0.75pt each-way Dutch Connection @12/1, 15:55 Newbury, Saturday

Newbury hosts the Group 1 Lockinge Stage today. A race that has brought out the best in some fantastic milers over the years with the likes of Frankel, Canford Cliffs and Farhh all having tasted success.

The clerks of the course spoke of a change in the going on Friday night, and with a dry day expected, the expectation is that the ground will be gd-sft, which should hopefully ensure a full field go-to-post.

The drying ground is good news for Henry Candy’s, Limato. He looked a very classy horse last year, and if anything he was a tad unlucky not to challenge for the Prix De La Foret at Longchamp on his last start, having raced much too far off the pace to launch an attack on Make Believe.

He’s well worth a try at a mile, and I think Limato will get the trip. However the bookies have layed him this week as the rain has come, and the going is unquestionably a real concern.

It is a big ask to expect his stamina to stretch in these conditions, and there is a chance that he could treat his first start over a mile like a sprint being so fresh. Nonetheless, I think he could go very well and if the ground is closer to good rather than gd-soft then take note of his position in the market.

Arod is one to keep on side this season and I must admit the 20/1 was tempting, but it’s no secret that he is a much better proposition on fast ground, and that was enough to look elsewhere. The unexposed Endless Drama could also be a threat, and is definitely the dark-horse in the race.

At the head of the market, Kodi Bear and Toormore are vying for favouritism. Both are proven over ground and trip, but I find it hard to believe the former has a favourite’s chance having come up short in Group 1 company previously. He has got ability, but others have form against him and there’s no guarantee he’ll reverse that.

Toormore is a battle-hardened miler, well-travelled on the international racing scene, and his profile feels like favourite-material. He is looking to go one better than last year having finished second to Night Of Thunder, but could be vulnerable to an improving four-year-old.

Toormore only just outstayed another ‘newly-recruited’ Goldolphin runner at Sandown last month, DUTCH CONNECTION, who travelled like the winner on his seasonal debut.

He opened last year’s campaign by finishing seventh in the 2000 Guineas before claiming the Group 3 Jersey Stakes in good style at Royal Ascot on his second start, so it appears as though he improves for the run.

His form has been very strong / consistent in his four starts since that Royal Ascot victory, which include him running an absolute blinder in second behind Territories – with Kodi Bear in fourth – in the Prix Jean Prat (Group 1 mile).

He then ran well behind Toormore twice in Group 2’s with a 3/4l and a neck defeat respectively when receiving weight. Charlie Hills felt he was good enough to go to America for the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes but he didn’t look himself out there, and I am putting a line through that three-year-old run.

He looked an improved horse at Sandown on his latest start only to be just outstayed by Toormore in testing conditions. Godolphin clearly think he is on the upgrade, having acquired him earlier in the week, and William Buick has won on him twice before during his juvenile campaign so knows the horse well.

The 3lb pull in the weights with Toormore is against him, but he could leave his two and three-year-old form behind today and will handle that bit of ease in the ground better than most.

Dutch Connection is currently a best-priced 12/1 to reverse the form with the Hannon entrant – more than twice the price for a neck defeat – and must be the value bet in the race for a yard that is on fire at the moment.

0.75pt EW Dutch Connection @ 12/1, 15:55 Newbury, Lockinge Stakes (betway pay 1/4 odds for first three places)


Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.