Eleven runners set for Newbury’s feature Group 1 Race

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Eleven remain on course for Newbury’s Group One feature race of the Flat season, the £400,000 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes on Saturday 18th May, 2024.

Six-time Group One winner Inspiral, trained by John and Thady Gosden for Cheveley Park Stud, heads the top-quality line up in the first older horse Group One of the season. The superstar mare could make her seasonal re-appearance over the mile at Newbury and have a first tilt at the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. The five-year-old daughter of Frankel, last seen when winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, would carry bottom weight of 8st13lb as the only mare in the field. Cheveley Park may be dually represented on Saturday with Group 3 Criterion Stakes winner Audience who remains in contention. It would be a first run over a mile for the son of Iffraaj, also trained by John and Thady Gosden. 

Big Rock could renew his rivalry with Inspiral after being beaten in last year’s Prix Jacques le Marois by the star mare. The QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes hero would be having his first run for new trainer Maurizio Guarnieri after leaving Christopher Head’s yard. Guarnieri is seeking a first British Group success with his first runner at the Berkshire track.

Having won both his starts this season, Charyn, is set to step up to Group One company for the first time. The Roger Varian trained four-year-old won impressively on both his starts this year including victory over Poker Face in the Group Two Bet 365 Mile at Sandown. Poker Face, trained by Simon & Ed Crisford will be seeking to reverse the form on Saturday. 

Both Flight Plan (K. Burke) and Royal Scotsman (P & O. Cole) could possibly make their seasonal re-appearances in Group One company in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. Flight Plan ended last season as a Group Two winner in the Dullingham Park Stakes whilst Royal Scotsman has not been seen since finishing down the field in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last year. 

The runner up in the 2022 renewal of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, Real World, may have another tilt at success for Godolphin who are seeking a tenth victory in the race. The remaining possible runners include Dear My Friend (C.Johnston), Hi Royal (K.Ryan) and Witch Hunter (R.Hannon). Notable absentees following today’s scratching stage include Lord North, Tribalist, Elegant Man and Lord Massusus. 

George Hill, Clerk of the Course at Newbury Racecourse commented on the entries: “If all the possible entries declare, we could have a very strong renewal on Saturday. It would be thrilling to see a re-match of the Prix Jacques le Marois between Inspiral and Big Rock, both of whom would be having their first run here at Newbury. There are a number of interesting contenders who have shown strong Group Two form who would be stepping up to Group One company for the first time. The going is currently officially good however rain is forecast, and we expect to have approximately 12-20mm ahead of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes on Saturday.”

Tickets for the Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 18th May are currently available.

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