A field of fifteen remain in contention for Newbury’s feature race of the Flat season, the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes on Saturday 18th May, following the latest scratching stage today.


The first older horse Group 1 of the season run over one mile is this year set to be run for an increased total prize fund of £400,000. Following a dramatic mid-race incident with the Richard Hannon-trained Chindit, William Buick rode Modern Games (C. Appleby) to victory last year. Charlie Appleby has no entries in this year’s renewal, however, Godolphin, who are seeking a tenth victory in the race, have Real World (S bin Suroor) and the French-trained Tribalist (A.Fabre) entered.


Tribalist is one of two potential challengers from across the Channel as Big Rock was left in the race following the latest confirmation stage. Having recently been moved yards by owner Yeguada Centurion, the winner of the 2023 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is now under the care of Maurizio Guarnieri. Big Rock will be seeking to reserve the form of the Prix Jacques le Marois when he was beaten one and a quarter lengths by the six-time Group 1 winner, Inspiral. Despite last being seen when winning over ten furlongs in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, connections have expressed intent to start her campaign this year back over a mile. As the only mare in the field, the daughter of Frankel would carry bottom weight of 8st13lb. The yard of John and Thady Gosden also hold entries with Audience and Lord North.


Lord North was last seen finishing third in the Group 2 bet365 Mile behind Poker Face (S & E. Crisford) and Charyn (R. Varian), both of whom remain in contention for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. The improving grey, Charyn, backed up his victory in the Listed Doncaster Mile Stakes when landing the bet365 Mile convincingly to remain unbeaten this year. Witch Hunter also made his seasonal reappearance at Sandown Park finishing four and a half lengths behind Charyn. The 2023 Group 2 BetVictor Hungerford Stakes winner has been left in the race by trainer Richard Hannon who confirmed: “He had his warm-up run at Sandown where he ran super, he gets a bit of a pudding over the winter so he would have needed the run big time and that will hopefully put him just right for the Lockinge.”


Following wind surgery in January, Hi Royal (K. Ryan) made his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes, staying on well to finish third behind the ultra-consistent Ottoman Fleet. Royal Scotsman (P & O. Cole) remains in contention despite having not been seen on a racecourse since the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes on 20th June 2023. The Karl Burke-trained Flight Plan is another not to have been sent yet this season, following his victory in the Group 2 Dullingham Park Stakes in September 2023. Trained in Ireland by Joseph G.Murphy, Lord Massusus ran in a Listed contest at Leopardstown on April 10 ahead of a potential visit to Newbury. Dear My Friend (C. Johnston) and Elegant Man (A. Murray) have both landed valuable pots on the All-Weather this winter and hold entries in Newbury’s Group 1 feature race of the Flat season.


The next confirmation stage is on Monday 13 May, five days before The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes when supplementary entries can also be made for a fee of £20,000. The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes will once again feature as part of the World Pool fixture list.


Tickets for the Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 18th May are currently available with advance saver discount tickets being available until Friday 10th May.


Full entries for the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes – Saturday 18 May