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Royal Lodge Stakes - 27th September, 2014

Barry Hills's Nafaqa was a fine winner of Doncaster's Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes last time out and the classy juvenile will look to bag Group 2 glory on Saturday afternoon when lining up in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket, which is of the highlights on Cambridgeshire Handicap day.

He was workmanlike in his performance as he veered severely right in the closing stages, but his class shone through and Paul Hanagan will be hoping that he is an easier ride in Saturday's contest and if he can continue on an upward curve then will tough to beat.

Andrew Balding's Elm Park is another that has been progressing with aplomb and was a Listed winner at Salisbury last time out and is entitled to improve again and should put up a significant challenge to the aforementioned favourite, in a race that can sometimes throw up a potential 2000 Guineas contender.

Kevin Ryan's Salateen was an impressive winner at Doncaster last time out in a nursery, but he was unable to land a blow at this grade when down the field in the Acomb Stakes and will need to improve here, whilst Richard Hannon's Misterioso is an interesting runner as he will need to build on a maiden victory last time out.

Both Lord Ben Slack and Medrano have shaped with promise, but will need a huge career best if they are to deal with the classy few contenders towards the head of the betting in what should be a cracking little contest on a stunning card at Flat HQ.

Latest Betting for 2014 Royal Lodge Stakes

6/4 Nafaqa

9/4 Elm Park

6/1 Salateen

7/1 Misterioso

9/1 Medrano

12/1 Lord Ben Slack

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Royal Lodge Stakes History

The Royal Lodge Stakes is a Group Two run over a mile at Newmarket's Cambridgeshire Meeting for two-year-old colts or geldings.� As the flat season begins to draw to a close trainers will enter some of their best two-year-olds to try and win the Royal Lodge prize and use it as a stepping stone to races later on in the season or the following year.

With the curtain being brought down by the Racing Post Trophy from Doncaster in October, the Royal Lodge is a good final prep run before venturing to Yorkshire for the biggest two-year-old race of the season.

Originally staged at Ascot the Royal Lodge Stakes has recently been transferred to Newmarket and has become part of HQ's Cambridgeshire Meeting.

Established in 1946 the Royal Lodge has unearthed some future stars and four winners have won the Group Two contest and then gone on to Epsom Derby glory the following year.� First achieved by St Paddy in 1959 the feat was last accomplished by 1996 Derby winner Benny The Dip.

However, the most prestigious winner of the Royal Lodge was the incomparable Frankel in 2010, who scorched to victory by ten lengths.� A rout from the outset Frankel just ground his rivals into submission and the ten lengths could've been a whole lot more if jockey Tom Queally had wanted it to be.� Frankel then blossomed into an even greater three-year-old winning the 2000 Guineas in epic fashion.

There is no doubt Frankel's rise to fame will put the Royal Lodge on the map and a whole host of trainers are bound to send their classy two-year-olds to Ascot in the hope they will improve to Classic glory the following year.

Recent Winners of Royal Lodge Stakes

  • 2000 - Atlantis Prince
  • 2001 - Mutinyonthebounty
  • 2002 - Al Jadeed
  • 2003 - Snow Ridge
  • 2004 - Perfectperformance
  • 2005 - Leo
  • 2006 - Admiralofthefleet
  • 2007 - City Leader
  • 2008 - Jukebox Jury
  • 2009 - Joshua Tree
  • 2010 - Frankel
  • 2011 - Daddy Long Legs
  • 2012 - Steeler
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