• Home
  • Horse Racing
  • Newbury Best Bet: Inspiral Can Edge Lockinge Stakes Showdown With Big Rock

Newbury best bet: Inspiral can edge Lockinge Stakes showdown with Big Rock

The Lockinge Stakes should provide a contest befitting of Saturday’s biggest prize of the day, with eleven high-quality runners lining up to take on Newbury’s straight one-mile track.

15:35 Newbury:  Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes  (1 mile)

If this race goes according to form, pedigree and betting odds, then we should be in for a thrilling showdown between the two clear market leaders, Big Rock and Inspiral.

French raider Big Rock has not finished outside the first two in eight outings over the past 15 months, winning five of them, including an impressive victory on his first trip across the Channel last October.

After having to settle for second place in first three Group 1 efforts, last October’s trip to Ascot’s Champions Day proved worthwhile as he made all in the Queen Elizabeth !! Stakes to win by an emphatic six lengths.

Planet Sport Bet Daily Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Big Rock wins by more than 1 length, get a £5 Free Bet

He has since left Christopher Head’s yard for Maurizio Guarnieri, and it will be interesting to see if the same tactics are as effective against Inspiral, who was one of the three horses to beat Big Rock when they met at Deauville last August.

That convincing 3½-length victory proved to be the first leg of an impressive hat-trick for John and Thady Gosden’s high-quality mare, who went on to win the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in October, before edging the Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf by a neck from Aidan O’Brien’s Warm Heart in Santa Anita.

Kieran Shoemark faces the unenviable task of filling the riding boots of Inspiral’s long-time partner Frankie Dettori, but if his mount is tuned up as expected for her season debut (Big Rock is also returning from a similar seven-month break), then the four-year-old mare could well pick up where she left off last season

Suggested best bet: Inspiral in the 15:35 at Newbury


It might appear that their nine rivals will be in a separate race for third place, but there are some solid types among them who will be ready to pounce at a good price should either of the two principals falter.

Charyn is unbeaten in his two outings this term, the most recent of which (22 days ago at Sandown) saw him beat the opposing Poker Face, who could be useful again here after finishing in the first two in his last five outings either side of his winter break.

Catching the attention of Tipstrr’s pundits, however, is Kevin Ryan’s Hi Royal, who will be looking to build on a promising start to his four-year-old-campaign.

This time last year, Hi Royal had just finished runner-up as a 125/1 shot behind Chaldean in the 2000 Guineas, and would go on to finish third in the Irish version a few weeks later, both runs coming under Oisin Murphy.

That early promise evaporated in his three subsequent three-year-old outings, but winter wind surgery seemed to have done the trick when he reappeared a month ago at Newmarket, where he rekindled his form of a year ago to come third of nine in the Sefton Stakes, barely a length behind the victorious Ottoman Fleet.

Cheekpieces are reapplied for his assault on the Lockinge, but of more significance is the booking of Ryan Moore, who rode Hi Royal on his three-year-old debut, and will be looking to maintain his impressive 25 percent win rate (63% place rate) so far this term.

Each-way punt: Hi Royal in the 15:35 at Newbury


READ MORE: Saturday ITV racing tips: Best bets for Newbury and Newmarket on May 18

More Articles