Minding and Ribchester head 21 acceptors for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
Minding (Aidan O’Brien) and Ribchester (Richard Fahey) feature among 21 confirmations for the £350,000 Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes over a mile at Newbury on Saturday, May 20, details of which are revealed today.
Both have made pleasing appearances this season, with Coolmore’s Minding capturing the 10-furlong G2 Mooresbridge Stakes on her return at Naas on Monday and Godolphin’s Ribchester finishing third in the G1 Dubai Turf over nine furlongs at Meydan in Dubai on March 25.
Four-year-old filly Minding, the 2016 Cartier Horse of the Year, prevailed by a half-length when the pair clashed in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over a mile at Ascot in October and is after her eighth G1 success.
Al Shaqab Racing’s Galileo Gold (Hugo Palmer) is on course for Newbury’s top Flat race after pleasing connections in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket’s Craven meeting last month.
He was the leading three-year-old miler in the early part of last season thanks to victories in the Newmarket Classic, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, and St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Stablemate Home Of The Brave, owned by Godolphin, may also run in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes after recording back-to-back victories in the seven-furlong Listed King Robert III Stakes at Leicester on April 29.
Qatar Racing’s Lightning Spear (David Simcock) is pencilled in to start his season at Newbury after a solid campaign last year.
The six-year-old Pivotal horse was placed twice at G1 level, including when a closing third behind Minding and Ribchester at Ascot, having gained a decisive success in the G2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood in August.
Newmarket trainer David Simcock commented about his stable star: “Lightning Spear is a very talented horse and I feel there is more to come. The priority with him is to try and win a Group One in England.
“There is a good programme for him and he will start off in the Lockinge at Newbury, go on to the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and then we’ll have a think.
“He goes on most ground and is training well.”
Minding’s handler and Ireland’s champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien has left in another top-class four-year-old filly in Alice Springs. The daughter of Galileo collected three G1 prizes last season and was just touched off at Naas on her return last month.
O’Brien’s seven entries also include Deauville, winner of last year’s G1 Belmont Derby, and improving four-year-old Somehow.
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes confirmations also include Aclaim (Martyn Meade) and Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills), both G2 winners over seven furlongs last season, plus the highly-regarded Listed winner Ennaadd (Roger Varian) and French entry Dicton (Gianluca Bietolini), who was seventh in G1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup at Sha Tin, Hong Kong, on April 30.
The valuable seven-race card on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day also features the £100,000 G3 Al Rayyan Aston Park Stakes over 12 furlongs, two £70,000 Listed contests and a £70,000 handicap.
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
Group 1, £350,000 Total prize fund, part of the British Champions Series. One mile (straight course), 2.55pm, Saturday, May 20. For four-year-olds and upwards. Weights: Colts and geldings 9st, fillies and mares 8st 11lb. Entries close April 4, entries revealed April 5 (28 entries), scratchings’ deadline May 2, five-day confirmation & £25,000 supplementary entry stage May 15. Final declarations 10am May 18.
|ACLAIM (IRE)||4||Canning Downs & Partner||Martyn Meade|
|ALICE SPRINGS (IRE)||4||Sue Magnier,Michae Tabor & Derrick Smith||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|BRETON ROCK (IRE)||7||John Cook||David Simcock|
|COUGAR MOUNTAIN (IRE)||6||M Tabor/D Smith/Sue Magnier/Annemarie O’Brien||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|DE CORONADO (USA)||4||Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|DEAUVILLE (IRE)||4||Fitri Hay/M Tabor/Sue Magnier/D Smith||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|DICTON||4||Robert Ng||Gianluca Bietolini FR|
|DUTCH CONNECTION||5||Godolphin||Charlie Hills|
|ENNAADD||4||Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum||Roger Varian|
|GALILEO GOLD||4||Al Shaqab Racing||Hugo Palmer|
|HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE)||5||Godolphin||Hugo Palmer|
|KOOL KOMPANY (IRE)||5||Kool Kompany Partnership||Richard Hannon|
|LIGHTNING SPEAR||6||Qatar Racing Limited||David Simcock|
|LONG ISLAND SOUND (USA)||4||D Smith/Sue Magnier/M Tabor/Joseph Allen||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|MINDING (IRE)||4||Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|MITCHUM SWAGGER||5||Paul Dean & The Mitchum Swagger P’Ship||David Lanigan|
|RIBCHESTER (IRE)||4||Godolphin||Richard Fahey|
|SOMEHOW (IRE)||4||Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|TASHWEEQ (IRE)||4||Hamdan Al Maktoum||John Gosden|
|TOSCANINI (IRE)||5||Godolphin||Richard Fahey|
|TRIBAL BEAT (IRE)||4||Godolphin||Jim Bolger IRE|
21 horses remain following May 2 scratchings’ deadine