Royal Lodge Stakes Could Have Breeders' Cup, Kentucky Derby Implications

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September 27th, 2018

Whether you’re interested in the Breeders’ Cup, the Kentucky Derby, the 2019 European classics, or all of these combined, you absolutely won’t want to miss Saturday’s Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) at Newmarket in England. Won in the last decade by such talented horses as Frankel, Roaring Lion, Joshua Tree, and Daddy Long Legs, the one-mile Royal Lodge offers abundant options for the winner. In addition to being a logical stepping stone toward Europe’s major prizes in 2019, the race offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I), and it also serves as the first leg of the 2018-19 European Road to the Kentucky Derby, offering 10 qualification points to the winner.

So familiarize yourself with the ten horses entered in the Royal Lodge, because you’ll surely be hearing from them on many occasions during the coming months!

Leading the charge is Arthur Kitt, winner of the Chesham Stake at Royal Ascot and most recently second behind the well-regarded Too Darn Hot in the Solario Stakes (Eng-III) earlier this month. With an overall Racing Post Rating of 122, this popular son of Camelot boasts the classiest form to date and looms as the horse to beat for trainer Tom Dascombe.

But the up-and-coming Beatboxer can’t be overlooked. Racing for the high-profile team of trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori, Beatboxed opened his career with easy back-to-back wins at Sandown and Haydock, and while he still needs to step up his game in terms of Racing Post Ratings, the unbeaten son of Scat Daddy clearly has talent and could be ready for a big run on Saturday.

Top trainer Aidan O’Brien has entered three contenders, including Cape of Good Hope, third behind the talented Quorto in the Superlative Stakes (Eng-II) in July, but unraced since then. Mohawk, fourth behind Quorto in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Ire-I) less than two weeks ago, and Sydney Opera House, fifth in the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (Ire-II) one day prior, round out the O’Brien contingent.

Kadar, a debut winner at Haydock on September 6th, and Kuwait Currency, winner of the Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury last month for trainer Richard Hannon, are other up-and-comers receiving support among the British bookmakers.

The experienced Duke of Hazzard, with six starts under his belt, has progressed steadily this year and was beaten less than a head in a listed stakes race at Deauville last time out, while Victory Command—even more heavily raced with eight starts this year—did nab a listed stakes victory when he won the Pad Eddery Stakes at Ascot in July. Fox Tal, fourth in the Stonehenge Stakes, completes the field.

The Royal Lodge is the first race of the day at Newmarket, with a post time of 8:50 p.m. Eastern.