Lockinge Tips

- 07:05, 17th May 2017

“The big race this weekend is the Lockinge Stakes, a group one run over a mile at Newbury. I managed to find the winner last year with Belardo when the rain fell mid-week and the unsettled British weather looks set to hit the Berkshire town again.” JJ

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This could be quite a decent renewal of the Lockinge if all the key players turn up and of those at the top of the market I much prefer Ribchester for Richard Fahey to the others.

He took huge strides with each start last season but people really started to take notice after his unluckily third in the Sussex Stakes.

Since then he has won a group one, but even more impressive to my eye was his half-length second to Minding on Champions Day.

For me he should probably be shorter than 5/2 and I’d be confident of him getting the better of chief market rival Galileo Gold once again.

Whilst we just about know how good those at the top of the market are, and as they’ve all raced together a couple of times we can judge their ability relative to each other, there’s one that enters the fold from a less conventional route. 

ACLAIM (10/1) is another who had an absolutely superb season last year, improving from a rating of 87 to 114. Martyn Meade started him off at two and into three as a six furlong sprinter but by summer 2016 it was becoming clearer and clearer that further could unlock some of the clear talent on show.

He first caught my eye in the Hackwood over six furlongs at this track, when he went down by four and a half lengths to group one winning sprinter The Tin Man.

He was caught on the stands rail that day and travelled with his usual zest before staying on all too late. He was actually checked again when he made his move that day so could have been even closer to a group one winning sprinter over a trip we now know to be too short.

His first attempt at eight furlongs came in a fairly hot handicap at Ascot (3rd Very Talented placed 3rd in Cambridgeshire next time); once again he travelled like a demon in behind horses before showing a wicked turn of foot in the closing stages to finish well on top in the end.

Next time, he was stepped back in trip to seven when tackling listed class at this track again, this time on soft ground. Interestingly, I would class this as his most impressive victory to date, so the forecast rain could easily work in his favour rather than act as a hindrance. He bolted up that day by two lengths and stunk of a group winner in the making.

It wouldn’t take the son of Acclamation long to deliver on the recent promise shown, as he took the group two Challenge Stakes at Newmarket on his final run of 2016.

After re-watching the race a few times, there are a few more points that should be brought to attention. He was ridden much closer to the pace that day, probably because it’s harder to come from the back at Newmarket compared to other tracks; so he wasn’t able to employ his usual hold up tactics.

Frankie Detorri rode that day and just as he was making his move he appeared to be in two minds with regards to what side to ride, which can’t have helped either.

Finally, as I’ve mentioned before, I have an inkling he could be slightly better with give on the ground, which he should hopefully get on Saturday.

I know Martyn Meade thinks the world of him, and I’d be surprised if by the end of the year he wasn’t a group one winner in some form, and at Newbury, a track that he’s impressed at in the past, he could get it in the bag early.

ACLAIM @ 10/1 – BET NOW

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