Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes – Horse Racing Betting May 19

Rhododendron can bloom in the Lockinge Stakes

Horse Racing Betting

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the first major mile contest for older horses in the UK Flat season. This year’s field of 16 is bigger than usual but the quality has not been diluted with several Group 1 winners in the line-up and a couple of improvers enriching the mix.

Lockinge Stakes History and Trends

Contested over the straight mile at Newbury in Berkshire, the race is named after Lockinge, a village located on the border of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. 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 nine of the last 11 runnings with five-year-olds taking the other two. Older horses rarely take part and should be avoided if turning up.
  • Only 11 fillies have taken part since 2004 but three of those have won.¬†Aidan O’Brien saddled Somehow to finish fourth last year and runs another filly, Rhododendron, who might have better credentials.
  • The last 11 winners had all won over a mile previously.
  • All recent winners had been officially rated 113 or higher.

Addeybb has won five of his seven starts and has begun to take giant strides this year. He won the bet365 Mile at Sandown last month in taking fashion having landed the 32Red Lincoln in March. He ticks all the boxes except the fact that he hasn’t raced on anything quicker than good ground so far.

Age and distance may count against the classy Limato and¬†LIGHTNING SPEAR is also older that preferred age range. However, David Simcock’s seven-year-old was second in the race last year and comes to hand early. He will be at home on the surface and is available at 25/1 in places. That is excellent each-way value considering he finished ahead of Zonderland, Beat The Bank and Lancaster Bomber when sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.

The lightly-raced¬†Alexios Komnenos could run better than his 40/1 quote from BetVictor suggests but it’s no surprise to see RHODODENDRON installed as favourite.

The 4/1 with 888sport may not last long given she never runs in anything but the highest grade nowadays. She only faded close home behind Cracksman in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp on her reappearance but that merely suggested she’d appreciate the return to a mile. She was second in the 1000 Guineas and Oaks last year and also in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. In between, the Galileo filly won the Prix de l’Opera at Chantilly and she can record her first victory since in the Lockinge.

Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes Current Best Odds

Rhododendron 4/1, Limato 5/1, Addeybb 6/1, Beat The Bank 9/1, Zabeel Prince 11/1, Lancaster Bomber 12/1, Librisa Breeze 16/1, Deauville 18/1, Suedois 20/1, Lightning Spear 25/1, Zonderland and War Decree 33/1, Dutch Connection and Alexios Komnenos 40/1, Accidental Agent 50/1, Lahore 66/1 (Odds correct at 4.30pm May 17)

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