Richard Hannon Seeking Third Victory In Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
RICHARD HANNON SEEKING THIRD VICTORY IN AL SHAQAB LOCKINGE STAKES
Richard Hannon Jr is bidding to match his father’s record of three winners in this Saturday’s Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. Richard Hannon Snr won the Lockinge in 1993, 2010 and 2011, having already won the race in 2014 with Olympic Glory and in 2015 with Night of Thunder, Hannon Jr is seeking a third victory in Newbury’s feature race of their flat season. Following confirmation stage, sixteen remain in the £350,000 showpiece, the second contest in the mile category of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Local trainer Richard Hannon saddles both Chindit and the Al Shaqab owned Lusail who were most recently seen in the Paradise Stakes at Ascot. Hannon commented on Chindit’s Listed victory to start his campaign, “They have both come out of the race very well. Lusail we will probably ride him a bit handier in the Lockinge and I was very pleased with Chindit’s performance. Both would have needed the race, they are both quite big lads now, so they will have improved a lot for that.”
The 2022 Al Shaqab Lockinge was won in very impressive style by the William Haggas trained superstar Baaeed. Chindit ran a very respectable race to finish third and Hannon is hopeful that a repeat performance may be good enough for victory this year: “in the race last year he pulled a little bit and he’s not doing that his year, he seems much more relaxed. For me, he has got much more of a middle than he has ever had in his life, and he looks more like a finished article. I was very pleased with last year’s run; he didn’t really stand a chance at beating Baaeed but there isn’t a Baaeed this year and I’m very hopeful. Lusail is capable of anything on his day as well, he was very unlucky in the Guineas and missed the gate, they are two very solid horses and if there are any chinks in the armour of the so-called superstars, they will find them.”
With the going currently described as good to soft, soft in places, Hannon will be hoping for a dry week in West Berkshire with quick going preferable for both Lusail and Chindit, whereas Mutasaabeq has proven to enjoy softer conditions.
Mutasaabeq, locally trained in Lambourn, will look to back up his win in the bet365 Mile in Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. A comfortable winner of the Group 2 mile contest on the Rowley Mile, trainer Charlie Hills is pleased with the Shadwell owned five-year-old, “He has come out of his race at Newmarket well and he did a breeze at Lingfield on Saturday which we were pleased with. He was obviously impressive at Newmarket, which is a track that suits him well, we would like to think he could follow up in similar style at Newbury this weekend.”
Despite top level success internationally in America, Canada and France, Modern Games has yet to have secured a domestic Group 1 victory. The Charlie Appleby trained son of Dubawi was second to 2022 Lockinge winner Baaeed in the Sussex Stakes before finishing runner up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes to Bayside Boy. The four-year-old heads the betting ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 at Newbury. Godolphin hold two entries in the race, the second representative is the Andre Fabre trained Tribalist. Last seen when winning the Group 2 Prix du Muguet in impressive fashion, the son of Farhh would be having his first run on English soil and bidding to win three on the bounce in 2023 with ground conditions of no concern for the sole French raider.
Last year’s winning trainer, William Haggas, holds an entry with My Prospero. Last seen finishing third in the Champion Stakes, the son of Iffraaj will be dropping back in trip for his first run of 2023. The John and Thady Gosden trained Laurel is the only filly remaining in the race following confirmation stage. The daughter of Kingman, beaten in only one of her four careers starts, is looking to back up her victory in the Listed Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes. Jadoomi (S & E Crisford) and Checkandchallenge (W Knight), third and fourth respectively in the 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, are both seeking maiden Group 1 success. Light Infantry (D Simcock) who was running on well when third in the bet365 mile behind Mutasaabeq also holds an entry in Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.