Catching Pigeons: Gossip and tips from the gallops

Last Updated May 19 2018, 14:56Racing
Limato cruises clear at Newmarket
Limato cruises clear at Newmarket

Limato has put in some fantastic preparatory work ahead of Saturday's Lockinge Stakes - get all the news and gossip from the leading training centres.

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He's Amazing can see off the challenge of Masaarr and win the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup for Clive Cox at Newbury on Saturday.

Placed twice on his two outings as a juvenile, the son of Fasnet Rock finished a good second once again on his reappearance here last month, but stepped up considerably on that performance at the Newmarket Guineas meeting when he he saw off a talented field for a narrow win.

More is required to bag this valuable prize, but connections are sure he can continue to progress and this course may suit him a little better than the undulating finish at Headquarters.

Limato should prove the value bet in the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

Although the showpiece in Newbury's race calendar, this is often one of the weaker contested top-class mile events, but 2018 has attracted a bumper field and consequently looks an open race.

Much better known as a top sprinter than miler, Limato has plenty to prove on what will be his third excursion over this trip. Both efforts came in 2016. Everything went wrong in a farce of a race for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita, but he was more effective on his first appearance in this event, when he finished fourth to Belardo.

That would be nowhere near good enough here, but ground conditions will be much more to his liking, and the Candy horses are in better form than they were at that time.

Limato has been on the go for some time this spring and regular partners on the Kingstone Warren gallops, Harry Bentley and Fran Berry, believe he is a much more settled individual nowadays, so should see out the trip better than in his younger days.

Earlier on the card, Eqtidaar is fancied to get his head in front in the opening Listed Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes. He looks to be working his way towards a Commonwealth Cup bid and didn't let anyone down with a creditable second to Invincible Army in an Ascot Group Three at the start of the month.

Sir Michael Stoute
Sir Michael Stoute's horses are really getting going now

Charles Hills' Plutonian can put an unlucky effort behind him on his comeback at Newmarket with a big run in the Toronado Handicap.

He came home later than a sunken sailboat when last of 12 at HQ, but it was not his fault, he was badly hampered at the start. A promising if somewhat unexposed type last season, he has always worked like a potentially good horse and looks nicely weighted here, given his recent work on the Faringdon Road gallops.

John Gosden's Pouvoir Magique was taken out last weekend and could reappear here. He's one to monitor closely in opposition if standing his ground this time around.

Crystal Hope did well to win on her return to action at Sandown last month, and she is fancied to follow up in the Haras De Bouquetot Fillies' Trial Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute’s filly was thought to be backward and in need of the race at the Esher course, but she overcame those fears with an emphatic win over Give And Take, the subsequent winner of the Musidora at York on Wednesday. The form looks rock-solid, and plenty of improvement is anticipated.

Chagatai, a stablemate of He's Amazing, was back to his wayward worst last time, but he can bounce back in his first time hood in the Betway Handicap at Newmarket.

The Cox team had high hopes of following up a comeback Kempton win in a six furlong handicap at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago, but he pulled to hard and weakened in the closing stages. The headgear should help calm him and he remains in good nick, and well handicapped to boot.

Charlie Appleby's Aurum has been working very well since his debut win over course and distance at the Craven meeting, and he can progress sufficiently from that run to beat the well-regarded Mutaaqeb and Purser in the Listed Betway King Charles II Stakes.

Marcus Tregoning has not really hit his straps just yet, but Alrahaal shaped well on his return behind Qaroun at Goodwood two weeks ago, and is fancied to turn the tables on the Stoute-trained three-year-old in the sunbets.co.uk Handicap at Doncaster.

Although the selection gets only a 3lb pull for his length defeat, the winner was well fancied that day, and was probably a lot fitter. Alrahaal has come on nicely for the run.

William Haggas won both divisions of Thirsk's Irish Stallions Farms EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes and will look to do so again courtesy of Queen Of Bermuda and Red Hut Red - the former is particularly well-fancied in light of her debut second and subsequent work.

William Haggas: Trains Special Purpose
William Haggas does exceptionally well with his northern raiders

Midnight Maestro has been disappointing since finishing sixth to high-class stablemate Elgin in a high quality event at Ascot in the autumn, but underfoot conditions are finally in his favour again for the valuable Get Promo Codes At onlinebettingcodes.co.uk Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen on Sunday, and he rates an each-way investment in what looks a very competitive event.

Charlie Fellowes has a nice Charm Spirit colt entered at Nottingham on Tuesday and Yarmouth on Wednesday called Mayfair Spirit who looks a lovely prospect for later in the year and Chris Wall's Purgatory is worth a look in the same British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes, which looks a real crackerjack of a race and should unearth a Royal Ascot type.

Wall could also unleash Lucky Charm in the coming days, with eyecatching entries at Windsor on Monday and Kempton on Wednesday.

Clive Cox has obviously made a bright start with his two-year-olds and he saddles an interesting newcomer at Windsor on Monday night. Manana Chica is a daughter of one of the Beechdown trainer's favourite sires Kodiac and is out of the mare Bayalika, making her a half-sister to the Champagne Stakes winner and subsequent 2000 Guineas runner-up Vital Equine.

If she does not win the Thames Valley Air Ambulance Novice Fillies Stakes, she looks worth noting for the future.

Other juvenile names to conjure (and for the My Stable tracker) in the coming weeks include Sir Michael Stoute's Exceed And Excel colt Extreme Force, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Dubai Legacy and a thus far unnamed son of Scat Daddy in the care of Ed Dunlop.

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