Televised action from the meetings at Newbury and Newmarket today, with the undoubted highlight being the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at 3.40.
This is a highly competitive renewal, but we think the £198,485 on offer may be winging its way across the Oirish Sea come 3.45.
Le Brivido has to be the first port of call. Previously trained in France by Andre Fabre, this 5-y-o is now in the hands of our old friend Aiden O’Brien and made a highly encouraging debut for the yard when staying on takingly into third in a Group 3 contest at Naas in the middle of April.
That was over 7f, but the only time this horse has tried today’s trip of a mile, he finished a close second to the mighty Brametot in a Deauville Group 1 and that is probably the best for on offer.
At 5-1, we must back this each way.
Finishing really well in that Naas race and not beaten far was the Kevin Condon trained Romanised and, when you consider this 4-y-o was saddled with a 5lb penalty for its shock win in the Irish 2000 Guineas, that was a tremendous performance. No penalty today, so we also recommend an each way bet here at 12-1.
The Newbury card starts at 1.50 with the Listed Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes over 6f, for which there are joint favourites at 3-1, Moyassar and Red Impression.
These two are, indeed, very promising 3-y-os but have to step up on previous performances to win this and we are very keen on the chances of Konchek.
Clive Cox‘s Lethal Force colt mixed it with some of the best as a 2-y-o, notably when running second to Advertise in a Group 2 at Newmarket and today’s race actually represents a drop in class.
With a more than satisfactory comeback run behind Calyx under his belt, Konchek must be backed each way at 11-1.
The 2.25 at Newbury can safely be left to Crystal Ocean (2-7), while the 3-y-o handicap at 3.00 we won’t be touching with your money, let alone ours.
Over at Newmarket the Betway Fairway Stakes at 2.05 has a short priced favourite in Raise You, six length winner of a maiden on this course in April. However, with today’s ground and trip both unknowns, we prefer a win bet on Khuzaam at 7-2.
Just two runs, both on the AW, have yielded a second and a first and this Roger Varian trained colt holds some fancy entries later on, so is clearly held in a fair bit of regard.
The Betway King Charles 11 Stakes at 2.40, a Listed race over 7f, looks completely at the mercy of the favourite, Jash, which finished second in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes when last seen and, if fully tuned up, should make mincemeat of his rivals. Doesn’t always work out like that, of course, but at a (just) backable 10-11, we recommend a serious bash.
The Betway Handicap at 3.15 is another of those nightmare 3-y-o sprints, but we can’t keep ducking and diving, so we recommend cautious each way bets on Yousini at 8-1 and Dominus at 12-1.
Right, that’s yer lot – off to watch Cupcake‘s stroll in the park to win another major.
Le Brivido 3.40 Newbury 2pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Romanised 3.40 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places)
Konchek 1.50 Newbury 2pts e/w @ 11-1
Khuzaam 2.05 Newmarket 2pts win @ 7-2
Jash 2.40 Newmarket 6pts win @ 10-11
Yousini 3.15 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places)
Dominus 3.15 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)