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Atzeni reunited with Belardo in Lockinge

12 May 2016

Thirteen entries stand ground for the fourth race in the QIPCO British Champions Series

Belardo is one of four Godolphin horses in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. Image courtesy of Racingfotos.com.

Godolphin will rely on safety in numbers in their quest to win the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes for a seventh time at Newbury on Saturday.

Toormore, Belardo, Dutch Connection and Barchan will all represent Sheikh Mohammed’s operation in the fourth race of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

James Doyle will partner Toormore, runner-up to Night Of Thunder in last year’s renewal, with William Buick aboard recent purchase Dutch Connection. Jack Mitchell rides likely pacemaker Barchan with Andrea Atzeni taking over on Belardo.

It will be the first time Atzeni has ridden Belardo since the combination combined to win the Dewhurst Stakes, at the expense of Kodi Bear, the season before last.

Kodi Bear will seek belated revenge, having been the subject of upbeat bulletins from trainer Clive Cox.

Limato, long-time ante-post favourite for the Group 1 showpiece, also features among the final 13 entries but his connections are expected to make a late call on his participation after heavy rain yesterday transformed the going to soft, heavy in places.

John Gosden, successful with Emperor Jones in 1994 and Virtual in 2009, will be triple-handed via Mahsoob, GM Hopkins and Johnny Barnes. Frankie Dettori, fresh from riding a glittering treble at York yesterday, will ride the last-named.

Endless Drama, absent for a year since chasing home Gleneagles in the Irish 2000 Guineas, is an intriguing contender and will seek to become the first Irish-trained winner since Hawk Wing, one of the most memorable winners of the 58-year-old race, scorched home in 2003.

Arod and Euro Charline, who have also run with distinction at the highest level, have also stood their ground.

Gabrial, a regular in the QIPCO British Champions Series who made the frame in the Qatar Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last year, completes the line-up.

GODOLPHIN HIT THEM FOR SIX IN LOCKINGE

1998 Cape Cross

1999 Fly To The Stars

2000 Aljabr

2008 Creachadoir

2013 Farhh

2015 Night Of Thunder