Horse Racing

3.35 Newbury tips: My Prospero can prosper in Lockinge

As the month of May rolls on, the premier flat racing action is now coming thick and fast. On Saturday afternoon, there’s another top race coming to fans’ television screens courtesy of ITV, and that race is the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

Photo by Icon Sport

A long-standing Group 1 race that is often seen as an indicator as a bridge between the 2000 Guineas and some of the top Group 1 contests at Royal Ascot, sometimes even the Epsom Derby, the Lockinge is run over a straight mile at Newbury Racecourse. Over the years, this race has been won by some very famous horses, including arguably the greatest ever flat performer, Frankel, who won this race with ease back in 2012.

In recent times, we’ve seen some other outstanding performers justify red-hot favouritism, with Baaeed wining at odds of 4/9 last year. In 2021, Palace Pier got the job done for Frankie Dettori at odds of 1/2. This year, though, it’s a much more open affair.

More to come from Modern Games?

At the time of writing, on the morning of the race, Modern Games is currently a narrow favourite, priced around the 7/2 mark. Charlie Appleby’s runner is now well experienced as a four-year-old, and arrives here having won the highly famous Breeders’ Cup Mile back in November, though he was only second when warming up at Keeneland last month.

There’s every chance that he’ll step forward from that reappearance effort, though given that he’ll face some strong opposition here, he looks a few points short in the betting.

Laurel, racing in the colours now synonymous with the great Frankel, merits respect for a trainer and jockey combination that has an all-tiem strike rate of 27.02% in Frankie Dettori and John Gosden. That runner has won three from four and bolted up in a Listed contest on her seasonal return last month.

My Prospero gets the nod

The real eye-catcher for me, though, is My Prospero, who looked every inch a top-class sort last season. Things didn’t quite work out over ten furlongs in the Qipco Champions Stakes, but back at a mile, he’s a threat to all. He’s won fresh before, while he turns up for a yard that has been in fine form of late, one that won this race last year. Don’t be surprised if he gets the job done under regular jockey Tom Marquand, and at 11/2, he looks to be the value option, at least from the chief protagonists.

With four places on offer, you might be looking for an each-way option at slightly bigger odds. If that’s the case, consider Jadoomi, who also holds solid claims and can currently be backed at 8/1. The five-year-old is another returning from a break, though he won fresh last season, while he looked at home in Group company over a mile at both Goodwood and Leopardstown last season. He was also only beaten a short head by Modern Games in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, so him laying down a big challenge here is far from out of the question.

Best Bets:

My Prospero @ 11/2

Jadoomi each-way @ 8/1

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