Newbury and York race meetings news, Lockinge Stakes and Dante Festival
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Rhododendron, and member of the Triple G Dirty Dozen, is the star names among 31 entries for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on 19th May.
She was runner-up in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Investec Oaks at Epsom last season, but enjoyed her day in the sun when claiming the Prix de l'Opera at Chantilly in October. She has not been seen in competitive action since filling the runner-up spot at the Breeders' Cup and could return to France to make her reappearance in the G.1 Prix Ganay over the 1m2½f trip at Longchamp on 29th April. That looks the more likely to me, like I can tell the lads from Ballydoyle what to do, and if she goes there she will almost certainly face Cracksman who is also most likely to start his 2018 campaign in the race.
Elsewhere Investec Derby favourite Saxon Warrior and the outstanding filly Enable are two big names that may be on show at York next month following the initial entries for the feature events at the Dante Festival 16th – 18th May. Saxon Warrior heads eighty-three contenders for the £165,000 Betfred Dante Stakes on Thursday 17th May. Enable is the name that jumps off the card at you from the sixteen nominated for the Betfred Middleton Stakes on the same afternoon.