Newbury hosts the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes on Saturday afternoon and favourite for the race, Ribchester, is looking to push on from an impressive campaign last season.
The Richard Fahey trained four-year-old improved markedly towards the back-end of last year and Galileo Gold and The Gurkha before being retired couldn’t live with the late speed he possessed.
He heads to Newbury as the warm 2/1 favourite and all eyes will be on the Godolphin runner. It will be no walk in the park; with Galileo Gold, Lightning Spear and Ballydoyle’s Somehow stiff competition.
The rain has thrashed down in Berkshire this week and Newbury will have taken a soaking. Ribchester won’t mind this and may play into his favour more than some of his rivals.
Hugo Palmer’s Galileo Gold is second in the market, despite not living up to his early season promise last year. He wrapped up the 2000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes before being turned over fairly comfortably in his next three efforts.
The race sponsors and Galileo Gold owners, Al Shaqab, will be hoping the winter has given him another lease of life and he can again show the form he promised through the Spring last year.
Lightining Spear is the more experienced member of the field and many believed he could have beaten Minding on Champions Day had the cards fallen better. David Simcock will be hoping for another big run and won’t be put off by the forecast rain.
Somehow represents Ballydoyle, and Aiden O’Brien will be looking to mop up another Group 1 with his four-year-old filly. She won mightily impressively at Newmarket but beat very little that day. This is a big step up but with the filly allowance and the master puppeteer pulling the strings who knows what she can bring to Newbury on Saturday afternoon.