ITV Racing Tips: Budding Rhododendron can bloom in the Lockinge

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After three days of exciting racing from the Dante Festival, attention turns to Newbury and Newmarket on Saturday.

The Group 1 Lockinge Stakes is the highlight of a seven-race card on ITV, where Rhododendron will do battle with Limato and Addeybb over the 1m distance.

There are also three Listed contests and a Group 3 renewal to enjoy, featuring top class performers including Crystal Ocean, Juliet Capulet and Old Persian.

We’ve picked apart the form guide in our ITV Racing Tips…

NAP – Rhododendron – 3:40, Newbury

We head straight to the feature race this Saturday where Rhododendron is tipped to land a third Group 1 success in the Lockinge Stakes.

Aidan O’Brien’s high-class performer has done the business all over the world and finished fourth behind Cracksman on her most recent run at Longchamp.

This is a shorter distance than the four-year-old is used to, but we’re expecting the filly’s class to shine through against a field which simply doesn’t boast the star quality to take on the jolly.

The trainer hasn’t won this race since 2003. That should change on Saturday, where Ryan Moore can ride the daughter of Galileo to victory over 1m.

NB – Juliet Capulet – 1:50, Newbury

Eqtidaar, Murillo and Juliet Capulet lead a game field of contenders in the Carnarvon Stakes.

It’s the latter of the trio who gets the nod to land the top prize for trainer John Gosden.

The three-year-old enjoyed a tremendous maiden season on these shores last year, culminating in a maiden black-type win in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

A subsequent tilt at the Breeders’ Cup didn’t go quite to plan, but we’re confident the daughter of Dark Angel can get winning ways at Newbury.

She’s stepped back down to 6f here which should prove no problem among Listed Company.

Lively Longshot – Yafta – 3:15, Newmarket

There’s no standout favourite in the final ITV race from Newmarket. So it’s Yafta who’s taken to land the spoils at a handy price.

Richard Hannon’s charge is a nice sort who ended last season with back-to-back successes in a Novice event and Nursery Handicap.

He resumed this campaign with a close second to Tribal Quest in a Class 2, and we’re confident he can come on from that here.

The colt is saddled with the highest mark but has a lively chance with Jim Crowley on board.

ITV Racing Tips:

1:50 Newbury – Juliet Capulet (NB)

2:05 Newmarket – Old Persian    

2:25 Newbury – Crystal Ocean

2:40 Newmarket – Mutaaqeb

3:00 Newbury – Chief Ironside

3:15 Newmarket – Yafta (Lively Longshot)

3:40 Newbury – Rhododendron (NAP)

All Odds and Markets correct as of date and publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket and horse racing.