Al Shaqab Lockinge 2017 – Somehow, Galileo Gold and Ribchester all lock horns in a fascinating renewal


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O’Brien’s four-year-old has already run three times this season and was last seen winning the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket impressively but she takes a step up in grade on Saturday

AIDAN O’BRIEN relies on recent Newmarket winner Somehow in Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.


Somehow has already had three runs this season, winning the last two, most recently in the nine-furlong Dahlia Stakes on Guineas weekend.


O’Brien said: “She’s good. She only ran at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago, but she seems to be in good form.

“She’s dropping back to a mile, but we’re happy with her since Newmarket. She’s up (in class) to Group 1 company now, but we think she’s in good form.”

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Somehow is Aidan O’Brien’s only runner in the Lockinge

Connections of Galileo Gold are confident the 2,000 Guineas winner can start his four-year-old career with a bang.


Palmer said: “I am very excited about running Galileo Gold. It has been a long winter and a long wait.

“We have had him fit and ready for some time. I’m looking forward to seeing him out again.

Galileo Gold

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Palmer is hoping Galileo Gold can get his season off to the perfect start

“He is more relaxed this year compared to 12 months ago and he has grown up.

“It will be the first time that Frankie has sat on him since riding him in a racecourse gallop at the Craven meeting.”

As well as Somehow, a major stumbling block to Galileo Gold comes in the shape of the Richard Fahey-trained Ribchester, who won the Jersey Stakes at the Royal meeting and hit the jackpot in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

Ribchester looks the one to beat in the Lockinge

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Ribchester looks the one to beat in the Lockinge

He was just half a length behind Minding in the QEII and lost little in defeat when third at Meydan on World Cup night after nine furlongs in the Dubai Turf stretched his stamina.

Fahey said: “Everything has gone according to plan with Ribchester – there have been no issues.

“I am very happy – his work is good and he is good. I don’t think the ground will bother him so we are comfortable going into the race.

“Physically he looks better this year. He has done real well since coming back from Dubai and physically he is starting to mature.

Dutch Connection is one of three runners for Godolphin

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Dutch Connection is one of three runners for Godolphin

“We are happy and everything is going easy with him.”

Ribchester is one of three runners for Godolphin along with stablemate and likely pacemaker Toscanini and the Charlie Hills-trained Dutch Connection.

Martyn Meade reckons there is more to come from Aclaim at Newbury

Martyn Meade has long fancied a crack at a Group 1 with Aclaim, who progressed nicely towards the end of the last campaign, bagging a hat-trick which culminated in a Group 2 win over Lumiere in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket.


David Simcock is double-handed with Lightning Spear and Breton Rock, while Mitchum Swagger from David Lanigan’s yard completes the line-up.

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