Lockinge Stakes 2013 Preview

The feature race this weekend is the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes over a mile at Newbury. With no Frankel this year, the mile division is looking very open and this race could tell us which horse is likely to emerge as a champion this season.

Heading the market is Aidan O’Brien’s Declaration Of War, an impressive winner of a Listed race at Leopardstown first time out. Although that form still gives him plenty to do in this grade, he has been the subject of strong market support from 9-2 down to 2-1 favourite. He is proven over ten furlongs so any rain will help his chances over this shorter trip.

Another horse with form over a mile and a quarter is Farhh who represents the Godolphin team. He had the misfortune to meet Frankel twice last season and, whilst he was no match for the great horse, he put up a respectable display on each occasion. He is relatively lightly raced and will be having his seasonal debut on Saturday. He may be the pick of the official ratings but his stable is yet to saddle a winner and it is possible that he will be sharper for the run.farhh

Cityscape is a classy performer who has shown his best form with some give in the ground. He is a natural miler and boasts some top class form for trainer Roger Charlton. Probably his finest effort came when winning the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan by a wide margin at the end of March last year. He did not add to that success but ran close to his best behind the useful Excelebration at Deauville and Ascot. Connections will be hoping that there is sufficient rain to enable him to give a good account of himself on Saturday.

Sir Henry Cecil is represented by last year’s French 1000 Guineas winner Beauty Parlour who disappointed in her only race for the yard last season in the Falmouth Stakes. She is a lot better than that and Cecil is a master at producing his horses fit and well first time out. She is rated an 8-1 chance by Bet365 and will have plenty of supporters. Richard Hannon’s stable have been quick off the mark this season and Trumpet Major already has a win under his belt. He fell just short of top class last season but could be a different proposition as a four-year-old.

Another horse with plenty of untapped potential is John Gosden’s Fencing who finished sixth in the 2000 Guineas last season. He started the new season with a good victory at Ascot and could still be improving. Aljamaaheer is proving frustrating for his supporters and has not managed to get his head in front since winning at Newmarket a year ago. He ran a fine race in the seven furlong Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot but met with trouble in running at Goodwood subsequently. He was just touched off by Producer at Leicester first time out but had to make his own running that day and is better coming from off the pace.

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