Galileo Gold can benefit from recent rain to land £350,000 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury


The valuable Lockinge Stakes is contested over a straight mile at Newbury on Saturday. Pic: Courtesy of Newbury Racecourse.

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GALILEO GOLD can benefit from recent rain in the south east to make a winning return in the £350,000 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The valuable contest over the straight mile at the Berkshire track is Newbury’s biggest flat race of the season and has attracted a classy field of nine runners. The dual Group 1 winner’s rivals includes Ribchester, winner of the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August and also the  impressive last start victor Somehow – a ready winner of the Group 2 Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on 1000 Guineas Day.

Galileo Gold last year landed the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Good to Soft ground and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Soft ground and the forecast going at Newbury, which is currently Good to Soft, Soft in Places, will suit.

Owned by Lockinge sponsors Al Shaqab Racing, Galileo Gold was ridden in all of his six races last term by their retained jockey Frankie Dettori, who continues the association on Saturday and was aboard the son of the 2001 Derby winner in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket in late April.

“Galileo Gold looks fantastic. He is a different horse this year physically – he is much stronger – a really imposing colt,” Harry Herbert, racing advisor to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, founder of Al Shaqab Racing, said after the workout.

“The piece of work last week at Newmarket Racecourse was very impressive. Frankie was seriously impressed. Galileo Gold is much more settled this year.

“It will be great to see Galileo Gold back in action – he seems in very good order and he should run very well at Newbury.”

Palmer added: “The piece of work Galileo Gold did on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket Racecourse could not have gone better. He is totally versatile as far as the ground is concerned.

“He got himself very wound up towards the end of last year with the fairly relentless racing programme I had given him,” the trainer said a week after the workout. “All the signs are, having had a proper break, and being a year older and more mature, he has settled down.”

Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.