By Jon Lees
France: France’s top miler The Revenant is set to return to action at Saint-Cloud on Saturday ahead of a possible crack at the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury next month.
The Francis Graffard-trained winner of last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot is joined by Palace Pier, Britain’s best at the distance, and Order Of Australia, the Aidan O’Brien-trained winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, as one of 31 nominations for the first Group 1 for older horses of the British Flat turf season.
The Revenant has earned close to £1 million in prize-money, winning nine times since joining Graffard, and has never finished out of the first three in 13 career starts.
Harry Peter-Hoblyn, racing manager to owners Al Asayl France said: “It’s important for us to take one race at a time with The Revenant who runs this Saturday at Saint-Cloud in the Group 3 Prix Edmond Blanc, which he won in 2019.
“But if all goes well, we would love to bring him over to Newbury for the Lockinge in May. It was the target last year before sadly it was lost to COVID and looking at the race, it’s a perfect fit on paper.”
Roseman, Palace Pier and Lord Glitters, second, third and sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, are also engaged in the 1m contest for which total prize-money has been set at the 2019 pre-COVID value of £350,000.
Aidan O’Brien, who has won the Lockinge twice, has entered five, with Armory, Innisfree, Lope Y Fernandez and Mogul joining Order Of Australia.
Other Irish entries include the Johnny Murtagh-trained fillies Champers Elysees and Know it All. Champers Elysees progressed through handicaps to win the Group 1 Matron Stakes last year, in which Know It All finished fourth.
“They have just started a bit of fast work now so the plan is to run one or both of them in the Gladness Stakes at the Curragh [April 17] and if they shot the lights out, they could take their chance,” said Murtagh.
“We ran Champers Elysees in the Sun Chariot on her last start last year and it was decided to keep her in training as a four-year-old. They have both done well over the winter. We’ll see how they get on at the Curragh – it’s exciting even entering them in the Lockinge.”
• Read more and view the entries on the Newbury Racecourse website