Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes Preview and Odds – Horse Racing Betting May 20

Galileo colt can find Gold lining in the Lockinge

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Horse Racing Betting

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is billed as the first major mile contest for older horses in the Flat season and this year’s renewal has not disappointed in its quality.

Lockinge Stakes History and Trends

Contested over the straight mile at Newbury in Berkshire, the event is named after Lockinge, a former civil parish located to the north of Newbury. It was established in 1958 and originally open to horses aged three or older. The first running was won by that year’s 2000 Guineas Stakes winner Pall Mall and the horse repeated his success as a four-year-old in 1959.

The Lockinge Stakes was given Group 2 status in the 1970s but relegated to Group 3 level in 1983. Promoted back to Group 2 in 1985, it was raised to Group 1 level and closed to three-year-olds in 1995. It now forms part of the British Champions Series, being the second race in the mile division which concludes with the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in October. Winners of the Lockinge Stakes often go on to compete in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot with the mighty Frankel the last to win both races in the same year in 2012.

Four-year-olds have easily the best record in the Lockinge Stakes. That age group has won eight of the last 10 runnings with five-year-olds taking the other two. Older horses rarely take part and should be avoided if turning up (supporters of Lightning Spear take note).

Only 10 fillies have taken part since 2004 but three of those have won so Aidan O’Brien’s Somehow, who boasts consistent form at a high level, is no forlorn hope against the boys this year, though has never won over a mile and that puts her out of sync with the last 10 winners.

All recent winners had been officially rated 113 or higher so we can reduce the options further by taking out Breton Rock, Mitchum Swagger and Toscanini. Only one recent winner had run in the Lockinge before (Dutch Connection was ninth last year) and Group 1 form (placed at least) is important, which suggests we can put a line through Aclaim.

Ribchester is a worthy favourite at 9/4 on Betfair and new customers can get a £30 free bet through online-betting.me.uk.

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Ribchester won twice last year, including the Group 1 Jacques Le Marois at Deauville. He undoubtedly improved after finishing third behind Galileo Gold in last year’s 2000 Guineas and turned the tables on Hugo Palmer’s colt on a couple of occasions later. Yet Gailileo Gold also came out best in the Sussex Stakes so there is probably little between the pair at their best and that is not reflected in the current odds.

GALILEO GOLD is generally available at 10/3 in the Lockinge Stakes, sponsored by owners Al Shaqab Racing who won the race in 2014 Olympic Glory – that has to be the value as he won the 2000 Guineas on his first appearance last year. Ribchester’s owners, Godolphin, have won the race in three of the last four years, however, and will be keen to maintain their dominance – it should be a real battle between two high-class milers.

Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes Current Best Odds

Ribchester (9/4), Galileo Gold (10/3), Lightning Spear (5/1), Somehow (11/2), Aclaim (10/1), Dutch Connection (20/1), Breton Rock and Mitchum Swagger (40/1), Toscanini (50/1)