Racing UK

Runner-by-runner Lockinge guide: Hugo Palmer set for Gold star

Friday 19 May 2017

By Tom Peacock

1. ACLAIM

Trainer: Martyn Meade

General odds: 10-1

Only made his racecourse debut about 18 months ago, rising right through the handicap to finish up with Group Two honours in the Challenge Stakes. That was only an average race and while he has been long targeted at this, a good bit of improvement is needed to figure.

2. BRETON ROCK

Trainer: David Simcock

General odds: 40-1

Likes Newbury but really more of a seven-furlong specialist. Has never looked more than a solid Group Three-Group Two type of horse.

3. DUTCH CONNECTION

Trainer: Charlie Hills

General odds: 16-1

Very likeable and decent performer on his day, as shown by a showcase win in Goodwood’s Lennox Stakes. Tends to fall a bit short at this level and prefers quicker ground.

4. GALILEO GOLD

Trainer: Hugo Palmer

General odds: 3-1

Leading light of his division from the 2000 Guineas through to midsummer before becoming a bit of a handful. With his owner Al Shaqab involved in the race sponsorship, it is safe to say trainer Hugo Palmer will have left no stone unturned in his preparation.

5. LIGHTNING SPEAR

Trainer: David Simcock

General odds: 5-1

A bit stop-start for the early part of his first season with David Simcock before ending up developing into a genuine top-class miler with his third in the QEII. No surprise at all if he were seriously involved, yet could need this pipe-opener.

6. MITCHUM SWAGGER

Trainer: David Lanigan

General odds: 33-1

Has only a maiden and a minor handicap win to his name so far and victory here would be a major upset.

7. RIBCHESTER

Trainer: Richard Fahey

General odds: 2-1

Officially rated 1lb higher than Galileo Gold through their regular battles as three-year-olds. Versatile on ground and proved he has trained on at four with a respectable third over nine furlongs in Dubai. The return to a mile should suit.

8. TOSCANINI

Trainer: Richard Fahey

General odds: 40-1

Group-class sprinter for Mick Halford but was transferred to Richard Fahey’s care primarily to serve as a pacemaker for Ribchester and likely to be assuming those duties here.

9. SOMEHOW

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

General odds: 5-1

Has to be treated with respect, given her connections, despite starting off looking more like a middle-distance filly. Enters the equation after an impressive win in the Dahlia Stakes but more is required here.

Racinguk.com Verdict

The betting suggests four horses have a major shout in an intriguing renewal of the first major mile prize in Britain. Ribchester has the benefit of a previous run but his old foe GALILEO GOLD proved he goes well fresh when produced for last year’s Guineas. Winning this race will be one of his major priorities and he is given the narrow verdict.

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