Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
Group 1, Newbury 15:35
£350,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus,
1m, Class 1    
Saturday 18th May 2024


1 Audience 22/1
2 Charyn 4/1
3 Witch Hunter 22/1
10 ran NR: Real World Distances: 1¾l, 6½l, 4½l
Time: 1m 35.29s (fast by 0.71s)

Audience, seemingly the pacemaker for Inspiral, was a surprise winner.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, he had never run over a mile before. It was no surprise to see Rab Havlin jump him out in the lead in the center of the track. Despite being the second string, Audience maintained a sizable lead, and only Roger Varian’s Charyn could give valiant chase, crossing the line a length and a quarter behind.

“When you know what this horse is and what he’s done, then don’t leave him alone,” said John Gosden.

“He’s been working very well and I didn’t think Rab would be left in splendid isolation out in front, but I knew he would get a hell of a run out of him. I told Rab to go straight and he followed his line of mowing and no one came near him. It’s wonderful for Rab as he puts all the work in with him.

“He’s a wild boy, but he’s a horse with ability – look at the Kinross race, the City of York.

“He’s got solid Group form and he’s learnt to relax more with age, if you leave a horse like that alone he’s going to be very dangerous. We always knew he was going to be part of it and I thought he could maybe finish in the first four or five. As it was they ignored him and all got racing on the other side.

“The idea was he was there with Big Rock and softens up Big Rock, but he never really saw Big Rock. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and is a grand horse. Mrs (Patricia) Thompson kept him in training very kindly rather than him going to Hong Kong so he could be a lead horse for Inspiral and I think he has covered himself in glory.”


Thompson added of the winner: “That was amazing, we’re getting very good with geldings I think!

“He’s the half-brother to Esquire, the gelding who won the Group Three the other day (Greenham). It must be a fiery family, he was very fiery.”

Neither owner nor trainer were disappointed with the performance of Inspiral, who was fourth under Kieran Shoemark having started as the 2-1 favourite.

“The filly will come on a bundle for that, the trainer is so hopeless he couldn’t get her fit at home. I didn’t want to take her away for gallops at racecourses, that’s not her game,” Gosden said.

“She was always going to need it, but there will be another day with her and we’re on the road with her. She’s run a lovely race and has rather come across right across which is what she did in the Jacques le Marois last year with Frankie (Dettori). She’s come to make her run and has just got tired – she’s ‘blown up’ as they call it.

“In her work at home, she’s a lot older and wiser and I’m not going to tell her what she’s got to do, so she’s been quietly doing what she’s happier doing and she needed this race to bring her on for Ascot and I’m delighted with her run. She’s carrying rather a lot of condition.

“The Queen Anne would probably be the aim, as it would be for Audience as well, but talking to Mrs Thompson we would also look at the mile-and-a-quarter race (Prince of Wales’s Stakes) because when she won at the Breeders’ Cup – and I know it’s an easy mile and a quarter at Santa Anita – Frankie could not pull her up. He came back and said I think we’ve been running her over the wrong trip all the time. So we will leave our options open and see how she is over the next week.”

Thompson opted to give Inspiral another season in training instead of sending her off to stud, and added: “Inspiral always tells us when she wants to win, nobody knows before her!

“So rarely one gets a filly like that so you want to enjoy them as much as you can. We can wait until next year for the covering.”


Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes
(British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£350,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 1m, Class 1
10 ran
Going: Good

1 (5)     Audience 5 9-2 John & Thady Gosden Robert Havlin 22/1
2 (6)
Charyn 4 9-2 Roger Varian Silvestre De Sousa 4/1
3 (7)
Witch Hunter 5 9-2 Richard Hannon Sean Levey 22/1
4 (1)
Inspiral 5 8-13 John & Thady Gosden Kieran Shoemark 2/1F
5 (4)
¾ Hi Royal 4 9-2 Kevin Ryan Ryan Moore 22/1
6 (9)
Big Rock 4 9-2 Maurizio Guarnieri Aurelien Lemaitre 11/4
7 (10)
½ Poker Face 5 9-2 Simon & Ed Crisford James Doyle 9/1
8 (2)
2 Dear My Friend 4 9-2 Charlie Johnston Joe Fanning 40/1
9 (11)
7 Royal Scotsman 4 9-2 Paul & Oliver Cole Jamie Spencer 16/1
10 (8)
11 Flight Plan 4 9-2 K R Burke Daniel Tudhope 33/1
NR 8 (3) Real World 7 9-2 Saeed bin Suroor NON RUNNER

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