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Lockinge Stakes odds: Inspiral 2/1 to win Newbury Group 1

Saturday afternoon's Lockinge at Newbury has been the target for six-time Group 1-winning mare Inspiral ever since her success at the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in November.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned five-year-old is a veteran of nine career wins in 13 starts, with six of those successes coming at the highest level across Britain, France and America.

She's set to be partnered for the first time by Kieran Shoemark in the Lockinge and is trading at 2/1 to win at Newbury, though connections are anxiously monitoring the weather ahead of her planned seasonal return.

Lockinge Stakes

Lockinge Stakes Odds

Big Rock 7/4
Inspiral 2/1
Charyn 7/2
Poker Face 5/1
Royal Scotsman 14/1
Flight Plan 20/1
Real World 25/1
Hi Royal 33/1
Audience 40/1
Witch Hunter 40/1
Dear My Friend 50/1

Soft ground a hindrance to Inspiral

After being unbeaten in four starts as a juvenile in 2021, Inspiral has twice since made her seasonal return at Royal Ascot in June, winning the Coronation Stakes in 2022 and being agonisingly denied by Triple Time in the Queen Anne last summer.

She is very much a specialist miler, though she signed off last year by winning the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita over 1m2f, with the sharp nature of the Californian track lending itself to Inspiral, as Frankie Dettori produced her with a late lunge to get the better of Ryan Moore on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Warm Heart.

In her 13-race career, the Cheveley Park Stud owned and bred daughter of Frankel has only finished outside of the first two on two occasions.

The first of those came in the QEII at Ascot on Champions Day in 2022 when she made a tardy break from the starting stalls and never truly looked like making up the lost ground on good to soft going.

Last summer at Glorious Goodwood she was last of five in the Sussex Stakes, failing to produce her renowned finishing burst on soft ground.

For those reasons, connections are very much on weather-watch ahead of the intended Lockinge return.

Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, said this week that connections have 'got to be realistic' about what ground the mare runs on now, especially with a long season ahead and plenty more major prizes to aim for.

George Hill, clerk of the course at Newbury, has been hopeful that conditions will allow the likes of Inspiral to line up.

"If you asked me what I think the ground will be, I'd say it will be a mix of good and good to soft, with it being more good if the showers don't pop up," he said this week.

Conditions could be crucial

While Inspiral's participation is contingent on decent ground, two of her main rivals will be happy for the skies to open.

French raider Big Rock and the Roger Varian-trained Charyn have both won Group races on soft ground.

Big Rock was second behind Inspiral in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville last August - when conditions were officially described as 'soft' - before storming to a six-length QEII win at Ascot in October.

Big Rock has since moved to new trainer Maurizio Guarnieri and is 7/4 to land another top level British success.

Charyn is already 2-2 this season after wins in the Doncaster Mile and the bet365 Mile at Sandown.

The Dark Angel colt handles all ground alike, seemingly, and is 7/2 to continue his impressive start to the term with a breakthrough Group 1 victory.

Simon & Ed Crisford's Poker Face is a 5/1 chance for Lockinge success after chasing home Charyn at Sandown three weeks ago.

Royal Scotsman hasn't been sighted since running down the field in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, but he was third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on his comeback run last year and is 14/1 for Paul & Oliver Cole.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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