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Lockinge Stakes - 17th May, 2014

Richard Hannon's Olympic Glory will make his seasonal reappearance on Saturday afternoon and the classy four-year-old is likely to be sent off a red-hot favourite for what looks a fascinating Lockinge Stakes from Newbury which will see a host of classy performers head to the 1m start.

Last seen on British shores storming to success in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day, the Choisir colt showed that he is a real top class performer on his day and if he can reproduce that effort in this event then will be very tough to beat.

Aidan O'Brien's Verrazano is an eye-catching entry from the Ballydoyle operation and the former American-trained raider could make his first start for the Irish supremo and with Group 1 winning form under the stewardship of Todd Pletcher he's entitled to be regarded a leading contender to Hannon's premier challenger.

Montiridge could be the second shot fired by Hannon, but he was beaten by Tullius last time out in the bet365 Mile and that pair will lock horns again in this event, whilst Top Notch Tonto, who was behind that duo in that Sandown Park event will also take his chance on Saturday.

German raider Chopin is another who has yet to strike hot in England and was down the field in the Epsom Derby and Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot, so will find it tough in what looks a fascinating renewal on a superb card at Newbury at the weekend.

Latest Betting for 2014 Lockinge Stakes

Evens Olympic Glory

9/2 Verrazano

7/1 Tullius

8/1 Chopin

9/1 Montiridge

12/1 Top Notch Tonto

16/1 Sruthan

100/1 Empire Storm

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Lockinge Stakes History

The Lockinge Stakes is a Group One race run at Newbury over one mile and is open to horses aged four years or older.

Established in 1958, the race had originally been open to three-year-olds as well and the inaugural winner of the race Pall Mall also bagged the 2000 Guineas victory in the same year before retaining his Lockinge title in 1959.

Having been dropped in grade it eventually was classed as a Group One race in 1995, where it was also decided that it should be open to four-year-olds and over.

This would see the Classic generation not able to line up and it would become one of the highlights of the early flat racing calendar as some of the top milers in the country would do battle in this valuable race.

Sir Michael Stoute's Soviet Line bagged back-to-back wins in 1995 and 1996, whilst the Aidan O'Brien-trained Hawk Wing was an impressive winner in 2003.  Historically, horses that have won the event will go on the search for more top class glory and are usually contesting the Queen Anne Stakes later on in the season at Royal Ascot before maybe tackling the Eclipse Stakes and the step up in distance.

Richard Hannon has saddled two fantastic winners in recent years in Paco Boy, who won in 2010 and most notably Canford Cliffs in 2011.  Arguably one of the best milers in recent memory, Canford Cliffs eased to Lockinge glory before winning the Queen Anne Stakes the following month beating wonder mare Goldikova with aplomb.

Stoute has a terrific training record in the race and the legendary handler has amassed seven successes during his illustrious career with his first coming way back in 1986 with Scottish Reel.

Recent Winners of Lockinge Stakes

  • 2000 - Aljabr
  • 2001 - Medicean
  • 2002 - Keltos
  • 2003 - Hawk Wing
  • 2004 - Russian Rhythm
  • 2005 - Rakti
  • 2006 - Peeress
  • 2007 - Red Evie
  • 2008 - Creachadoir
  • 2009 - Virtual
  • 2010 - Paco Boy
  • 2011 - Canford Cliffs
  • 2012 - Frankel
  • 2013 - Farhh

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