Hills hoping Dutch can step up in Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
Ante-post favourite Limato heads 31 acceptors for the £350,000 Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, May 14.
Trained by Henry Candy, the four-year-old was an impressive three and a half-length winner of the Group Two Park Stakes at Doncaster in September. He is yet to run over a mile.
Last year’s neck runner-up Toormore (Richard Hannon) proved he is as good as ever on his seasonal debut with a gutsy victory over Dutch Connection in the Group Two bet365 Mile at Sandown Park on April 22.
Lambourn trainer Charlie Hills is hoping Dutch Connection can reverse the form at Newbury. The four-year-old landed the Group Three Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and was just touched off by Territories in the Group One Prix Jean Prat over a mile.
Hills said: “Dutch Connection has come out of Sandown very well and will now go to Newbury.
“I think he is up to that level and quicker ground will suit because he has plenty of speed. The horse who beat him at Sandown was second last year when arguably unlucky.
“Dutch Connection has obviously done his winning at places like Ascot so the straight track will suit. All being well, I think we have got a good chance.”
Other high-profile confirmations include Group Two Joel Stakes scorer Time Test (Roger Charlton, pictured) and Kodi Bear (Clive Cox), who captured the Group Two Celebration Mile impressively at Goodwood last season.
Group One scorers Amazing Maria (David O’Meara) and Arabian Queen (David Elsworth) are among four mares still engaged. The pair are joined by Euro Charline (Marco Botti), runner-up in the Group One Dubai Turf last time out, and French challenger Maimara (Mikel Delzangles).
Mahsoob (John Gosden) is likely to drop back in trip after winning the Group Three Earl Of Sefton Stakes over nine furlongs at Newmarket, while Home Of The Brave (Hugo Palmer) is set to go up in trip after an impressive Listed success over seven furlongs at Leicester on April 23.
There are five Irish-trained entries going forward, including last year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas runner-up Endless Drama (Ger Lyons) and four from the powerful stable of Aidan O’Brien – Cougar Mountain, Dick Whittington, Sir Issac Newton and The Happy Prince.
The five-day confirmation stage for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is on Monday, May 9, when supplementary entries can also be made at a cost of £16,000.
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
Group 1, British Champions Series, £350,000 total prize fund. 3.55pm, Newbury, Saturday, May 14, 2016. For 4yo+, one mile (straight course). Weights: colts & geldings 9st; fillies 8st 11lb. Entries closed March 29, entries revealed March 30 (41 entries), scratchings deadline April 26 (31 go forward), five-day confirmation & £16,000 supplementary entry stage May 9, final declaration stage 10.00am, May 12.
|ADAAY (IRE)||4||Hamdan Al Maktoum||William Haggas|
|AROD (IRE)||5||Qatar Racing Limited||Peter Chapple-Hyam|
|BARCHAN (USA)||4||Godolphin||Roger Varian|
|BELARDO (IRE)||4||Godolphin & Prince A A Faisal||Roger Varian|
|BRETON ROCK (IRE)||6||John Cook||David Simcock|
|CELESTIAL PATH (IRE)||4||Gordon Woodall & Prof Caroline Tisdall||Sir Mark Prescott Bt|
|COUGAR MOUNTAIN (IRE)||5||Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith/Sue Magnier/Mrs O’Brien||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|COUNTERMEASURE||4||Khalid Abdullah||Roger Charlton|
|DARK EMERALD (IRE)||6||K Rhatigan||Brendan Powell|
|DICK WHITTINGTON (IRE)||4||Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|DUTCH CONNECTION||4||Mrs Susan Roy and Cheveley Park Stud||Charles Hills|
|ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||4||Sheikh Khalifa,Sheikh Suhaim/QRL||Ger Lyons IRE|
|ESTIDHKAAR (IRE)||4||Hamdan Al Maktoum||Richard Hannon|
|GABRIAL (IRE)||7||Dr Marwan Koukash||Richard Fahey|
|GM HOPKINS||5||Robin Geffen||John Gosden|
|HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE)||4||Flemington Bloodstock Partnership||Hugo Palmer|
|JOHNNY BARNES (IRE)||4||Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing Limited||John Gosden|
|KODI BEAR (IRE)||4||Olive Shaw||Clive Cox|
|LIMATO (IRE)||4||Paul Jacobs||Henry Candy|
|MAHSOOB||5||Hamdan Al Maktoum||John Gosden|
|MOHEET (IRE)||4||Al Shaqab Racing||Richard Hannon|
|MONDIALISTE (IRE)||6||Geoff & Sandra Turnbull||David O’Meara|
|MUTAKAYYEF||5||Hamdan Al Maktoum||William Haggas|
|SIR ISAAC NEWTON||4||Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|THE HAPPY PRINCE (IRE)||4||Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith||Aidan O’Brien IRE|
|TIME TEST||4||Khalid Abdullah||Roger Charlton|
|TOORMORE (IRE)||5||Godolphin||Richard Hannon|
|AMAZING MARIA (IRE)||5||Sir Robert Ogden||David O’Meara|
|ARABIAN QUEEN (IRE)||4||Jeff Smith||David Elsworth|
|EURO CHARLINE||5||Team Valor||Marco Botti|
|MAIMARA (FR)||4||A Louis-Dreyfus||Mikel Delzangles FR|
31 entries remain following April 26 scratchings deadline