Trainer Henry Candy has Limato ready to roll in Lockinge Stakes at Newbury

Limato cruises clear at Newmarket
Limato cruises clear at Newmarket

Henry Candy is optimistic Limato can make it third-time lucky over a mile in the Al Shaqab Lockinge at Newbury on Saturday.

The six-year-old, who finished fourth in the Group One in 2016, has not run over the trip since finishing down the field at the Breeders' Cup later that year.

Having ended last season with victory in a Group Two at Newmarket, the gelded son of Tagula continued his Lockinge preparations with a solo five-furlong gallop on Tuesday under rider Harry Bentley.

Candy said: "It is hard to judge how they go when they are on their own. The only relevant thing is what Harry says, and he was very happy with him.

"He has done an awful lot of work on the carpet gallop, which is far too easy for getting a horse fit, but it just keeps him ticking over.

"I did take the precaution of starting in plenty of time and I think if I left if until five or six weeks ago to start you would have been up against it, but he has got plenty of work under his belt."

Reflecting upon the last time he was tried over a mile, Candy said: "Santa Anita was a nightmare as he just boiled over saddling and in the pre-parade ring. They also went off at a record-breaking pace.

"We told Harry to be handy but if we knew how fast they were going to go we wouldn't have done. That told us nothing.

"The previous time in the Lockinge the ground was on the sticky side and our horses weren't firing. I thought the horse ran on pretty well to finish fourth.

"I would be optimistic he could get a mile but you can never be sure until you try when all factors are right. I wouldn't say it would be a personal satisfaction if he wins over a mile but it would open up a lot of doors."

Sky Bet make Limato their 4/1 joint-favourite alongside Rhododendron, with Addeybb next in the betting at 5/1.

Candy continued: "Fran (Berry) has been riding him quite a lot when Harry is not about. He has said it's hard to believe that this horse nearly won a Nunthorpe and won a July Cup as he really rides like a middle-distance horse now.

"He is not quite as ferocious to deal with as he used to be. He is ultra-competitive, and I think that's what it's all about. He just wants to get on with things all the time.

"You wouldn't know how good Addeybb is going to be. The others are all fairly well known that horse might be improving an awful lot. The fast ground, though, might work in our favour."

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