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Audience wins Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes sponsored by Al Shaqab Racing

Audience wins Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes sponsored by Al Shaqab Racing

24-05-19
JDG
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Photo credits: Racing Post

Sponsored by Al Shaqab Racing, the Gr.1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes took place at Newbury on Saturday, May 18th, as part of Al Shaqab Racing’s sponsorship of the GBP 400,000 event since 2015. Runner-up of the Gr.2 Sky Bet City of York Stakes last year, the five-year-old Audience (Iffraaj) carried on improving by winning the 2024 renewal. Sent off an outsider, Audience was the second string for trainer John & Thady Gosden with stablemate Inspiral (Frankel) considered the best chance to win the 1600m contest. Having his first run of the year, the Cheveley Park Stud owned — Audience was stepping up in trip to land his first Gr.1 success and gave jockey Robert Havlin a second Gr.1 winner. Taking on ten rivals, Audience made all. Racing alone on the far side of the field, the homebred quickly went clear. Still travelling strongly two furlongs out, Audience was unchallenged despite hanging left towards the finish. Charyn (Dark Angel) made some encouraging late headway to grab second while Witch Hunter (Siyouni) was a clear third.

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Photo credits: focusonracing.com

“It’s probably not the one that everybody was expecting,” said the winning jockey Robert Havlin after the race, “but he was straightening last year through the middle of the summer to the back end. He finally gave himself a chance to stay a mile. Before that he wasn’t able to get a mile. We ran him over five furlongs, over six and everything. He was a bull in a china shop really. It’s been like a five years project and we’ve got there in the end.” Bred by Cheveley Park Stud, Audience is out of a Listed winner, Ladyship (Oasis Dream), who is a daughter of the multiple Gr.1 winning mare, Peeress (pivotal), half-brother to Gr.3 winner Esquire (Harry Angel), and half-brother to Gr.3 winner Dark Lady (Dark Angel).