Shock Lockinge Win For TDN Rising Star Audience



As expected, Cheveley Park Stud's colours were in the winner's enclosure following Newbury's G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge S. on Saturday but it was aboard the Gosdens' 22-1 shot Audience (GB) (Iffraaj {GB}–Ladyship {GB}, by Oasis Dream {GB}) who uber-excelled in his task of pacemaking for Inspiral (GB) (Frankel {GB}). Labelled a TDN Rising Star at two, the homebred grandson of the Thompsons' 2006 Lockinge heroine Peeress (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) had shown what he could do when left alone on the lead with ample space to express himself in last year's G3 Criterion S. at Newmarket, but on the whole on the formbook was a shade below the best here.

Relishing being untethered by Robert Havlin, the 5-year-old had cracked every rival bar Charyn (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) heading into unknown territory at the furlong pole and not long after he had drawn any sting remaining from that rival en route to an emphatic 1 3/4-length success, Witch Hunter (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) was 6 1/2 lengths away in third, with the 2-1 favourite Inspiral a well-beaten fourth and the returning G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. hero Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) only sixth, having stumbled leaving the stalls before trying to lay up too close to the killer pace.

“He's got solid group form and he's learnt to relax more with age, if you leave a horse like that alone he's going to be very dangerous,” John Gosden said. “He's been working very well and I didn't think Rab [Havlin] would be left in splendid isolation out in front, but I knew he would get a hell of a run out of him. We always knew he was going to be part of it and I thought he could maybe finish in the first four or five. As it was, they ignored him and all got racing on the other side. Mrs Thompson kept him in training very kindly rather than him going to Hong Kong so he could be a lead horse for Inspiral and I think he has covered himself in glory.”

In hindsight, anything Audience did at two and three was only every going to be a precursor to what he would be capable of later in his career given that his second dam was a handicapper at three and thrived at four and five. Impressive on that sole 2-year-old start at Newmarket in October 2021, he had failed to go on from that the following season and so was gelded after losing in a five-furlong conditions race. Coming back strong to beat the seven-furlong specialists Jumby (Ire) (New Bay {GB}) and Pogo (Ire) (Zebedee {GB}) in the Criterion last July, he failed to win again despite running some big races against the best over that trip.

Twice put in the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale only to be withdrawn, Audience came to the same venue at which his 3-year-old half-brother Esquire (GB) (Harry Angel {Ire}) had won the Greenham last month to add his name to a list of those who were not supposed to win this including Cape Cross (Ire) and Fly To The Stars (GB), both acting as pacemakers in the 1990s. This was also an eighth success for Cheveley Park Stud, either under the Stud's name or the names of Patricia Thompson and her late husband David.

Gosden Sr added of Inspiral, “She will come on a bundle for that, the trainer is so hopeless he couldn't get her fit at home. I didn't want to take her away for gallops at racecourses, that's not her game. She was always going to need it, but there will be another day with her and we're on the road with her. She's come to make her run and has just got tired–she's 'blown up', as they call it. In her work at home, she's a lot older and wiser and I'm not going to tell her what she's got to do, so she's been quietly doing what she's happier doing and she needed this race to bring her on for Ascot and I'm delighted with her run. She's carrying rather a lot of condition.”

While Inspiral is likely to head back to the G1 Queen Anne S. in which she was runner-up last year, Gosden revealed that there are thoughts of returning her to the distance of her Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf victory in Royal Ascot's G1 Prince of Wales's S. The win of Audience may perhaps make that decision easier. “The Queen Anne would probably be the aim, as it would be for Audience as well, but talking to Mrs Thompson we would also look at the mile-and-a-quarter race,” he added. “When she won at the Breeders' Cup, which I know was over an easy mile and a quarter at Santa Anita, Frankie could not pull her up. He came back and said I think we've been running her over the wrong trip all the time. So we will leave our options open and see how she is over the next week.”

Cheveley Park Stud's managing director Chris Richardson said, “It's a family we've nurtured for 32 years, it's extraordinary how we can go back to the fourth or fifth generation. There's plenty of speed in the family and it's a family that has just come alight again. Now we'll seriously have to consider the Queen Anne for him and whether we step up in trip for Inspiral is a decision we'll make.”

Havlin added, “He's a little bit of a thug, he ran some great races last year and really stayed on at the end. I didn't think he'd be good enough to beat Inspiral, but he's always threatened to have a good one in him as he's super-talented. You're a little bit of a passenger on him, you just let him get on with it–we've learnt from experience that you don't try to organise him. Last year, he would never have got a mile as he was just too much like a bull in a China shop, but he obviously has improved over a mile and there'll be some nice races to win with him.”

Big Rock's trainer Maurizio Guarnieri blamed the dried surface for the tame effort of his stable star. “We know that the ground is a real problem and if he had the ground okay for him, after 210 days off then he would have been okay but this is a group 1 against horses with one or two races and it is not so easy–with today's conditions, it felt like the world was against us,” he said. “The horse didn't show what he can do in heavy and soft ground–he didn't change his speed and normally the others are three and four lengths behind, but today he just stayed at the same pace. In my opinion, he could go to [Royal] Ascot if we get some soft ground, which can sometimes happen there.”

Pedigree Notes
Audience, who brings the tally of group 1 wins for his sire to a dozen, is out of the Listed City Plate winner Ladyship (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) who also produced the G3 Dick Poole S. winner Dark Lady (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) as well as the aforementioned Greenham scorer Esquire by Dark Angel's son Harry Angel. Ladyship was the best of two black-type performers out of Peeress, who also captured the G1 Sun Chariot S. and G2 Windsor Forest S. and was placed in the G1 Matron S., G1 Prix Jacques le Marois and G1 Falmouth S. Ladyship's unraced 2-year-old filly by Mehmas (Ire) is named Kinswoman (GB).

Saturday, Newbury, Britain
AL SHAQAB LOCKINGE S.-G1, £400,000, Newbury, 5-18, 4yo/up, 8fT, 1:35.29, gd.
1–AUDIENCE (GB), 128, g, 5, by Iffraaj (GB)
1st Dam: Ladyship (GB) (SW-Eng), by Oasis Dream (GB)
2nd Dam: Peeress (GB), by Pivotal (GB)
3rd Dam: Noble One (GB), by Primo Dominie (GB)
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. TDN Rising Star. O/B-Cheveley Park Stud Ltd (GB); T-John & Thady Gosden; J-Robert Havlin. £226,840. Lifetime Record: 13-4-4-3, $570,786. *1/2 to Esquire (GB) (Harry Angel {Ire}), GSW-Eng; and Dark Lady (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}), GSW-Eng. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Charyn (Ire), 128, c, 4, Dark Angel (Ire)–Futoon (Ire), by Kodiac (GB). (250,000gns Ylg '21 TATOCT). O-Nurlan Bizakov; B-Grangemore Stud (IRE); T-Roger Varian. £86,000.
3–Witch Hunter (Fr), 128, g, 5, Siyouni (Fr)–Sorciere (Ire), by Orpen. 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. (€115,000 Ylg '20 ARDEAY; €145,000 2yo '21 ARQDEA). O-William Stobart; B-Petra Bloodstock Agency Ltd (FR); T-Richard Hannon. £43,040.
Margins: 1 3/4, 6HF, 4HF. Odds: 22.00, 4.00, 22.00.
Also Ran: Inspiral (GB), Hi Royal (Ire), Big Rock (Fr), Poker Face (Ire), Dear My Friend (GB), Royal Scotsman (Ire), Flight Plan (GB). Scratched: Real World (Ire).

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