Limato on target as 41 entries unveiled for the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury

A total of 41 entries, five more than last year, are revealed today for the £350,000 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, May 14.

The Group One mile contest over the straight course at the Berkshire track is the early season highlight for older horses and has been won by stars Frankel, Canford Cliffs and Farhh in recent years.

Local handler Henry Candy is yet to send out a winner of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, although that could change this year with stable star Limato set for a step up in trip.

Unbeaten at two, Limato won on two of his five starts over six and seven furlongs last year including an impressive victory by three and three quarter lengths in the Group Two Park Stakes (7f) at Doncaster in September.

The four-year-old son of Tagula was also runner-up in the Group One Commonwealth Cup (6f) at Royal Ascot in June and the Group One Prix de la Foret (7f) at Longchamp in October. He has yet to run over a mile.

Candy, who is based near Wantage, said: “I am very happy with Limato and he is likely to go to Newbury for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

“The step up to a mile is purely experimental. I really would not know whether he would or wouldn’t get it, but on pedigree I think he should.

“I am happy to go straight to Newbury without a run.”

Richard Hannon has taken the last two renewals of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes with Night Of Thunder (2015) and Olympic Glory (2014) and has three contenders this time around. They are headed by last year’s runner-up Toormore, dual Group Two scorer Estidhkaar and Moheet who was recently third in Qatar.

Toormore’s owner Godolphin has three other entries, including Group One winner Belardo (Roger Varian) who ended last year with a close second to champion miler Solow in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO at Ascot on October 17.

Arabian Queen (David Elsworth) and Amazing Maria (David O’Meara) both enjoyed fantastic campaigns in 2015. Arabian Queen lowered the colours of Golden Horn in the Group One Juddmonte International at York in August, while Amazing Maria followed up her Royal Ascot success in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes with Group One triumphs at Newmarket (QIPCO Falmouth Stakes) and Deauville (Prix Rothschild). The last filly or mare to win the Lockinge Stakes was Red Evie in 2007.

The British-trained entries also include Royal Ascot scorers Time Test (Roger Charlton – Tercentenary Stakes) and Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills – Jersey Stakes), plus Group Two Celebration Mile victor Kodi Bear (Clive Cox) and Elm Park (Andrew Balding), winner of the Group One Racing Post Trophy in 2014.

Other eye-catching entries include Group One Sussex Stakes runner-up Arod (Peter Chapple-Hyam) and international Group One scorers Mondialiste (David O’Meara) and Euro Charline (Marco Botti), a recent second in the Group One Dubai Turf.

Australian import Vancouver spearheads five entries for Ireland’s champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien. The four-year-old carried all before him in four starts as a juvenile for Gai Waterhouse down under, culminating with a comfortable victory in the Group One Golden Slipper at Rosehill in March, 2015.

Coolmore acquired a controlling stake shortly afterwards in a deal that reportedly valued the son of Medaglia D’Oro at more than £20 million.

O’Brien has also engaged Group One scorer Dick Whittington, Cougar Mountain, The Happy Prince and one-time Derby hope Sir Isaac Newton.

The six Irish-trained entries for Newbury’s top Flat race are completed by Endless Drama (Ger Lyons), who has not run since chasing home Gleneagles in last year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas.

The French-trained entry is Maimara (Mikel Delzangles), a Group Three winner at Deauville in August.

The scratchings’ deadline for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, which is part of the British Champions Series, is at noon on Tuesday, April 26.

Al Shaqab Lockinge Day has total prize money of £750,000, with other highlights on the seven-race card including the £100,000 Group Three Al Rayyan Stakes over 12 furlongs and two £70,000 Listed prizes.

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

Class, Group 1, British Champions Series. 4.20pm, 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, five-day confirmation & £16,000 supplementary entry stage May 9, final declaration stage 10.00am, May 12.

Horse    Age Owner     Trainer

ADAAY (IRE)   4 Hamdan Al Maktoum   William Haggas

AMAZING MARIA (IRE) 5 Sir Robert Ogden   David O’Meara

ARABIAN QUEEN (IRE) 4 Jeff Smith    David Elsworth

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

CONVEY (GB)   4 Khalid Abdullah    Sir Michael Stoute

COUGAR MOUNTAIN (IRE) 5  Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith/Sue Magnier/Annemarie 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 Susan Roy and Cheveley Park Stud Charles Hills

ELM PARK   4 Qatar Racing Limited   Andrew Balding

ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE) 4 Sheikh Khalifa,Sheikh Suhaim/QRL Ger Lyons IRE

ESTIDHKAAR (IRE)  4 Hamdan Al Maktoum   Richard Hannon

EURO CHARLINE  5 Team Valor    Marco Botti

GABRIAL (IRE)  7 Dr Marwan Koukash   Richard Fahey

GM HOPKINS    5 Robin Geffen    John Gosden

HERE COMES WHEN (IRE) 6 Fitri Hay    Andrew Balding

HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE) 4 Flemington Bloodstock Partnership Hugo Palmer

IRISH ROOKIE (IRE)  4 Rick Barnes    Martyn Meade

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

MAIMARA (FR)  4 A Louis-Dreyfus    Mikel Delzangles FR

MITCHUM SWAGGER  4 Paul Dean & The Mitchum Swagger P’Ship David Lanigan

MITRAAD (IRE)  5 Hamdan Al Maktoum   William Haggas

MOHEET (IRE)  4 Al Shaqab Racing   Richard Hannon

MONDIALISTE (IRE)  6 Geoff & Sandra Turnbull   David O’Meara

MUTAKAYYEF   5 Hamdan Al Maktoum   William Haggas

MUWAARY   5 Hamdan Al Maktoum   John Gosden

MY DREAM BOAT (IRE) 4 Paul & Clare Rooney   Clive Cox

RICHARD PANKHURST 4 Godolphin    John Gosden

SIR ISAAC NEWTON  4 Derick 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

VANCOUVER (AUS)  4 Sue Magnier    Aidan O’Brien IRE

41 entries

6 Irish-trained

1 French-trained