Here are five horses to watch out for on a very exciting day of racing all over Britain, Ireland and France!
15:40 Newbury – Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
First of all, it is brilliant that she is back running this season. Already a five time group one winner, she took top honours all over Europe last year – at Longchamp in the Prix Saint-Alary, at Chantilly in the Prix De Diane, at Leopardstown in the Matron Stakes and at Newmarket in the Sun Chariot. She has given her connections some great days. Jockey PJ McDonald missed the last two of those fabulous wins after suffering nasty injuries to his legs in a parade ring fall. He’s reunited with the filly, who I’m sure is his favourite horse. PJ and owner John Dance have had a good start to the season and they’re going to be so excited to have Laurens out on the track for the first time this year. I was lucky enough to chat to John Dance and talk about this filly and you can tell how much they love this filly as shown in my article which you can read here > https://reinitinracing.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/john-dance-sending-racing-into-the-21st-century/?preview=true
We wish them the best of luck!
2. Crystal Ocean
14:25 Newbury – Al Rayyan Stakes
This horse is so consistent and is now five years of age but has never been out of the top three from thirteen starts. He has won multiple times at group two and three level but is still chasing that pinnacle group one victory. I think he will eventually and this race, in the mean time, looks very winnable. He won the Gordon Richard Stakes, this race and the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot last season. Then he was second once again at Ascot, second in the September Stakes and in the Champion Stakes. He manages in high class company, just not to win, and those seconds were due to him being a bit outclassed. He is treading a well-ran track, probably in preparation for the Hardwicke once again after landing the Gordon Richards last time. Miles better than the rest of the field.
3. Sea Of Faith
16:50 Newbury – Haras De Bouquetot Fillies Trial Stakes
This filly made her debut twenty two days ago in a race at Sandown where she made incredible late headway like a flash of lightning down the outside of the field to grab fourth. She was very green in the early stages and will come on a lot for that. She is by Sea The Stars and out of Jumooh, the dam of the smart Raheen House and a recent Australian group one winner Shraaoh. She has an entry still in the Epsom Oaks but I’d say that it is unlikely she will take that up because the big race isn’t that far away. The likely next target if she wins this would be the Irish Oaks like the path that stablemate Sea Of Class trod and she won the Irish Classic.
4. Al Hilalee
14:05 Newmarket – Betway Fairway Stakes
There was lots of money around for this horse before the 2000 Guineas but he didn’t show up at all that day and finished sixteenth of nineteen. Before that, he has ran two times and won on both occasions. The most recent was a Listed contest at Deauville in which he won by a short head. He had two horses who have subsequently won nicely in Listed company in behind him so that gives the form a boost. His last run is worrying but he is out of a group one winner who beat, interestingly, beat Shirroco Star, the dam of promising Derby hope and Dante winner Telecaster, in her career. There is stamina in his pedigree and should go close. Andrew Balding’s horse Rasie You is the favourite and rightly so as he was a six length winner last time.
5. Benie Des Dieux
16:00 Grande Course De Haies D’auteui Grade One Hurdle
Willie Mullins is a dominant force over in jump racing all across Britain and Ireland and sends across four horses for this French grade one from Auteuil racecourse. He has Champion Hurdle placed Melon, the quirky Yorkhill, recent Punchestown Stayers Hurdle third Bapaume, last years Triumph Hurdle second Mr Adjudicator and last flight Mares Hurdle faller Benie Des Dieux. The mare is my preferred. She won really well last time in the Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown, getting compensation for Cheltenham and is a very classy mare. She only has to carry 10st5lbs so gets 5lbs from some of her biggest rivals – particularly stable mate Bapaume – but has to carry equal weights to progressive, previous grade one winner De Bon Coeur who is a worthy favourite for the race as she has a really high rating of 182.