It’s Lockinge Stakes day at Newbury, the first open class Group 1 of the British flat season. Run over a straight mile, the Lockinge was first run in 1958 and is now an important early-season target for some of the top milers in training.
Success here often sees the winner aimed at the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and Ribchester was the last horse to land the Lockinge and Queen Anne double, in 2017.
The odds on favourite for this year’s renewal is Palace Pier, trained by John and Thady Gosden, who arrives here following victory in the Group 2 bet365 Mile at Sandown last month. He’s set to be partnered by Frankie Dettori who is chasing a fifth Lockinge Stakes winner, 27 years after riding his first.
In preparation for Saturday’s big race, we’ve taken a look back at some of the top Lockinge winners of recent years, including the superstar, Frankel.
4 of the best Lockinge Stakes winners since 2000
For many, Frankel is the greatest of all time, remaining undefeated over his 14 race career, including victory in the 2012 Lockinge Stakes. Arriving at Newbury with an official rating of 136, Frankel coasted home by five lengths from Excelebration to see him then given a rating of 138.
The Queen Anne Stakes was next on the agenda for Frankel where he was sent off the 1/10 favourite and ran out an eleven-length winner, once again from Excelebration. He was to race three more times in 2012 before being retired to stud with an official rating of 140.
Ribchester became Godolphin’s eighth Lockinge Stakes winner, and fourth in just five years, when he won the race in 2017 for trainer Richard Fahey.
Ridden by William Buick, he showed excellent acceleration to run out a comfortable winner seeing off rivals that included Lightning Spear and Galileo Gold. He followed up his Lockinge success with victory in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, becoming the first horse since Frankel in 2012 to do the double.
Canford Cliffs (2011)
Having landed the Irish 2000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace Stakes, and Sussex Stakes as a three-year-old, big things were expected of Canford Cliffs heading into 2011.
Arriving at Newbury for the Lockinge Stakes, he was sent off the 4/5 favourite and put in an impressive performance to dominate the field and cement his place as one of the top milers in training He then headed to Royal Ascot for a much-anticipated clash with Goldikova in the Queen Anne where he once more saw off all his rivals to land his fifth Group 1 in a row.
His final race was to end in defeat though as he chased home the mighty Frankel at Goodwood before being retired due to a leg injury.
Hawk Wing (2003)
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Hawk Wing put in one of the most devastating displays ever seen over a mile when he destroyed the field by 11 lengths in the 2003 renewal. Timeform were so impressed by his performance that they rated it the best performance over the mile trip in 10 years.
Following his Lockinge Stakes success, Hawk Wing then headed to Royal Ascot and the Queen Anne where he was sent off the 8/13 favourite but could only finish 6th and returned lame. Following that Royal Ascot disappointment, Hawk Wing was retired to stud but he remains Aidan O’Brien’s highest-ever rated horse to this day.
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