Olympic Glory Takes Lockinge, Verrazano Third

Olympic Glory Takes Lockinge, Verrazano Third
Photo: Trevor Jones
Olympic Glory pulls away to take the JLT Lockinge Stakes.
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Al Shaqab Racing's Olympic Glory hit the lead in the final quarter mile and kicked clear to win the JLT Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I) May 17 at Newbury, while United States grade I winner Verrazano   finished third in his European debut.

Runner-up finisher Tullius broke from the pack to chase Olympic Glory through the final eighth of a mile but never looked to catch the winner, who notched a fifth group victory and third at the highest level for Richard Hannon Jr.

Trying turf for the first time, Coolmore and partners' Verrazano was hard-trying through the final furlong to grab third, another 1 3/4 lengths back.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Olympic Glory was timed in 1:36.98 for one mile on good-to-firm turf. The 4-year-old son of Choisir was making his first start in more than six months since finishing ninth in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). That race followed a 3 1/4-length triumph in the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) Oct. 19 at Ascot.

Stablemate Montridge did the work up front early, setting a solid pace while Richard Hughes settled Olympic Glory in sixth in the eight-horse field for the Lockinge. Joseph O'Brien settled Verrazano into an easy rhythm toward the rear, and Jimmy Fortune had Tullius at the back.

Olympic Glory, the 11-8 favorite with Racing Post, reached striking distance two furlongs out and was ready to roll when Montridge threw in the towel with about a furlong to run. Tullius was in hot pursuit, but the winner was too strong.

Running from the back of the field, Verrazano showed a swift turn of foot in a creditable performance for Aidan O'Brien. Winner of last year's Wood Memorial Stakes and Haskell Invitational Stakes (both, gr. I), the son of More Than Ready   could meet Olympic Glory again at Royal Ascot in June.

Olympic Glory's career line stands at 7-3-0 from 12 starts that also includes a win as a 2-year-old in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium (Fr-I) at Longchamp. Denis McDonnell bred him in Ireland out of the winning Alzao mare Acidanthera.

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