Beckhampton-based trainer Roger Charlton is certain that his Cityscape is no back-number despite his dismal effort in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last month when virtually pulled after being tailed off a long way from home in the race won in tremendous fashion by Godolphin’s Farhh.
Charlton has always held the flashy chestnut in high regard and was proved spot on as the son of Selkirk delivered a superb performance at Meydan in March last year to land the nearly £2 million Group 1 Dubai Duty Free by four-and-a-half lengths from Mutahadee, a victory that suggested he would be finding the winners’ enclosure soon after at a high level in Europe.
A certain Frankel first put an end to winning over a mile in Group 1 company last term, but the seven-year-old ran a number of good races in defeat behind another star miler, Aidan O’Brien’s Excelebration, chasing home the high-class colt in both the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October, Frankel having by that point move up to 10 furlongs.
Expected by connections to give a good account of himself at Newbury in the Lockinge Stakes on his seasonal reappearance, betting news pundits were however very negative as the ground dried out quickly.
In the contest itself Cityscape never appeared to be moving particularly well and was struggling under his regular pilot James Doyle before halfway. Two furlongs from home he was already a long way adrift and his rider sensibly allowed him to come home in his own time, appreciating that the horse was uncomfortable on the ground and wasn’t letting himself down.
The racing betting news on the Bet365 website indicates that, given a better surface at Royal Ascot, the Prince Khaled Abdullah-owned veteran could take his chance in the opening race of the meeting, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, a race in which he as an excellent third to Canford Cliffs back in 2011.