Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
"...Holds several of these on that form and also on his half-length second to Minding in QE II Stakes at Ascot on final three-year-old outing..."
Saturday 20th May 15:30
1. Aclaim (Martyn Meade/Jamie Spencer)
Improved for time/step up in trip when winning handicaps at Ascot and listed race at Newbury (by 1¾ lengths from Fannaan) in September, and better than ever when completing hat-trick in 12-runner Challenge Stakes at Newmarket on final outing by length from Lumiere. Needs to improve again but trainer has targeted this race for some time and not one to discount too readily.
2. Breton Rock (David Simcock/Andrea Atzeni)
Has shown best form at 7f, winning Criterion Stakes at Newmarket and Park Stakes at Doncaster (by short head from The Happy Prince) in 2016. Firmer conditions than ideal when well held in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October. Any rain in his favour (goes especially well on soft/heavy) but form over this trip leaves him with plenty to find.
3. Dutch Connection (Charles Hills/Adam Kirby)
Only ninth in this race 12 months ago but back to his best when second in Celebration Mile at Ascot in July and then matched best form when winning Lennox Stakes (7f) at Goodwood later that month. Not so good in three starts after, including when well held in Breeders' Cup Mile, and may not peak until Goodwood once more.
4. Galileo Gold (Hugo Palmer/Frankie Dettori)
High-class performer who won 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on reappearance last season, as well as St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot (by 1¼ lengths from The Gurkha) in June. Finished ahead of Ribchester when a neck second in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood but long way behind that rival in both the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville (raced freely) and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. Needs to bounce back but a major player on form if doing so.
5. Lightning Spear (David Simcock/Oisin Murphy)
Better than ever for David Simcock in 2016, shaping well when third to Tepin in Queen Anne Stakes on reappearance in June before then winning Celebration Mile at Goodwood in August. Improved again when 1½ lengths third to Minding in QE II Stakes at Ascot on final outing, making big move from poor position, and capable of a big performance once more.
6. Mitchum Swagger (David Lanigan/Tom Queally)
Third of 28 to Portage in Hunt Cup (Handicap) at Royal Ascot and second to Hathal in Superior Mile at Haydock in September, but out of his depth when well beaten in QEII the following month. Respectable 3½ lengths fifth to Sovereign Debt in Mile at Sandown on reappearance but likely to struggle back up in grade here.
7. Ribchester (Richard Fahey/William Buick)
Consistent, high-class performer who developed well through 2016, winning Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville (by half a length from Vadamos). Holds several of these on that form and also on his half-length second to Minding in QE II Stakes at Ascot on final three-year-old outing and also has the advantage of a run this year, shaping well when length third in Dubai Turf at Meydan on reappearance. Return to this trip in his favour and he looks the one to beat.
8. Toscanini (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan)
Won listed race at the Curragh and Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh in 2016 (trained by Mick Halford), but acted as a pacemaker when respectable 1¾ lengths fifth to Jimmy Two Times in Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud last time and set for the same duties here for stablemate Ribchester.
9. Somehow (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Won Cheshire Oaks last May but has improved markedly for the application of a visor since, winning final start last season and two of last three starts this term, most recently the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket impressively by 3¼ lengths from Elbereth. Stays 1½m, but this arguably her best trip and entitled to plenty of respect as a race-fit and in form rival.
Timeform Lockinge Stakes 1-2-3
2. Galileo Gold
Timeform Lockinge Stakes Analyst's Verdict
RIBCHESTER will be ideally suited by the return to 1m after being just stretched by 9f in the Dubai Turf in March and can notch a second win at the highest level. Galileo Gold lost his way towards the end of 2016 but that was understandable after doing so much in the first half of the campaign and he'll be a big threat if back to anywhere near his best. Somehow is another who should go well.