hard to fancy if turning out.


Beat The Bank has proven race-fitness on his side and the recent Bet365 Mile winner ought to go close on the back of his recent defeat of Sharja Bridge.

Le Brivido can progress for his reappearance and first run for Aidan O’Brien, while it would be unwise to score out Lord Glitters or Mustashry from the short-list of potential winners with both likely to come on for recent returns.

However, lack of a run may not be too much of a concern for LAURENS (5/1, William Hill) if Karl Burke’s star takes her place in the line-up, and the Siyouni filly found only a race-fit rival too strong when making her reappearance in last season’s 1000 Guineas.

The four-year old kicked on from that Classic defeat to win four of her next six starts - all Group Ones - and she is forgiven a lacklustre performance in the QEII Stakes where the soft ground and efforts of a hard season had surely taken their toll.

Freshened up since, she’ll appreciate a faster surface ahead of her return and if she arrives near to peak fitness then the tough and genuine performer could prove a very tough nut to crack. If taking her place in the line-up then she is chanced to make a winning return to action despite conceding race-fitness to some classy rivals.


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2019 Lockinge Stakes tips - Burke's 5/1 star filly can make winning return to action in Newbury's weekend feature

Brian Healy takes a runner-by-runner look ahead to Saturday's Group One feature race at Newbury, the Lockinge Stakes.

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