Belardo can collect in Lockinge Stakes at Newbury
David Metcalf | May 13, 2016
Lots to like about Belardo in Lockinge Stakes
Belardo will have no problems wth the soft ground at Newbury and looks decent value to land the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes (15:55).
The Roger Varian trained colt was a top class juvenile in 2014, where his three wins included an impressive two length success over Kodi Bear in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Although Belardo failed to get his head in front last season, the son of Lope De Vega did post some really solid efforts in top class company.
They included a 1 3/4 length fourth to Gleneagles in the Irish 2000 Guineas and a 3/4 length second to the brilliant Solow in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
Those races read well in the context of this contest, and Belardo looked as good as ever on seasonal reappearance when showing a smart turn of foot to land a Listed contest on soft ground at Doncaster.
Shocking ride at Sandown
The four-year-old was then given a shocking ride by James Doyle when last seen in action in a Group 2 at Sandown, being held-up miles off the pace before staying on late to finish a two length fourth to Toormore.
It was a very ill-judged ride by Doyle, and Belardo ran a remarkable race in the circumstances to get so close.
Belardo looked to be the best horse in the race and, with Andrea Atzeni now taking over in the saddle, he should turn the tables on Toormore.
Kodi Bear a big player
Toormore finished runner-up in last year’s renewal and looks sure to give it his best shot to go one better, but Arod who finished third 12 months ago would prefer much quicker ground.
Limato is another that likes to hear his hooves rattle, and Kodi Bear could well prove the main danger to Belardo.
The Clive Cox trained colt won three of his five starts last season and was very impressive in the last of those when making all on soft ground to easily land the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood by 3 1/4 lengths.
Kodi Bear was also far from disgraced on his final start of the season when finishing eighth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, behind Belardo, where he pulled far too hard in the early stages before weakening late on to be beaten 3 3/4 lengths.
Cox believes the four-year-old is more than capable of making an impact at Group 1 level, and reports him to be in peak condition ahead of this assignment.
Coral’s top tip: Belardo has proven form at Group 1 level and, with underfoot conditions holding no fears, looks decent value to win a wide-open renewal of the Lockinge Stakes.