I don’t know what happened at Ascot last time. He ran no sort of race in the Sagaro Stakes on his return, and he was beaten too far out for the 2m trip to be a factor. Hopefully, a combination of 1m4f on quicker ground, with a run under his belt, will see him in a much better light here. If he runs up to his best in receipt of 3lb, he could just give the favourite Crystal Ocean a race. He was only a length behind him after meeting a lot of trouble in running in the King Edward VII last year and his Bahrain Trophy win for me was a good performance that worked out well. He is a high-class horse on his day.
To say this Lockinge is competitive would be something of an understatement. There are loads of potential winners with very little to choose between them on official ratings. My horse has to run a career-best to even get competitive here, and we haven’t seen him since he was pulled up at Newmarket last October. But presumably all is well now and the quick ground is very much in his favour. The jury is still out on his best trip, but he was only just beaten in a Prix Jean Prat, and he will surely get a strong pace to aim at which he loves. But he is up against it on what we know, there is no disguising it.
She ran really well in defeat after winning her first two starts last season, and she appeared to run a satisfactory first run of the campaign when third at Brighton earlier this month. Our runners have been needing their initial outings, so hopefully he can step up here and go close to winning. She maybe ideally wants a bit of ease in the ground, but she has form on good to firm.
He obviously improved a lot when winning over 7f at Lingfield in December, and the runner-up franked the form by winning his next two starts. A mark of 84 looks okay on his handicap debut, and a mile on a galloping track should see him in an even better light here.
He didn’t cut much ice on his handicap debut at York last season but his maiden and novice form was obviously better than that. His pedigree also suggests this extra furlong should suit.
I finished second on him a couple of times last season, and he shaped okay for me at Windsor on his reappearance, sticking on well once headed. He was dropped 1lb for it, too, and 6f on quick ground is fine for him. He has a chance in an open race.
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