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Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2)
Won by the great Frankel in 2010, the race has provided a strong mix over the years with Mister Baileys winning a Guineas, Benny The Dip a Derby and more recent winners Elm Park and Foundation both following up in the Racing Post Trophy. Our expert preview for the 2017 Royal Lodge Stakes is below.
IN SUMMARY: Herculean is very well bred and won nicely on debut at Ascot three weeks ago, so is entitled to obvious respect. That said, ready preference is for Aidan O’Brien’s NELSON, who arrives here on the back of a commanding victory at Leopardstown in a Group 3. He made most that day and quickened away impressively, with a soft lead likely today. Conditions are to suit and he should have too much for these rivals under Ryan Moore.
1 HERCULEAN – Son of Frankel who is a brother to Fair Eva and made the best possible start to his career when winning an Ascot maiden in promising style. He’s unexposed and should shape up to be a smart horse in time, so does command respect as this extra furlong will be a huge help.
2 MIDNIGHT WILDE – Rated 37 pounds inferior to Nelson, with his best effort coming in a very weak Novice at Yarmouth which he won. None of his previous form his suggests he can get close and he’s likely to be tailed off very early on.
3 MILDENBERGER – Three wins from four starts, though his best effort came when third to Expert Eye in the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. The form has been franked by Seahenge and James Garfield, so he’s an obvious danger as he posses a fine attitude to the job.
4 NELSON – Progressive sort for Aidan O’Brien who won a maiden at the third attempt before making most to win a Group 3 at Leopardstown earlier this month. He showed a smart turn of foot that day and should get a soft lead again, which should make him very tough to beat here under Ryan Moore as the best is yet to come.
5 PETRUS – Shaped with some promise on debut and confirmed that when winning a Sandown Novice back in July, readily drawing clear late on. This however is a massive step up in class and he’s unlikely to be good enough, as others have achieved far more.
6 ROARING LION – Won on debut at Newmarket in August and backed that up with a comfortable victory at Kempton three weeks ago. He’s a highly promising sort who could be anything and has to be respected, though he’s bumping into some smart rivals and he may just have his limitations exposed today.