Lockinge Stakes Tips: Lord Campari the value play against Palace Pier

Lockinge Stakes Tips: Palace Pier is a red-hot favourite for the Newbury feature.
Lockinge Stakes Tips: Palace Pier is a red-hot favourite for the Newbury feature.

Steve Chambers previews the 2021 Lockinge Stakes, which is run at Newbury on Saturday, and will see the star miler Palace Pier bid for glory in the Group 1 race.

John Gosden's top class miler Palace Pier will attempt to cement his place as one of the best horses in the world on Saturday afternoon, as he bids for Group 1 glory in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury. The 125-rated son of Kingman recorded some epic Group wins last season, which included a fine success in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

A shock defeat at the end of the season in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot ended his unbeaten run, but he showed that was a minor blip by returning at Sandown Park last month with a blistering eight-length win in the bet365 Mile at Sandown Park. That Group 2 success oozed class, and it immediately saw him slashed to an odds-on favourite for this event, and if Gosden's star can turn up in a similar mood then it's hard to not see him outclass his rivals.

He quickened away from some inferior rivals impressively on his seasonal reappearance at Sandown and Gosden was quick to point out that his charge will come on significantly for the run, so expect a much more polished performance here. But, while he's the most likely winner, he will face a plethora of classy rivals, and at odds-on he's no real attractive punting option.

Aidan O'Brien won this race three years ago with Rhododendron and the Ballydoyle handler will saddle Lope Y Fernandez, who like Palace Pier, lines up on the back of a win in April. A Listed win at Leopardstown showed the four-year-old has trained on, and having ended last season with a third placed finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile then he has to be respected. However, he did most of his running in six and seven furlong race last season, so while the step up to a mile may prove more fruitful, he may just lack the class needed to get the better of Palace Pier, and Lope Y Fernandez will have to play the bridesmaid role once again in Group company.

A classy winner of the Earl Of Sefton Stakes last month, the William Haggas-trained My Oberon will take a huge step up in class on Saturday, but he will be one that is doing all his best work late on, and could well be a potential each-way play. While, James Tate's Top Rank was last seen winning the Listed Doncaster Mile in late March, and last season had got the better of My Oberon in Group 3 company so he has to be another considered here.

John Quinn's Safe Voyage showed his class over a mile by winning the Group 2 Boomerang Mile in Ireland last year, and a replication of that effort should see him feature here, while former Queen Anne Stakes winner Lord Glitters is a class act on his day, and he was a Group 1 winner at Meydan a few months ago, so can't be ignored at an eye-catching price.

One contender at a huge price that could cause a shock is the Roger Varian-trained Lord Campari, who at 40/1 looks hugely over-priced for a relatively unexposed four-year-old. Like Palace Pier he's a son of Kingman, and having only had four starts to date, he's open to significant improvement this season. Well beaten on his racecourse debut by Palace Pier, it's his second performance that is of notable interest. He scooted to a near five-length success in a novice stakes over course and distance in good to soft ground, and if he can replicate that effort then he has to be a potential each-way player here.

He failed to follow that up at Newmarket on his next start, while he disappointed on his last start at Deauville in a Group 3 event, as he could only finish fifth. But, he's worth keeping an eye on this season, and while he faces a huge task to potentially challenge Palace Pier, he will relish a return to Newbury, and with ground conditions likely to suit, he could outrun his huge odds in what looks a thrilling renewal.

Lockinge Stakes
Lord Campari silk

Lord Campari (EW)

Ascot Odds
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