Royal Lodge Stakes Odds, Field & Predictions

Contenders for the Breeders’ Cup and for next year’s European Classics go on trial in the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, when G2 runner-up Capulet and unbeaten G3 winner Aablan take on the unbeaten Ghostwriter and stakes-winner Al Musmak in a fascinating clash of stamina-rich colts.

Breeders Cup Odds

Royal Lodge Stakes

G2, £125,000, 1m straight turf (fast), 2yo males, 8.50am ET

The Royal Lodge at Newmarket on Saturday, as well as offering win-and-in status for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, provides another chapter in the neverending rivalry between superpowers Coolmore and Godolphin, who are both strongly represented.

The most compelling piece of form belongs to Coolmore and Capulet (2-1), who set out to make all in the 2023 G2 Champions Juvenile at Leopardstown over a mile and very nearly did so. He was caught a furlong out but rallied strongly all the way to the line and was beaten just a half-length by his odds-on barnmate, with his rider not giving him a hard race.

That barnmate is second-favourite for next year’s G1 Derby at Epsom, and Capulet is a very promising colt who looks an ideal candidate for a race his trainer Aidan O’Brien has already won seven times. He may face a battle for the lead today.

Godolphin have Aablan (5-1), unbeaten in two after making his stakes breakthrough in the 2023 G3 Solario over seven furlongs at Sandown, getting up for the money late after running green when asked to move. He is ready to stretch out, but the first five in the Solario were covered by just a couple of lengths so the form may not be super-strong, although there is likely more to come.

Another with stakes-winning form is Al Musmak (13-2), who broke through at Haydock over a mile with a comfortable victory, asserting inside the final furlong before drawing off to beat the favoured Macduff (10-1), who could never threaten, by a length and a half. This is a big class hike for both but stamina is in the bank.

Al Musmak’s barnmate Defiance (14-1) got it right first time over a mile at Sandown, flunking the break but finishing off strong to pip long-time leader Caviar Heights (16-1) by a short head. That was encouraging but Defiance goes straight into deep water now, although the subsequent maiden score of Caviar Heights – Goodwood, a mile, made every yard, another potential pace angle – lends weight to the performance.

Stakes debutant Ghostwriter (5-1) is two-for-two over seven furlongs, latterly at Ascot when he took them gate-to-wire and kept on well to win with more in hand than the margin of a length and a quarter suggests. He wants to go longer now and is ready for this upgrade, although there is plenty of speed here and he may not be able to dictate.

Son (33-1) is zero-for-three in stakes since breaking his maiden and looks to need an easier spot, while the one-race maiden At Vimeiro (25-1) is impossible to like in this company.

Royal Lodge Stakes Odds & Prediction

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
CapuletRyan Moore+200
Aablan James Doyle+500
GhostwriterRichard Kingscote+550
Al MusmakDavin Egan+650
MacduffRossa Ryan+1000
DefianceTom Marquand+1400
Caviar HeightsOisin Murphy+1600
At VimeiroChristophe Soumillon+2500
SonPat Dobbs+3300

Aidan O’Brien has a heap of high-class juvenile colts and CAPULET, very impressive in defeat last time, can keep up the barn’s dominance in the division.

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