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John Gosden expecting a good performance from Laurel in the Lockinge.

Today’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is an open renewal to say the least. Paul Blake looks ahead to the 3.35 at Newbury today.

Modern Games comes into the Lockinge today with a Breeders Cup win, a French 2000 Guineas win, and a Canadian Woodbine Mile success already in his locker. On paper, he looks favourite to add a home win to his impressive résumé later this afternoon. Trainer, Charlie Appleby remarked, “He’s a model of consistency. It’s a strong race but he doesn’t look out of place. A Group 1 in England is well within his realms.”

Of the other key players, John Gosden said of Judmonte Farm’s Laurel, “She’s in great form. She’s a lovely filly. She’s come up gradually…we’re very happy with her. We think she’ll put in a good performance.”

Perhaps going slightly under the radar is Mutasaabeq for Charlie Hills, ridden by last year’s winning jockey Jim Crowley. Running in the colours of Baaeed, for Shadwell Estates, Mutasaabeq is now performing with the blinkers on.

My Prospero comes into the race with the highest Timeform rating. Who would back against William Haggas having back-to-back wins, despite the high draw.

The latest renewal does not necessarily carry the depth of talent as in some previous encounters. However, picking a winner may prove a little trickier than usual.

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