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All eyes on Newbury after York excitement
7:02am Saturday 17th May 2014 in Sport
G Force ridden by Daniel Tudhope wins the Ralph Raper Memorial Stakes during the Dante Festival 2014 Festival at York Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 16, 2014. See PA Story RACING York. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorp
AFTER three fantastic days at York, attention turns to Newbury this afternoon, and more Group 1 race action with the JLT Lockinge Stakes taking centre stage, a race that should get Olympic Glory's season of to the perfect start.
The Richard Hannon-trained four-year-old claimed the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last October but was then unsuited by the fast ground at the Breeders' Cup.
Retained rider Frankie Dettori will be hoping to make it third time lucky after finishing second on him twice before and missing out on victories on him due to injury.
"I've ridden him work three times and he only does enough, that's why he wears the head gear," he said. "He seems in tremendous shape, is best on a straight track and a mile is ideal for him. It looks the perfect starting point.
"Every Group One is hard to win so we certainly won't be taking anything for granted.
"We'll just do our own thing and hope it is good enough.
"One thing is he has won first time out at two and first time out at three, so I hope it's the same again at four."
Hannon also runs Montiridge, the mount of Richard Hughes, but believes Olympic Glory is a worthy favourite.
"We know he has the class – he won the QEII Stakes at Ascot last year – and, though that was in a mudbath, people seem to forget that on good ground he finished second to Dawn Approach in a Coventry and ran Moonlight Cloud to a short head in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.
"We have no qualms about the going and he has a favourite's chance.
"We also run Montiridge, who is rated 10lb inferior to Olympic Glory. This is a step up in class for him but, though he was beaten fair and square by Tullius in the Sandown Mile, unlike the winner he did not have a run under his belt, so hopefully our fellow can improve on that."
Malton trainer Brian Ellison saddles Top Notch Tonto, who chased home Olympic Glory at Royal Ascot last year, but could finish only fourth on his comeback at Sandown and he would certainly be better on softer ground.
For the second Saturday in a row, Thirsk are set to race. The weather looks like being a lot better than last week, and the eight-race card gets under way at 2.15pm.
Alan Swinbank and Ben Curtis were the team to follow on that card, visiting the winners enclosure on four occasions, on them was with the progressive Eutropius who is back for more.
The handicapper raised him 6lbs for that easy success, but he won with plenty in hand, nicely berthed in stall five and looks the type to remain competitive.
David O'Meara has already enjoyed a good week at York, with many of his horses running well and the very exciting That Is The Spirit making it two from two in his short career.
The Irishman can have another winner at Thirsk as with Bop It as a lot going for him in the 6f handicap at 4.35pm.
This horse is a half-brother to Hoof It and Ladies Are Forever, two black time performers and Bop It has still time to climb the ladder in this grade.
He has only had a handful of starts for this talented trainer and is beautifully drawn in stall nine.