Richard Hannon’s Queen Elizabeth II-winning inmate Olympic Glory is all the rage with Ladbrokes for Newbury’s Lockinge Stakes, but considering that Ascot triumph was the Choisir gelding’s only victory in his last five runs, the 1/1 about the favourite seems a little short for a competitive renewal.
Great things are expected from double US Grade One winner Verrazano at 4/1, although it would be asking a lot from Aidan O’Brien’s new charge to win his first ever run on turf, so he looks best watched in west Berkshire.
Brian Ellison’s Top Notch Tonto chased Olympic Glory home at Ascot and could look a huge price at 12/1 if the Hannon horse has another one of his off days.
However, Andrew Balding’s 7/1 shot Tullius comes into the race with the best 2014 form thus far, after finishing a close runner-up in the Lincoln off second-top weight before winning a Sandown Group 2 four weeks later.
The six-year-old left Hannon’s Montiridge – who can be backed at 8/1 under Richard Hughes in the Lockinge – and Top Notch Tonto biting his dust at the Surrey track.
That was Tulllius’ eighth win in 20 career runs, but the horse’s place record is even better, having only failed to make the first three in five of his races under rules.
With three of his last four victories prior to April’s at Sandown coming in either May or June, Balding’s animal looks primed for another big run at a juicy each-way price.
A Tullius victory would give Balding his first win in this race since taking over at Park House Stables from his father Ian – who tasted Lockinge Stakes success twice with Brigadier Gerard and Selkirk – over a decade ago.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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