Grade 1 action moves over to Newbury today with the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at 3.40 the highlight of a competitive card.

Favourite at 7-2 is the Aiden O’Brien trained (now there’s a surprise) Rhododendron, the only filly in the field. Plenty of Group 1 form in her portfolio, including on fast ground gives this 4-y-o every chance and, having had a satisfactory warm up over in France, it seems politic to start with a win bet on Ryan Moore‘s mount.

One at much longer odds with a definite chance is Suedois winner of a Grade 1 at Keeneland last October and this admirably consistent 7-y-o will relish the quick underfoot conditions. At 25-1 and with our bookmaker friends offering 4 places, we suggest a modest investment.

Proceedings kick off at 1.50 with the Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes, a Listed race over 6f for 3-y-os and here we have a Group 1 horse dropping down three grades, in the form of Murillo. Trained by you-know-who, Murillo ran well for a long way in the Guineas, finishing 9th and the return to sprinting looks a good move. A win bet at 100-30 is recommended.

The Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap at 3.00 has a competitive field of 11, with Masaarr the 3-1 favourite. Roger Varian‘s horse is, effectively, 11lbs higher than when winning its latest race and we prefer the chances of handicap debutante Master Of Wine at a tasty 10-1 (each way). Running for the first time ‘sin cojones’ on reappearance, MOW was a ready winner of an Epsom maiden over a mile and the step up to 10 furlongs today can only help.

Stepping up in trip is also likely to suit Dave Dexter in the Olympic Glory Conditions Stakes at 4.15 and this very promising Ralph Beckett inmate should be backed at 3-1.

The Toronado Handicap, which closes the card at 5.25 has joint favourites at 3-1 with Pouvoir Magique and Victoria Cup winner Ripp Orf, but just behind those two in the market is Surrey Hope, which is our idea of the winner. Another newly de-nutted animal, Joe Tuite‘s 4-y-o won twice on fast turf last season and has run really well on the AW earlier this year. With a hood and Ryan Moore fitted today, the 7-2 on offer looks value.

That’s it – we are off to Windsor.


Rhododendron 3.40 Newbury win @ 7-2 Ladbrokes
Suedois 3.40 Newbury e/w @ 25-1 PaddyPower (4 places)
Murillo 1.50 Newbury win @ 100-30 Coral
Master Of Wine 3.00 Newbury e/w @ 10-1 William Hill
Dave Dexter 4.15 Newbury win @ 3-1 Betbright
Surrey Hope 5.25 Newbury win @ 7-2 10Bet

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