SATURDAY’S feature race sees some of the top milers in Britain and Ireland go head to head.
The field for the Lockinge are headed by brilliant filly Laurens, who is chasing her sixth career Group 1 success.
1. Accidental Agent – Eve Johnson Houghton/Charles Bishop (25-1 )
Caught the eye when a never-nearer sixth in this last year and went on to land the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.
No so good on his final two starts of 2018 and tends to improve for the run, with a defence of his title at the Royal meeting likely to be his main aim.
2. Beat The Bank – Andrew Balding/Silvestre De Sousa (15-2)
High-class performer made a winning return to action in the Group 2 bet365 Mile at Sandown.
Found plenty off the bridle to win there and will be strong at the finish again, but perhaps lacks the tactical speed of a couple of these.
Andrew Balding on Beat The Bank
“I’m really pleased with Beat The Bank, and he seems in great form at home, so I am looking forward to running him.
“I was really pleased he got the job done at Sandown. He hit a bit of a flat spot – which he tends to do – but he found generously for pressure, which was encouraging.
“He can be a lazy horse at home – but recently his work has been good, which is hopefully a good sign. Of course winning any Group 1 is special, but this horse thoroughly deserves one, and if he was to win it would be extra meaningful.
“I think Laurens is a very good mare when she is right, and I have utmost respect for her.”
3. Le Brivido – Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore (4-1)
Won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot two years ago and only had one start during an injury-hit campaign last year.
Encouraging start for this yard when third at Naas, given plenty to do, and he looks sure to run well now upped to a mile.
Aidan O'Brien on Le Brivido
“I was happy with Le Brivido’s first run of the year (third), and that was his first run for us.
“Obviously we’ve never run him over a mile, so we’ll find out if that is what he wants.”
4. Lord Glitters – David O’Meara/Daniel Tudhope (8-1)
Very smart performer who went close in a couple of Group 1 races last year, notably the Queen Anne and Sussex Stakes.
Cracking third behind Japanese star Almond Eye in Dubai last time and he looks sure to make a bold bid.
David O'Meara on Lord Glitters
“You need a little luck on your side and things to go right in the Group 1 races.
“I think he’s capable of winning one somewhere along the way, and I hope it will be at Newbury.
“It was a fantastic run in Dubai last time. The Japanese filly (Almond Eye) was brilliant – and Vivlos, a former winner of the race, is very good around there.
“He was conceding 5lb to them, being fillies, and we were very pleased with him.”
5. Mustashry – Sir Michael Stoute/Jim Crowley (11-1)
Took his form to a new level last season, winning Group 2’s at Doncaster and Newmarket.
Solid return to action over 1m1f last month and likely to play a part back down in trip.
Assistant trainer James Horton on Mustashry
“He is a rock-solid horse that won two Group 3 races and a Group 2 last year.
“We thought enough of him to take him all the way to America last year for the Breeders’ Cup.
“Unfortunately it didn’t go to plan, because the draw and ground went against him.
“He is in good shape, and I thought his comeback run in the Earl of Sefton was solid.
“He is versatile trip-wise – you can run him anywhere between seven furlongs and a mile and a quarter.
“He probably went to the Earl of Sefton 80 per cent fit, and he has definitely tightened up for that, so I would like to think there is improvement from his Newmarket run to here.”
6. Mythical Magic – Charlie Appleby/James Doyle (14-1)
Progressive four-year-old who ran out a ready winner of a Group 2 in Dubai in February.
This is tougher but he is clearly going the right way and he shouldn’t be underestimated.
Charlie Appleby on Mythical Magic
“His preparation has gone well and he is a horse that thrived out in Dubai.
“He was a horse that was a good second in the Al Fahidi, then he won when stepping him up to a mile seemed to suit him in the Zabeel Mile.
“He won’t look out of place in that line-up – and although there is Laurens and Le Brivido to beat, he is in good order. We feel he can run a big race.”
7. Ostilio – Simon Crisford/Oisin Murphy (16-1)
Made all to win the ultra-competitive Britannia at Royal Ascot last year and also won at Group 2 level.
Bombed out on his return but he may have needed the run and he could be a threat if let loose on the lead.
8. Romanised – Ken Condon/Billy Lee (20-1)
Caused a big upset when landing the Irish 2000 Guineas last year, but failed to reach those heights since.
Didn’t run too badly on his reappearance but needs to raise his game to figure.
Ken Condon on Romanised
“He didn’t get the clearest of runs – so all in all we were pleased.
“I liked the way he went through the line. It was important he didn’t have a gruelling race first time out – and he didn’t.
“The race is coming up at the right time – he seems to come to himself at this time of year. It will be a tough race, but one I’m very much looking forward to.”
9. Sharja Bridge – Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni (11-1)
Good-looking son of Oasis Dream who ran out a smooth winner of a Listed race at Doncaster on his return.
Touched off by Beat The Bank at Sandown and a suspicion he will come up short again.
10. Sir Dancealot – David Elsworth/Gerald Mosse (25-1)
Three Group wins over 7f during his career and was last sighted running over 6f in Hong Kong.
Doesn’t shape as though he wants 1m and makes little appeal on his reappearance.
11. Without Parole – John Gosden/Frankie Dettori (11-1)
Looked to have the world at his feet this time last year and he secured a Group 1 win in the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot.
Failed to progress after that and needs the fitting of first-time blinkers to spark a massive revival.
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12. Billesdon Brook – Richard Hannon/Sean Levey (33-1)
Caused a big upset at 66-1 in last season’s 1000 Guineas and ran well at Group 1 level thereafter.
Shaped as though she would benefit from a stiffer test on her return over 1m1f so the drop back to 1m looks a negative.
13. I Can Fly – Aidan O’Brien/Wayne Lordan (16-1)
Excellent second to Roaring Lion in the QEII at Ascot in October but it’s been hit and miss since then.
Behind a couple of these in Dubai last time and a minor role looks likely here.
14. Laurens – Karl Burke/P J McDonald (4-1)
Brilliant filly who enjoyed a stellar 2018, with her four victories including a defeat of Alpha Centauri.
Chasing her sixth Group 1 win and if she runs up to her best first time out she will be tough to beat.
Karl Burke on Laurens
“Whatever we’ve done with her at home, I’m sure she’ll improve a little bit, she’s a heavier filly this year.
“We were obviously disappointed with her final run, and I put it down to it being at the end of a long season.
“But in hindsight, she’d just had her Herpes jab not long before it because of a new ruling, and I’ve a feeling it just knocked the edge off her.
“She bossed the females last year, and I think she can do the same to the boys. I think the mile division probably lacks a star and I hope she can fill that gap.
“She’s a high-class horse, and we think she’s improved again. She certainly has improved physically – she’s probably got quicker as she’s got stronger.
“I think the programme of races over a mile suits her better. Arguably the Lockinge and the Queen Anne will be her two toughest races, because after that she can go back in against fillies – apart from the Breeders’ Cup if we end up there.
“That’s a strong possibility because John (Dance, owner) was keen to go last year, and it would be lovely to finish her career out there.”