Toormore and Arod head Lockinge Stakes entries

Toormore - William Buick wins from Dutch Connection

Toormore got the better of Dutch Connection in the Group 2 bet365 Mile

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

TOORMORE will bid to go one better than last year in Saturday’s Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, with Richard Hannon’s miler among 18 confirmations for the race on Monday.

The five-year-old warmed up for his second shot at the 1m feature with victory in the Group 2 bet365 Mile at Sandown last month and is set to be joined in this weekend’s line-up by last year’s third, Arod.

The pair chased home the now-retired Night Of Thunder in last year’s renewal and Cougar Mountain, who finished 11th last May, is also set to return to Newbury for another crack at the race.

Saturday’s race may also see the Henry Candy-trained Limato tackle a mile for the first time, while Godolphin are set to be represented by Belardo, a winner of the Listed Betway Doncaster Mile before finishing fourth behind Toormore at Sandown.

Godolphin purchase two of the entries

A further two possible runners are also set to carry the famous blue silks of Godolphin after the organisation confirmed the purchases of both Dutch Connection and Home Of The Brave.

John Ferguson, Godolphin’s racing manager and chief executive, said: “Both Dutch Connection and Home Of The Brave are excellent horses, who will give us more depth in the ranks in our attempt to win the top one-mile and seven-furlong races in the calendar this year. They present us with plenty of interesting options.

“More importantly, though, they give us the chance to be competitive in the top international races later in the year, not only in Europe, but America, Asia and Australia, as well.

Dutch Connection chased home Toormore at Sandown, while Gabrial, Adaay and Barchan could all line up at Newbury having contested the Esher race.

Staying in their respective yards

Like Dutch Connection, Home Of The Brave will remain with his current trainer following his purchase and Hugo Palmer will be hopeful of continuing his excellent start to the season with the Listed toteScoop6 King Richard III Stakes winner Home Of The Brave.

Fellow last-time-out scorers Gm Hopkins and Mahsoob also feature among the entries for Saturday’s race.

Elsewhere at Newbury, the Group 3 Al Rayyan Stakes has been re-opened until 11am on Tuesday after only six entries were received on Monday.

 

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