Arod set to drop down in trip for Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday
Arod is set to have his first outing over a mile for 18 months in the £350,000 Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, May 16, Al Shaqab Lockinge Day.
The four-year-old son of Teofilo, who is trained in Newmarket by Peter Chapple-Hyam and owned by Qatar Racing, won twice over 10 furlongs in 2014 and ran some excellent races in defeat, most notably when fourth to Australia in the 12-furlong Investec Derby at Epsom Downs and when runner-up to The Grey Gatsby in York’s Dante Stakes.
His final outing of 2014 saw him finish fifth to Australia in the Juddmonte International over 10 furlongs at York in August, when he raced very keenly, while he made a pleasing seasonal reappearance when the three-quarter length runner-up in the nine-furlong Group Three Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket on April 16.
Chapple-Hyam reported today: “Arod is very well. It was a good comeback at Newmarket and obviously a mile is a new thing for him. We don’t really want to see any rain.
“We are going to give it a go over a mile on Saturday and see what happens. He raced a bit keenly over further last season and so that is why we are giving it a go.
“The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is sure to be a tough race and there will be no hiding place. Arod is in the Queen Anne Stakes and the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, so Newbury will give us a pointer as to where we go with him this season.”
A total of 19 five-day confirmations remained for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, although French challenger Karakontie will miss the race with a minor foot problem.
Richard Hannon, who sent out Olympic Glory to victory 12 months ago, is due to be represented by last year’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder and 2013 European champion two-year-old Toormore.
Dual Group One-winning mare Integral will aim to provide Sir Michael Stoute with an eighth success in the race, while Moohaarib, representing Marco Botti, is set to step up in class following an easy recent Listed win at Ascot.
Chance for racegoers to win a fabulous trip to Qatar
There will be a chance for racegoers on Saturday to win a fabulous holiday for two to the 2016 Qatar Racing Festival next February. The trip includes return flights to Doha, a week’s hotel accommodation and tickets to every day of the Festival.
Racegoers need to complete an entry form, available in the official racecard and elsewhere on site, predict the winner of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes and return their entry to one of the boxes located in the Grandstand or Berkshire Stand receptions before 3.40pm. The winner will be drawn in the Parade Ring at approximately 4.30pm, after the Haras de Bouquetot Fillies Trial Stakes.
Al Shaqab Lockinge Day also features three Listed contests, starting with the £100,000 Al Rayyan Stakes (2.00pm) over 12 furlongs, which could feature last year’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes runner-up Telescope.
Group Two winners Baitha Alga, Beacon and Jungle Cat feature among 26 contenders for the £70,000 Toronado Carnarvon Stakes (2.35pm) over six furlongs for three-year-olds.
Peter Chapple-Hyam is set to be represented in the Toronado Carnarvon Stakes by Ahlan Emarati. The son of Holy Roman Emperor made a winning debut at Bath last season and went on to perform consistently in Pattern company, finishing third in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, runner-up in the Group Two Railway Stakes at the Curragh and third in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at York. He ran disappointingly on his final start of 2014, when 13th in the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster.
Chapple-Hyam continued: “Ahlan Emarati will also be heading to Newbury and this will hopefully tell us if he is good enough to go for the new Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
“He is very well and I am very happy with him but, like all mine, he will improve for a run. He is another horse who wouldn’t want too much rain – the quicker the better for him. The ground was probably a bit soft for him at Doncaster on his final run last year.”
Eye-catching maiden winners Crystal Zvezda, Martlet and Pamona head 16 entries for the 10-furlong £70,000 Haras de Bouquetot Fillies Trial Stakes (4.20pm).
High-class handicap action is provided by the £70,000 Al Zubarah London Gold Cup (3.10pm, 22 entries) and the seven-race programme is bookended by the six-furlong £50,000 Olympic Glory Conditions Race (1.25pm, 14 entries) and the £40,000 Planteur Handicap (4.55pm, 29 entries) over a mile.
Final declarations for all seven races on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day will be made tomorrow, Thursday, May 14.
Al Shaqab Racing and Newbury Racecourse have teamed up to offer free Grandstand entry to all racegoers aged 22 and under, to celebrate Al Shaqab’s sponsorship. Racegoers who wish to take advantage of this offer should bring Photo ID on the day and head for the Grandstand entrance. This offer is in addition to the BHA-approved initiative announced last week that offers free entry for all Stable Staff with a Stable Pass on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day.
The first 1,958 racegoers to arrive at Newbury on Saturday will be given a free Al Shaqab Lockinge Day cap, to mark the start of Al Shaqab’s sponsorship and to celebrate the fact that the Lockinge Stakes was first run in 1958.
Newbury also races on Friday, May 15, which is Starlight Charity Raceday. Starlight is a charity which grants wishes to seriously and terminally ill children by entertaining over half a million children every year in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK.
Declarations were made today for the eight races on Starlight Charity Raceday. The richest race on Friday is the £30,000 Luck Greayer Bloodstock Handicap (2.55pm) over six furlongs, for which there are 10 declarations including 2009 Ayr Gold Cup and French Group Three scorer Jimmy Styles (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby).