Lezoo looking to bounce back at Newbury
Beaten just once in five starts, the Ralph Beckett-trained Lezoo was one of Timeform’s highest-rated two-year-old fillies in training in 2022, producing her best effort when signing off with a ready success in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Nearly 10 months on and that still appeals as a strong piece of form. Runner-up Meditate went on to win at the Breeders’ Cup and has since finished second again in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh, while third-placed Mawj had both Meditate and Lezoo down the field behind her when showing very smart form to win the 1000 Guineas back at Newmarket.
The longer trip was put forward as a possible excuse for LEZOO on that occasion, though she fared little better when dropped back to six furlongs for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last time, never looking likely to get involved from off the pace.
That leaves Lezoo with work to do to prove she has trained on and is still capable of showing smart form as a three-year-old. A drop in grade for the Hackwood Stakes (15:00 Saturday) at Newbury could be just what she needs to get back on track, but another below-par effort could spell the end of her racing career and retirement to the paddocks.
Relief Rally a worthy favourite in Super Sprint
It’s been 15 years since William Haggas gained his most recent win in the Super Sprint (15:35 Saturday) at Newbury, but he’s trained any number of useful two-year-olds in the interim and RELIEF RALLY looks another one to keep on the right side judged on her narrow defeat in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last time.
Unbeaten in two previous starts, Relief Rally took another significant step forward in the Queen Mary, impressing most with her strength at the finish as she gradually pegged back the trailblazing US raider Crimson Advocate. She was in front a stride before and after the line, but the nod went against her as she lost out by a nose in the most agonising fashion.
Either way, the daughter of Kodiac has certainly made a promising start to her career and just a repeat of the form she showed at Ascot is likely to give her every chance of regaining the winning thread in this valuable contest.
For context, Relief Rally is 2lb clear of her main form rivals, Bobsleigh and Juniper Berries, on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, so it’s hard to argue that she isn’t a very worthy favourite for her powerful connections.
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Galileo on the verge of glorious landmark
Aidan O’Brien looks to hold all the aces as he seeks a record seventh success in the Irish Oaks (15:45 Saturday) at the Curragh. Epsom runner-up SAVETHELASTDANCE comfortably sets the standard on form, though she seems unlikely to have things all her own way with an improving stablemate in opposition, namely WARM HEART, an impressive winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last time.
An interesting subplot to the Irish Oaks is the fact that both the market leaders are by the late Galileo, who has continued to rack up the Group/Grade 1 winners in the two years since his death in July 2021. For example, it was only last year that Galileo sired his third winner of this classic – and a one-two to boot – when Magical Lagoon held off Toy.
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