10 Horses remain in the mix for Newbury’s Group 1 JLT Lockinge Stakes this Saturday but with doubts surrounding the participation of several of the possible runners there is every chance that the one mile contest could cut up badly, making the 9-1 available with Paddy Power about the Andrew Balding-trained Tullius a cracking each-way value bet to build on the gelding’s impressive Bet365 Mile victory at Sandown last month.
A creditable second in the William Hill Lincoln under top weight on his season reappearance the 6-year-old left that handicap form well behind when running out a convincing three and three quarter lengths winner from Montridge, Penitent and Top Notch Tonto at the Esher venue and should confirm the form once again with the second and fourth at the weekend. The powerful Richard Hannon stable, as well as Montridge is responsible for two other entries in Olympic Glory and Toronado, although the latter is considered a very doubtful starter at this stage and it is the former who heads the ante-post market at a best price 6-4 with 888.sport and Coral.
The Choisir colt proved himself one of the best milers in europe last season with an easy victory in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes following an unlucky short head defeat at the hands of the top class mare Moonlight Cloud at Deauville and will prove a tough nut to crack on Saturday although Tullius could enjoy a fitness advantage on this occasion. Aidan O’Brien has an interesting entry in the ex American horse Verrazano but the trainer issued a word of caution, saying: ” He’s wants the ground good or quicker and I don’t know if we’ll get that at Newbury for the Lockinge.”
Chopin is an interesting runner from Germany while Soft Falling Rain is expected to represent Hamdan Al Maktoum and Mike de Kock but at 9-1 Tullius looks great each-way value to go close in the hands of Jimmy Fortune.