The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, a Group 1 race, sponsored by Al Shaqab Racing, at Newbury (UK) racecourse over a mile, is open to horses aged four years or older. This race was established in 1958 and was raised to Group 1 status in 1995. The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes also became part of the British Champions Series in 2011, and winners of the race often go on to run in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. The last to win both races in the same year was the champion FRANKEL in 2012.
The 2021 edition of the AL Shaqab Lockinge Stakes was won by the odds-on favorite – PALACE PIER (Kingman x Beach Frolic). This 4-year-old colt was one of the top 3-year-old milers in 2020, winning the St James’ Palace Stake (Gr.1) at Royal Ascot, and the Prix Jacques le Marois – Fresnay-le-Buffard (Gr.1) at Deauville, before finishing third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO (Gr.1) on the British Champions Day, again at Ascot. He was making his seasonal reappearance in this Group 1 contest for trainers John & Thady Gosden and was reunited with regular jockey Frankie Dettori.
The 11 runners bunched in the center of the straight mile track with Obaid setting a decent pace. Palace Pier sat in mid-division on the stands’ side. Coming to the 2-furlong marker, Dettori shook up PALACE PIER, who flew away down the rail. He confirmed that he is one of the top older milers in Europe with an impressive victory, easing across the line a length and ½ in front of the William Jarvis-trained LADY BOWTHORPE (Nathaniel x Maglietta Fina), under Oisin Murphy. TOP RANK (Dark Angel x Countess Ferrama) came in third for trainer James Tate and PJ McDonald.
Dettori said: “He’s a beast, I love him. He’s so good. I found a nice rhythm and had everything beaten throughout – it was great. I was looking for Ryan [Moore, rider of Lope Y Fernandez] but he was rowing away three out. I know Palace Pier gets the mile really well so I kicked him on. He got a little bit lonely in front but he’s a true champion and I love him. This was his eighth run. He loves his racing and I guess all those good mile races will be his target. He’s a tool, let me tell you.”
The first edition of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, one of the Flat season’s leading mile races,which is run at Newbury – UK mid-May, was run in 2015 for an increased prize fund of £350,000 which will be retained at the same value .Al Shaqab has extended its sponsorship of the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes until 2024
Al Shaqab Racing started in 2011 with Arabian racing and achieved multiple GroupOne wins including the Kahayla Classic two years in a row. It has now evolved intoone of the modern superpowers of thoroughbred racing, winning the British Classic,the 2000 Guineas, with Galileo Gold in 2016 and the 2017 French Classic, thePoule d’Essai des Poulains with Brametot who was also successful in the Group1 QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club the same year.
Al Shaqab’s major Group One successes include: the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood won by Toronado in 2013 – their first Group 1 success, 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, the Prix du Jockey Club 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.
Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club