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The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes - the centrepiece of Newbury Racecourse’s richest race-day

The £350,000 Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the centrepiece of an outstanding seven-race card, worth a prize pot totalling £750,000 - Newbury's richest race-day of the year - Saturday, May 20.

Named after a former parish located to the north of Newbury, the Al Shaqab-sponsored Lockinge Stakes was established in 1958 over the straight mile at Newbury Racecourse.

The first running was won by a three-year-old, Pall Mall, owned by Her Majesty the Queen, fresh from Classic victory in the 2,000 Guineas over at Newmarket. He went on to win the 1959 Lockinge Stakes too, becoming the first of three dual winners of the famous Newbury race.

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SUPPORTING THE LOCAL EQUESTRIAN INDUSTRY: behind the scenes with a vet from Wessex Equine

Wessex Equine vet Andy Richardson & groom Gemma help a foal that's coming round from an anaesthetic - her full story is below

On his rounds, equine vet Andy Richardson, who is a partner with the Wessex Equine Veterinary Practice, sometimes brings good news to yards, stud farms and stables - and sometimes he has to give them news that is not at all what they want to hear.

Marlboroughequestrian.news spent a day with Andy to see how Wessex Equine supports the area's equestrian community and the equestrian businesses that are a mainstay industry in Wiltshire's economy.

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Galileo Gold & Ribchester head acceptors for Newbury Racecourse’s £350,000 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes  

Newbury Racecourse - main stands

Star four-year-olds Galileo Gold and Ribchester headline 12 confirmations for the £350,000 Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (3.30pm) at Newbury on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Saturday, May 20.  The terrific mile contest forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Galileo Gold was the leading three-year-old miler in the first half of last season. He provided trainer Hugo Palmer and owner Al Shaqab Racing with a first British Classic triumph in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and also captured the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Godolphin's Ribchester (Richard Fahey) has race fitness on his side, having finished third in the Group 1 Dubai Turf over nine furlongs at Meydan in March. He gained the biggest victory of his career in the mile Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August, with Galileo Gold a well-beaten eighth, before taking second behind Minding in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over a mile at Ascot in October.

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July 2017: St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials to introduce arena eventing & ERM commentary for all

Andrew Nicholson with Nereo on his way to his fifth consecutive Barbury CIC*** title in 2016  (Photo: Adam Dale) 

The 2017 St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials, organised by the Event Rider Masters (ERM) Thursday, July 6 to Sunday, July 9, has announced its competition schedule.  Two innovations are being added to the Barbury recipe: the introduction of Arena Eventing and a new form of live the live commentary broadcast around the Marlborough Downs site.

With over 1,000 horse and riders expected to compete across, visitors to this year’s Barbury International Horse Trials will see some of the best Eventing competitors in the world and some of the riders - British and from other nations - headed to the European Championships at Strzegom in Poland the following month.

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Eventing: Andrew Nicholson wins his first Badminton - riding Nereo

At home: Andrew Nicholson and Nereo

New Zealand eventer Andrew Nicholson has won his first Badminton title - riding his 17-year-old Nereo.  Nicholson, who is based near Marlborough, is 55 and 21 months ago he broke his neck in a heavy eventing fall and for a time after his recovery was not sure he would continue to compete.  He won on his 37th completion of a Badminton coompetition.

His victory in Badminton's 2017 four star CCI competition came with the final round of the show jumping phase.  There were two German stars of the eventing world ahead of him.

First Germany's Michael Jung - who was defending his Badminton title - had a rail down and then Ingrid Klimke's jumping round fell apart giving her sixteen jumping faults and seven time faults - pushing her down to ninth place.

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Classic contenders and Royal winner headline Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Saturday

HM the Queen enjoying another day at Newbury

Barney Roy and Dabyah both enhanced their Classic claims with impressive G3 victories at Newbury (April 22), while Her Majesty The Queen was also present on day two of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend to see her colours carried to victory by Call To Mind.  

The Queen, who had celebrated her 91st birthday on Friday with a day's racing at Newbury, returned to the course to see her three-year-old Galileo colt Call to Mind, who she also bred, capture division one of the £8,000 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden over a mile.

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The magic is back: for Frankie Dettori & Galileo Gold Newbury's Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes cannot come soon enough

Galileo Gold cantering up Newmarket's Long Hill (Summer 2016)

Newmarket trainer Hugo Palmer is excited about running his stable star Galileo Gold in 2017's first proper test in Europe for older milers - the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, at Newbury on Saturday, May 20.
 
The four-year-old Paco Boy colt has long had the £350,000 race over the straight mile at Newbury as his target.   

Among the other 20 confirmed entries for the Locking Stakes revealed today (May 3) are Minding (Aidan O'Brien), Ribchester (Richard Fahey) and Qatar Racing's Lightning Spear (David Simcock.)  Galileo Gold's stablemate Home of the Brave may also run.

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Emma Lavelle's first year training on the Marlborough Downs sees her nearly double her winners

Irish Prophecy - the horse they're talking about - with Emma Lavelle

It is less than a year since jumps trainer Emma Lavelle moved from Hampshire to the famous and now much renovated and enlarged Bonita Racing Stables near Marlborough.  And Emma Lavelle Racing's first season there has been a resounding success: her tally of wins stands at 35 - against a total of 19 wins over the previous season at her Hampshire yard.

She says - modestly: "It's been a building year for us" - as in building up the yard's complement of horses. She has seventy boxes and 64 horses in training.

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