Addeybb heads competitive 19 for G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday
Addeybb heads 19 five-day confirmations today for the £350,000 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, the Group One highlight over a mile at Newbury on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Saturday, May 20.
Trained in Newmarket by William Haggas, who has yet to win the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, Addeybb has looked a G1 horse in the making in two starts so far this season and has been successful on five of his seven starts.
The four-year-old made a mockery of handicap rating of 99 in the valuable Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster on March 24, defeating Lord Glitters by two and three-quarter lengths, and took another step forward when scoring impressively by the same margin in the G2 Sandown Mile on April 27.
Champion trainer in both Ireland and Britain, Aidan O’Brien, is set to be doubly represented by dual G1 winner Rhododendron and G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile second Lancaster Bomber.
Rhododendron finished fourth behind Cracksman on her comeback in the G1 Prix Ganay over 10 furlongs at Longchamp, France, on April 29.
O’Brien said today: “Lancaster Bomber would want nice ground, whereas Rhododendron is a little bit more versatile.
“We have been happy Rhododendron. She ran in France over a mile and a quarter and we weren’t sure she got the mile and a quarter, which is why we are coming back in trip. It is a new distance for her – she has not run over this distance since she ran in the Guineas (second to stable companion Winter in May, 2017, at Newmarket).
“Lancaster Bomber is good. We think he is a miler who maybe gets nine furlongs. Fast ground is important to him. He is in good shape.”
O’Brien’s four entries are completed by US G1 scorer Deauville and G3 winner War Decree. O’Brien won the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes with Hawk Wing in 2003.
Suedois (David O’Meara) enjoyed a lucrative end to 2017. In September, the seven-year-old took the G2 Boomerang Stakes over a mile at Leopardstown on Irish Champions weekend and followed up that success with a triumphant transatlantic raid when successful in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on October 7.
On his final outing of the year, he was fourth, beaten a length and three-quarters, in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on November 4, after not enjoying the clearest of runs.
O’Meara, who is based in North Yorkshire, said today: “The plan is to run Suedois in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
“All seems fine with him. With his G1 penalty, there are few options with him and so we have to start off in a race like the Lockinge.”
Crack sprinter Limato (Henry Candy) is set to try a mile again in this race, having finished fourth behind Belardo in the 2016 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. The six-year-old gelding has an excellent record over shorter trips headed by victories in the G1 July Cup over six furlongs and G1 Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs.
Another top sprinter in the reckoning is G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint victor Librissa Breeze (Dean Ivory).
Beat The Bank (Andrew Balding) reeled off a hat-trick of wins in mile contests last season, including impressive victories in the G3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood and the G2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket.
Five-year-old Zabeel Prince (Roger Varian) is lightly-raced after six starts and made a promising comeback in the Listed Doncaster Mile in March, when he scored by two and a half lengths.
David Simcock has two proven performers among the confirmations in G2 victors Lightning Spear and Breton Rock, who finished second and third 12 months ago, while Zonderland is one of two going forward for Lambourn trainer Clive Cox.
Godolphin, with eight winners, is the most successful owner in Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes history and could be represented by multiple Group race victor Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills).
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the second race in the mile division of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Newbury’s seven-race programme on Saturday also features two £70,000 Listed contests and the 12-furlong £100,000 G3 Al Rayyan Stakes, which has reopened for entries until 11am tomorrow, May 15.
Fighting Irish (Harry Dunlop), a G2 winner in France last season, plus Royal Ascot scorers Sioux Nation (Aidan O’Brien IRE) and Sound And Silence (Charlie Appleby) are among 24 entries for the Listed Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes (1.50pm) over six furlongs. The Mark Johnston-trained pair of Threading and Cardsharp, both successful at G2 level last season, are also engaged.
Eye-catching Sandown Park scorer Crystal Hope (Sir Michael Stoute) is one of 16 entries for the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes (4.50pm) over 10 furlongs, which could provide some Classic pointers towards next month’s Investec Oaks at Epsom. Her relation Crystal Zvezda won this race impressively in 2015.
The £70,000 Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap (3.00pm, 19 entries) is usually a good pointer to future stars, with Al Kazeem (2011), Cannock Chase (2014) and Defoe (2017) among the recent winners.
Newmarket trainer Roger Varian could bid follow up Defoe’s success with Masaarr, who finished strongly to win a mile handicap at Doncaster on May 5. King’s Proctor (Mark Johnston) and Sovereign Duke (Henry Candy), who have both performed creditably in Classic trials this spring, are also entered.
The other two races on Newbury’s Saturday card are the £50,000 Olympic Glory Conditions Race (4.15pm, 26 entries) over six furlongs for two-year-olds and the £40,000 Toronado Handicap (5.25pm, 18 entries) over a mile.
Newbury also stages its annual Starlight Charity Raceday on Friday, May 19, with a seven-race programme starting at 2.00pm.
The going at Newbury is currently: Good to Firm
The forecast for the week ahead is for dry conditions, with sunny spells. There will be watering as necessary to maintain conditions.