There’s a ton of pattern race action on Saturday with potential sprint champions and middle-distance fillies on show, however the afternoon reaches a crescendo at 3.40 with the Group One Lockinge Stakes taking place at Newbury.
Young pretenders Beat The Bank and Addeybb take on proven top level performers Rhododendron and Limato with Glorious Goodwood, Lincoln Handicap, 1000 Guineas/Oaks and July Cup form all clashing over the mile trip.
We go in with four good value bets in total across Newbury and Newmarket’s cards with improving horses taken to score on their way up the horse racing ladder:Embed from Getty Images
1.50 Newbury (Carnarvon Stakes) – Listed) – EQTIDAAR
Although strictly speaking both John Gosden’s filly Juliet Capulet and Aidan O’Brien’s colt Murillo could be of a very high standard now sprinting, there are still doubts about both over this trip until they have proven otherwise.
There are no such doubts about Sir Michael Stoute’s young speedster Eqtidaar however whose form already after just three runs is right up there with the best of these and more can be expected now that he will be towed and chased along by horses in and around the top class bracket.
Furthermore Eqtidaar is by Invincible Spirit out of an Acclamation mare, both horses who won multiple top level races over six furlongs on fast ground, and so more improvement can be expected in these conditions with a dry forecast terrific reading for the trainer.
2.40 Newmarket (King Charles II Stakes – Listed) – PURSER
With any luck, the way things will work out is that there’ll be plenty of money in the ring for Goldolphin’s Aurum based on his potential, though even with improvement he may just lack a bit of experience this time but could well push up the price of our horse.
Mutaaqeb has plenty more to give on seasonal debut as well but with Purser we have both proven ability and more potential so with a few pounds more improvement to come over this distance he rates a very far bet to take this Listed prize.
He was very much fancied to land the valuable Burradon Stakes at Newcastle at the end of March while his third to Ghaiyyath last backend reads very well and now it appears he has his optimum conditions at last. I wouldn’t be surprised if John Gosden’s Mizzen Mast colt turned up at Royal Ascot in the Jersey Stakes next month but he would have to win this along the way.
3.30 Newbury (Lockinge Stakes – Group 1) – ADDEYBB
William Haggas’ stable star has done nothing but improve since making his debut as a three-year-old at this meeting last year and having risen through the ranks is well fancied to earn a first Group One win.
With extended trips not to his liking, his run when taking care of Afaak in the Silver Cambridgeshire over nine furlongs last backend was a great performance and so it was no real surprise when he started off his 4yo campaign by winning the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster.
What was surprising perhaps was the manner in which he took care of a typically competitive field before going on to score easily in Group 2 company last time out at Sandown. It’s not a case of if he’ll win a Group 1 but when, especially given the competitive nature of this race.
That said we cannot say when his improvement will finish and if he takes another step forward here on nice quick ground, which I expect, then he’ll take some pegging back.
Beat The Bank of Andrew Balding’s is another who looks sure to land a Group 1 race over this distance but if he’s anything like his sire he may maintain his high level at 4 without necessarily improving a whole lot more, thus he could be vulnerable against a race-fit Addeybb.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly Rhododendron may well go off favourite and has plenty of good form in the book, however it seems we know how good she is now and so if one or both of the 4yo colts do what we expect then she’ll just fall short this time.
4.50 Newbury (Fillies’ Trial Stakes – Listed) – STREAM SONG
Although it seems highly unlikely we will see an Oaks contender from this lot, although hope springs eternal of course, there should be plenty of improvement shown from the likes of Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Hope and Aidan O’Brien’s Athena now they have their trip.
Sea Of Class is another who should be on the premises but for me the master of preparing these fillies is John Gosden and so a chance is taken on his runner Stream Song.
The Mastercraftsmen filly was engaged in the Lingfield Oaks Trial, something I think she would have won, but was pulled out leaving her nothing more than a Windsor handicap winner to this point though she is undoubtedly capable of more than that.
She’s improving hand over fist and the brilliant Frankie Dettori should be able to get a very good tune out of her, hopefully nudged her ahead at the line where it counts.