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Friday, June 24, 2011





Beacon Lodge proved his wellbeing with a fine effort against a bona fide Group One star on his most recent start and Clive Cox’s charge is among 13 horses declared for what is a high-quality renewal of the £50,000 Group Three John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes (3.20pm) at Newmarket tomorrow, Saturday, 25th June.


The lightly-raced six-year-old sought a second triumph in the Group Three Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord over a mile at Chantilly on 12th June and ran a fine race to finish a length and a half third to last season’s Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes hero Byword.


Beacon Lodge opened his account this season with a seven-furlong triumph in a Haydock Listed contest on 7th May and then failed to get the run of the race when fifth behind The Cheka in the Group Three Timeform Jury Stakes over that course and distance three weeks later.


The Eve Johnson Houghton-trained The Cheka, part-owned by actor and comedian Mel Smith, is set to reoppose Beacon Lodge on 5lb worse terms in the John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes.


Cox revealed today: “Beacon Lodge ran a very nice race in France last time behind Byword and we were very pleased with that performance. He has come back from France very well and, with the showers around, I am pleased he is taking his chance on Saturday.


“He didn’t get a clear run at Haydock the time before. He was drawn wide, dropped in and then didn’t get a good run at all. We are better off at the weights with The Cheka on that performance. The Cheka was a worthy winner on the day but we will hopefully be better equipped now that he has to carry a penalty.


“Looking at the forecast, the band of rain looks pretty sure and from what Michael Prosser has said, they could get something on Friday evening. If it dried up too much, it wouldn’t be in our favour.”


Also among those declared for the contest is the Mark Johnston-trained Awzaan. The  four-year-old landed the Group One Shadwell Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket in 2009.


Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor is set to saddle last season’s Group Two Hungerford Stakes victor Shakespearean, while 2010 Ayr Gold Cup hero Redford, trained by Dandy Nicholls, is also primed to line up.


The remainder of the field consists of dual Group Two victor Libranno, the smart Pausanias, Listed winner Flambeau, Inler, Dever Dream, Palace Moon, Field Of Dream and Kakatosi. 


Saturday’s cracking seven-race card at Newmarket also features the £30,000 Listed Try timeform.betfair.com On Your Smartphone Fred Archer Stakes (2.45pm) over a mile and a half, which has eight declared runners.


Group One winner Jukebox Jury, successful in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes for trainer Mark Johnston last year, is a notable contender, as is the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Cavalryman, who landed the Group One Grand Prix de Paris in 2009.


The Michael Bell-trained Allied Powers won the Group Two Grand Prix de Chantilly in 2010 and was a fine third in this year’s renewal of that contest on 5th June, while the remainder of the field consists of the talented performers Afsare, Alwaary, Anmar, Sabotage and Verdant.


A total of 12 runners have been declared for the lucrative £150,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Cup (3.55pm) over 10 furlongs, including the Richard Hannon-trained pair of Auld Burns and Measuring Time. The former held the latter in second place when winning the £250,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Trophy over the same distance on the Rowley Mile in April.


Irish trainer Jessica Harrington has declared the thrice-raced Listed winner Siren’s Song, last seen finishing seventh in the Group One Investec Oaks at Epsom on 3rd June.


The good quality card also includes the £21,500 Listed totesport.com Empress Stakes (2.15pm) over six furlongs for two-year-old fillies.


Among the 14 exciting individuals declared to line up are the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained My Propeller, who scored by 17 lengths at Pontefract on 19th June, the hat-trick seeking Misty Conquest from the Tom Dascombe yard, the Tim Easterby-trained Queen’s Revenge, the John Gosden-trained Hawfinch and Lily’s Angel, fifth in the Group Three Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot for trainer Richard Fahey.


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