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Wide open Lockinge to look forward to

18 May 2018

It’s a chance for the older generation of Milers to take centre stage at Newbury on Saturday in the Al Shaqab Lockinge.

My ride Lightning Spear isn’t getting any younger, but there’s plenty to like about his chances in what is a very open Al Shaqab Lockinge. He may be older, but he’s still relatively lightly raced and hasn’t had too much of a hard time in his career. I’m hopeful he can go well in the race he came 2nd in last year- beaten only by the top European Miler Ribchester.

Looking at the rest of the field it’s full of potential at the top of the current market. Addeybb is facing very different ground to what he experienced at Sandown. He’s a horse that is on the up and it’ll be interesting to see how he does now on a faster surface.

Beat The Bank is a horse I know well having ridden him both on the track and at home. I’ve sat on him recently and he’ll be ready and fit to start the season, but will almost certainly come on for the run regardless. If he runs anywhere near his best, I think he could be the benchmark. On the face of it Andrew Balding’s  form doesn’t look great at the moment, but a few of his horses have run well and been unlucky not to win- so that doesn’t put me off his chances at all.

Limato has got the drying ground he so desperately needs which is a big positive with him stepping up a furlong in trip to a mile. While there are questions marks about the trip; he’s won over 7f on multiple occasions, including a big win in the Prix de la Foret, so I can 100% see why they’re going for it. I think he’s a really live contender. You also can’t rule out Rhododendron  who has had her issues, but has plenty of speed and is dropping back in trip.

In the Listed opening race I ride Stone Of Destiny who I rode to win on his last run. He’s a hold up horse who I’ll be looking to come late with. He has plenty of speed but the question mark for him is we’re not quite sure how fit he is. His last win was over 5f but he did win his maiden at Newcastle over 6f; which makes me think this step up to 6f tomorrow will suit him.

Loyal Promise is a horse I really like. In time he’s going to be a staying horse. He was beaten in a competitive novice event at Windsor. Hopefully we get a strong pace at Newbury and  I think I he can be competitive of his mark.

In the last I ride Commander Cole for Saeed Bin Suroor. He needed the run at Thirsk where he finished fourth and he’ll be better for that. He  has every opportunity in this.

Horse To Follow: Amplify

Brian Meehan’s colt caught the eye on debut when finishing 2nd of 10 at odds of 40/1 Ascot. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the Winners’ Enclosure in the not too distant future.