Royal Lodge Stakes Tips: Greenland worth chancing in small field affair

Aidan O'Brien can land the Royal Lodge once again
Aidan O'Brien can land the Royal Lodge once again

There's no getting away from the fact that a field of just four means this is one of the most disappointing renewals of the prestigious Royal Lodge Stakes for some time, however it is still a big race to kick off the card at Newmarket on Saturday. Billy Grimshaw is our man in the tipping hot seat for this one and is taking on the odds-on favourite with a Ballydoyle raider...

Taking on the team who never seem to be out of red-hot form when they have an odds-on shot could prove to be a silly move, but that is what I'm doing here with Charlie Appleby and William Buick's Flying Honours a favourite I'm happy to oppose at the prices. There aren't many stones you can throw at the son of Sea The Stars, with his two most recent wins at Sandown and in a listed contest at Salisbury both marking him out as something a bit out of the ordinary with the ease in which he put the races to bed in a matter of strides. As with all of the quartet he is undoubtedly open to plenty more improvement and is probably the right favourite, though I just cannot fathom why he is a 1/2 poke at the time of writing considering the potential strength of one member of the opposition in particular.

The Foxes was well beaten in the Chesham at Royal Ascot but made some sort of amends last time out when winning a Goodwood maiden which looks a better race today than it did on the day, with plenty of subsequent winners behind him in the field. He could be one who keeps improving in this later stage of the season and is not dismissed lightly, while Dubai Mile has looked a cracking prospect, particularly when strolling to a four length novice win at Kempton last time out. The son of Roaring Lion is expected to attempt to make all as he has done in his last couple of wins and it would be a foolish jockey to let him get too far clear here at Newmarket.

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That's three of the four taken care of and leads us to the selection to win the 2022 Royal Lodge Stakes and that is GREENLAND, representing Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore. The son of Saxon Warrior will of course be clashing with a son of his old nemesis, the sadly departed Roaring Lion, which adds another layer of intrigue to this race. Greenland has certainly looked a slow burner as a prospect this season, with a few decent if unspectacular performances in his first three runs when not given a hard time by his rider before finally shedding the maiden tag last time out at Roscommon. He is a horse that likes to get on with things and made all last time out to secure the victory, but is more tactically versatile than the presumed pace setter for this race Dubai MIle and I think getting a lead from that one around this track could suit him perfectly.

The favourite could mark himself out as a Classic contender for next season with a commanding win in this race and if he does then we will take our medicine, but to my eye there's no reason Greenland is over treble the price of the Godolphin hot pot so at current prices he makes plenty of appeal. Aidan O'Brien has a good record in most races these days but has won this one six times which is certainly a positive, while Charlie Appleby is yet to take out the Group Two. With the progress Greenland showed last time and the lessening of greenness he has shown with each run, he can upset the odds and hand O'Brien a seventh Royal Lodge.

Royal Lodge Stakes
Greenland silk



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