International stars feature among 36 entries for Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

A fantastic entry of 36 has been received for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Saturday, May 16.

 The mile contest on turf is the early season highlight for older horses and boasts a much-improved prize fund of £350,000, 64 per cent up on last year’s £214,000.

Exciting international entries are headlined by America’s 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome (Art Sherman). The four-year-old won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes impressively last year, though he was beaten in his bid for the US Triple Crown when going down by two lengths to Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes over a mile and a half.

California Chrome subsequently finished third in the 10-furlong Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, beaten a nose and a neck, and made his first start of 2015 when runner-up to Prince Bishop in the Dubai World Cup, also over 10 furlongs on dirt, at Meydan on March 28.

He won on his only appearance on turf, capturing the Grade One Hollywood Derby over nine furlongs at Del Mar in November and could make his European debut in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

Another US-trained entry is Mshawish (Todd Pletcher), successful in a nine-furlong Grade One turf contest at Gulfstream Park in February and third in the Group One Dubai Turf over the same distance at Meydan on March 28.

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the likely starting point for last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Karakontie (Jonathan Pease). The four-year-old, who also enjoyed Classic success in the French 2,000 Guineas, is one of five French-trained contenders for the Newbury race over a straight mile.

Alan Cooper, racing manager to Karakontie’s owner the Niarchos Family, said: “Karakontie has wintered well and the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the race we are looking at.

“We will obviously have to see nearer the time but we feel he is a horse who needs good ground so he may well make his reappearance at Newbury. We have also entered a pacemaker, Maximum Velocity.

“Karakontie won very well at the Breeders’ Cup and there was no fluke about his performance in America. After he won the French 2,000 Guineas, we got him ready for the Prix du Jockey Club but he did not appreciate the extra distance and it took him a long time to get over it.

“He was not really sparking and it was not until the second half of September that he really began to flourish again. He got massacred in the Foret but kept improving and in California he was in top form.

“The objective after the Lockinge Stakes will be the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Then you have got races like the Sussex Stakes and the Prix Jacques Les Marois – essentially he will be kept to the top mile races.”

The French-trained contenders for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes are completed by Group One winner Ectot (Elie Lellouche), last season’s French 2,000 Guineas runner-up Prestige Vendome (Nicholas Clement) and high-class filly Bawina (Carlos Laffon-Parias).

Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien gained victory in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes with the impressive Hawk Wing in 2003 and has entered last season’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes runner-up Due Diligence plus Cougar Mountain and Oklahoma City.

Britain’s champion trainer Richard Hannon sent out Olympic Glory to claim the spoils last year in his first season with a training licence and is likely to run last year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas victor Night Of Thunder and Toormore, who was Europe’s champion two-year-old in 2013.

Other high-profile entries include Integral (Sir Michael Stoute) and Rizeena (Clive Brittain), who are both dual Grade One winners.

Harry Herbert, Racing Advisor to Al Shaqab Racing, commented: “The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the focal point of a hugely valuable and important international raceday.

“I am delighted that the strength of this year’s entries from around the world provides such an outstanding vote of confidence in the race.”

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, which was founded in 1958, has a tremendous roll of honour.

Pall Mall, owned by Her Majesty The Queen, won the first two runnings and other star performers to win the Newbury contest included Queens Hussar (1963), Silly Season (1966), Habitat (1969), the great Brigadier Gerard (1972), Boldboy (1974), Kris (1980),  Cormorant Wood (1984 – dead-heated with Wassl) and Selkirk (1992).

The race was elevated to Group One status in 1995 and has continued to attract top-class horses. First Island’s success in 1997 came before three successive victories for Godolphin runners – Cape Cross, Fly To The Stars and Aljabr. Hawk Wing’s romp in 2003 was followed by Russian Rhythm (2004) and Ratki (2005).

Successive wins for trainer Richard Hannon senior with Paco Boy (2010) and Canford Cliffs (2011) preceded fantastic Frankel who dominated in 2012. Farrh (2013) gave Godolphin another victory, while Al Shabaq Racing notched up a first success in the race in 2014 with Olympic Glory.

 The five-year sponsorship deal by Al Shaqab Racing will see Al Shaqab Lockinge Day include the Haras de Bouquetot Fillies Trial Stakes (3yo, 10f, £70,000) and the Listed Toronado Carnarvon Stakes (3yo, 6f, £70,000), both previously run the day before.

The Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap (10f, £70,000), the Listed Al Rayyan Stakes (12f, £100,000), the Olympic Glory Conditions Stakes (2yo, 6f, £50,000) and the Planteur Handicap (1m, £40,000) are the other races on the splendid seven-race card.

Tickets for Al Shaqab Lockinge Day start at £22.

Book now online.

 

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

Group 1, £350,000 total prize fund. One mile, Newbury, Saturday, May 16, 2015. For four-year-olds and upwards. Weights: colts and geldings 9st, fillies & mares 8st 11lb. Entries closed March 31, entries revealed April 1 (36 entries), scratchings deadline April 28, five-day confirmations & £16,000 entry stage May 11, final declarations May 14.

 

Horse

Age

Owner Trainer
ALJAMAAHEER (IRE)

6

Hamdan Al Maktoum Roger Varian
AROD (IRE)

4

Qatar Racing Limited Peter Chapple-Hyam
BAWINA (IRE)

4

Wertheimer et Frere Carlos Laffon-Parias FR
BOW CREEK (IRE)

4

Godolphin Charlie Appleby
BRETON ROCK (IRE)

5

John Cook David Simcock
CABLE BAY (IRE)

4

Julie Martin & David Martin & Partner Charles Hills
CALIFORNIA CHROME (USA)

4

Perry Martin & Steve Coburn Art Sherman USA
CAPE PERON

5

The Earl Cadogan Henry Candy
CAPTAIN CAT (IRE)

6

Seasons Holidays Roger Charlton
COUGAR MOUNTAIN (IRE)

4

Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith/Sue Magnier/AnneMarie O’Brien Aidan O’Brien IRE
CUSTOM CUT (IRE)

6

Gary Douglas & Pat Breslin David O’Meara
DUE DILIGENCE (USA)

4

Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
ECTOT

4

Al Shaqab Racing Elie Lellouche FR
EKTIHAAM (IRE)

6

Hamdan Al Maktoum Roger Varian
FASCINATING ROCK (IRE)

4

Newtown Anner Stud Farm Dermot Weld IRE
GRAPHIC (IRE)

6

The Royal Ascot Racing Club William Haggas
HERE COMES WHEN (IRE)

5

Fitri Hay Andrew Balding
HORS DE COMBAT

4

Chris van Hoorn James Fanshawe
INTEGRAL

5

Cheveley Park Stud Sir Michael Stoute
KARAKONTIE (JPN)

4

Niarchos Family Jonathan Pease FR
MASTER CARPENTER (IRE)

4

Links Partnership/Cheveley Park Stud Rod Millman
MAXIMUM VELOCITY (FR)

5

Niarchos Family Jonathan Pease FR
MOOHAARIB (IRE)

4

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum Marco Botti
MSHAWISH (USA)

5

Al Shaqab Racing Todd Pletcher USA
MUTAKAYYEF

4

Hamdan Al Maktoum William Haggas
NIGHT OF THUNDER (IRE)

4

Godolphin Richard Hannon
OKLAHOMA CITY

4

Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
PRESTIGE VENDOME (FR)

4

A de Ganay/C Baillet/G Pariente Nicolas Clement FR
RIZEENA (IRE)

4

Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum Clive Brittain
SHIFTING POWER

4

Elaine Chivers & Potensis B’stock Ltd Richard Hannon
SLOANE AVENUE (USA)

4

Susan Roy Jeremy Noseda
TOORMORE (IRE)

4

Middleham Park Racing IX & James Pak Richard Hannon
TOP NOTCH TONTO (IRE)

5

Keith Brown Brian Ellison
TRADE STORM

7

Qatar Racing Limited David Simcock
TULLIUS (IRE)

7

Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds VI Andrew Balding
YUFTEN

4

Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar William Haggas

 

36 entries

5 French-trained

4 Irish-trained

2 US-trained

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