Al Shaqab Lockinge Day 2017 – Media Guide

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Al Shaqab Lockinge Day 2017
Media Guide
Newbury Race Programme – Saturday, May 20
Time  Race Distance Prize Money
1.50pm Al Rayyan Stakes (Group 3)     1m 4f  £100,000
2.20pm Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes (Listed)    6f  £70,000
2.55pm Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap   1m 2f  £70,000
3.30pm Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes     1m  £350,000
4.05pm Olympic Glory Conditions Race    6f  £50,000
4.40pm Haras de Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes (Listed)  1m 2f  £70,000
5.10pm Toronado Handicap (86-105)     1m  £40,000
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
Named after a former parish located to the north of Newbury, the Al Shaqab-sponsored Lockinge Stakes was established in 1958 over the straight mile at Newbury Racecourse.
The first running was won by a three-year-old, Pall Mall, owned by Her Majesty the Queen, fresh from Classic victory in the 2,000 Guineas over at Newmarket. He went on to win the 1959 Lockinge Stakes too, becoming the first of three dual winners of the famous Newbury race.
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes has been won by some of the greatest racehorses in the history of the turf. In 1972 Brigadier Gerard was an authoritative winner of the race on his seasonal reappearance as a four-year-old. Arriving at Newbury on the back of a faultless campaign the year before which heralded four major victories, he subsequently only tasted defeat once and retired as the winner of 17 of his 18 starts, including 10 races which now hold Group One status.
Forty years later in 2012, it was the unbeaten Frankel who stole the show, winning by five lengths in effortless style at the start of what was to be a momentous four-year-old career. Unbeaten Frankel was given the highest official rating (140) of any racehorse in modern history at the end of that year, and retired with 14 straight victories – the defining equine hero for a generation of racing fans.
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes has seen countless other memorable performances. Lester Piggott’s six victories spanning 33 years, Hawk Wing’s remarkable and record-breaking 11-length victory in 2003 and a resurgent Frankie Dettori guiding Olympic Glory to victory in 2014 are just a few.
The Newbury race was promoted to Group One status in 1995, the year the conditions were changed to make the Lockinge Europe’s early-season mile highlight for older horses.
Al Shaqab took over as sponsor of the whole card on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day in 2015, providing a significant prize money boost with a record turnout of 16 runners and a revised race programme of the highest quality.
This investment on Newbury’s richest raceday has produced an increase in the quality of racing on offer, with the European Pattern Committee having upgraded the opening Al Rayyan Stakes to Group Three status ahead of the 2016 renewal.
Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes – Facts & Figures
*The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the feature race, worth £350,000, on Newbury’s richest raceday which offers total prize money of £750,000.
*The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes’ roll of honour includes some of the best horses to have graced the British turf, such as Brigadier Gerard (1972), Kris (1980), Selkirk (1992), Hawk Wing (2003) and Frankel (2012).
*Since the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (originally known as the International Classifications) were introduced in 1977, Frankel is the best racehorse there has been. He won the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes impressively by five lengths in 2012 and topped the rankings at the end of that year with an unprecedented rating of 140. Trained by Sir Henry Cecil, owned by Khalid Abdullah and ridden by Tom Queally, Frankel finished his racing career unbeaten in 14 races. He now stands as a stallion at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket. His first foal to be born, and to race, Cunco won on debut at Newbury on the day before the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes in 2016.
*The great Brigadier Gerard, successful on 17 of his 18 starts, emulated (in 1972) his sire Queen’s Hussar who captured the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes in 1963.
*Three horses have won the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes twice – Pall Mall in 1958 & 1959, Welsh Pageant in 1970 & 1971 and Soviet Line in 1995 & 1996.
*The most successful trainer in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is Sir Michael Stoute who has been victorious seven times. His first winner came with Scottish Reel in 1986, followed by Safawan (1990), Soviet Line (1995 & 1996), Medicean (2001), Russian Rhythm (2004) and Peeress (2006).
*Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, responsible for five Al Shaqab Lockinge winners, has had 17 runners in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, the first being Charnwood Forest who finished runner-up in 1996.
*Richard Hannon has saddled two of the last three winners of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes – Olympic Glory, who carried the colours of Al Shaqab to victory in 2014, his first year as a trainer, and the 2015 scorer Night Of Thunder.
*His father, Richard Hannon snr, won the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes three times – Swing Low (1993), Paco Boy (2010) and Canford Cliffs (2011).
John Gosden, the Newmarket-based trainer, has been responsible for two Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes victors – the Frankie Dettori-ridden Emperor Jones in 1994 and Virtual in 2009.
*Two Irish-trained horses have won – Bluerullah (1967) and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Hawk Wing (2003), who scored by a record 11 lengths.
*There have been three French-trained winners – El Rastro (1976), Polar Falcon (1991) and Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained Keltos (2002).
*The most successful jockey in the history of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes has been the legendary Lester Piggott, victorious six times – 33 years spanned his first victory on Sovereign Path 1960 and his last on Swing Low in 1993. The ones in between were The Creditor (1964), Sparkler (1973), Belmont Bay (1981) and Polar Falcon (1991).
*Al Shaqab’s retained jockey Frankie Dettori has had 15 rides in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. He has won the race four times – Emperor Jones (1994), Aljabr (2000), Creachadoir (2008) and Olympic Glory (2014).
*Olivier Peslier, who rode Keltos to victory, is the only French jockey to have succeeded in the race.
*The most successful owner in the history of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is Godolphin, whose seven successes have been delivered by Cape Cross (1998), Fly To The Stars (1999), Aljabr (2000), Creachadoir (2008), Farhh (2013), Night Of Thunder (2015) and Belardo (2016). The first five horses were trained by Saeed bin Suroor, with the most recent handled by Richard Hannon and Roger Varian respectively.
*Cheveley Park Stud is the second most successful owner with five victories thanks to Scottish Reel (1986), Medicean (2001), Russian Rhythm (2004), Peeress (2006) and Virtual (2009). The stud’s owners, David & Patricia Thompson, also scored with Safawan (1990) and Polar Falcon (1991).
*Rakti set the record for the fastest time in the history of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes of 1m 33.59s in 2005.
*There were two winners of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes in 1984, when Cormorant Wood and Wassl dead-heated.
*The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes has been won by less than a length on 22 occasions.
*There were 16 runners in the 2015 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, the most to line up in the history of the race and one more than ran in 2004.
*The number of runners in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes has been in double figures on 20 occasions since contest was first staged in 1958.
*The lowest number of runners has been four. In 1958, The Queen’s Pall Mall saw off three rivals to win the inaugural running while there were also four runners in 1989 and 1991.
*The highest-priced winner of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes has been Cape Cross (1998) at 20/1.
*In the history of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, 23 winners have started at a shorter price than 3/1.
*The favourite (or joint-favourite) has won 24 times in the 58 runnings of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.
*The age breakdown of the winners since the race became a Group One contest in 1995 is as follows:-
4-y-o – 14 successes
5-y-o – six successes
6-y-o – two successes
*Horses running in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes carry 9st, with a 3lb allowance for fillies and mares.
*The last filly or mare to win the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes was Red Evie in 2007.
*The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is part of the British Champions Series, which incorporates the 35 top Flat races in the British horseracing calendar, and has been since the series started in 2011.
*The names of Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes winners have started with 19 different letters of the alphabet – only G, I, J, L, U, X and Z have missed out. 
Al Shaqab Racing started in 2011 with Arabian racing and achieved multiple Group One wins including the Khalia Classic two years in a row.
It has now evolved into one of the modern superpowers of thoroughbred racing, winning the British Classic, the 2000 Guineas, with Galileo Gold in 2016 and the 2017 French Classic, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, with Brametot.
Major Group One races have been won, such as the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park, the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, the Qatar Prix Vermeille and the Qatar Airways Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp twice with superstar filly, Treve, plus the Coronation Stakes and St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Frankie Dettori is the retained jockey of Al Shaqab Racing in Britain, while Gregory Benoist takes the role in France.
Al Shaqab Lockinge Day – Saturday, May 20, 2017
Gates Open – 11.00am
First Race – 1.50pm
Last Race – 5.10pm
Live music after racing
The £350,000 Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the centrepiece of an outstanding seven-race card, worth a total of £750,000 – Newbury’s richest raceday of the year.
The famous Newbury after party will follow the racing action.
Starlight Charity Raceday – Friday, May 19, 2017
Gates Open – 12.00 noon
First Race – 2.00pm
Last Race – 5.40pm
A high-quality seven-race card forms part of the day held in support of the charity Starlight, which does remarkable work granting the wishes of terminally ill children.
The racing highlight is the six-furlong Starlight Handicap, worth £30,000, at 2.35pm.
The final thoroughbred race will be at 5.20pm, with a charity race in aid of Starlight at 5.40pm.
The charity raised £150,000 from the day last year.
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