Lockinge Stakes: Key contenders, verdict and an outsider for Saturday’s Group 1

Newbury Racecourse

There’s plenty of quality action to look forward to on Saturday and Newbury’s Lockinge Stakes is the feature race of the day. The Group 1 event is the first top level race of the season for the older milers and it should be an informative race. We’ve previewed the big race and established the five major contenders, whilst providing a verdict and an outsider to follow. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.


Main contenders

2. Big Rock

French raider Big Rock had a phenomenally consistent campaign last term and rounded it off perfectly with an utterly dominant display in the the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions’ Day. Softer ground might be preferred but he’s likely to run his race either way.

11. Inspiral

John & Thady Gosden’s mare got the better of Big Rock in the Prix Jacques La Marois at Deauville last season and followed that up with another two successive Group 1 victories. Connections will be praying for no rain but she’s a top class horse and has every chance.

3. Charyn

Roger Varian’s four-year-old appears to have taken a step forward this year and he backed up his impressive victory in a Doncaster Listed race with further success in Group 2 company when last seen. This is a step up but he does have a fitness advantage over his main market rivals.

7. Poker Face

This horse was progressive last term but he appears to be a level below what’s required here. Second to Charyn last time out, he looks vulnerable from a win point of view here. It wouldn’t be the craziest result in the world but he’s probably best watched.

9. Royal Scotsman

He was right up there with the best of them as a two-year-old and he confirmed that promise when a good third in last year’s 2000 Guineas. Paul & Oliver Cole’s colt failed to find that level of form in three subsequent starts however and he’ll need more to feature here.


Verdict

Big Rock hardly put a foot wrong last season and his consistency will serve him well during his four-year-old campaign. A repeat of his Queen Elizabeth II Stakes run would surely be enough to take this and another top performance is anticipated.


Outsider to follow

Hi Royal sprung a surprise when second in the 2000 Guineas last year and a repeat of that effort would give him every chance of making the frame. Despite disappointing since, he has it in him to run a big race at an even bigger price.


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