At The Races expert Declan Rix insists international Grade One star Modern Games is the one to beat in a wide-open renewal of the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old enjoyed an outstanding globetrotting 2022, winning Group One races in France, USA and Canada including the French 2000 Guineas.
And while he has ran with credit in the UK, he’s yet to taste top-level glory on home turf but Saturday could well be his best chance at Newbury without a superstar in opposition like 2022 winner Baaeed.
My Prospero, Laurel and Mutasaabeq will all provide a decent test, but Rix has made the case that the Godolphin contender could bag a maiden British Grade One this weekend.
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“I think Modern Games is the one for me,” Rix told the Weekend Winners digital show. “He’s a really likeable horse and put together an incredible CV last year.
“He won the French Guineas, the Woodbine Mile, the Breeders’ Cup Mile and was second to Baaeed in the Sussex Stakes.
“He had a seriously good year. It was a little bit disappointing he was beaten last time out in the Makers Mark Mile at Keeneland but he just looked very rusty to me.
“Once William Buick got him straightened out in the straight, he really did fly home late and time might tell that he was beaten by a very good horse.
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“He’s just a likeable, honest, straightforward horse with a good constitution. 11/4 or 3/1 is definitely as low as I’d want to go but the ground is really coming for him.
“He really does like to hear his hooves rattle. Laurel is by Kingman and she’s quite low to the ground so she might need a bit of juice [in the ground].
“My Prospero handles all kinds of ground but he might want rain to make it a stamina test.
“I don’t see an awful lot of pace. Mutasaabeq and Chindit will go forward but I think they’ll sit and sprint so it’ll turn out to be a tactical renewal.
“Modern Games is tactically versatile and ground versatile so I think he’s the one to beat. 3/1 is the lowest I’d go but he’s the one to beat and the conditions are coming right for him.”