Horses To Follow » Love Lockdown

Love Lockdown

Love Lockdown looked like one of the better juveniles around this season before the Listed Kerry Spring Water Rochestown Stakes at Cork on Sunday, and that notion was further strengthened by a comprehensive performance from the Ger Lyons-trained gelding in winning the race. Quickly into his stride and settled nicely in front before they had gone two of the six furlongs, he had everything else except the eventual runner-up King Ledley under pressure before they reached the two-furlong pole. It took him a little while to pick up when Keagan Latham asked him, but he always had the measure of his immediate challenger Dream Deer, and he had enough in reserve to withstand the effort of King Ledley on the outside inside the final 100 yards. He gave the impression that he was only just doing enough. It looked like King Ledley might overhaul him when he challenged inside the final 100 yards but, although the winning margin was only a neck in the end, it wasn’t shortening any inside the final 25 yards. Love Lockdown could be even better than this.

This was a really good juvenile contest. The second and the third both looked really useful beforehand, and the time of the race was just over a half a second slower than the time that it took the high class sprinter Snaefell to complete the same course and distance an hour later. There were four races run over six furlongs on the day, and this, the juveniles’ race, was the second fastest. Love Lockdown has now won the last three races that he has contested. He is undefeated since he made an eye-catching debut behind Pilgrim Dancer – who had had the benefit of a run – on unsuitably softish ground at Naas in April. On his previous start, he battled on really well to get the better of the well regarded Ballydoyle colt Beethoven, who was thought to be a Royal Ascot horse. Lyons was considering bringing Sean Jones’s son of Verglas to Royal Ascot as well, but seems to have decided on this contest instead, and that could stand to the juvenile later in the season. He is not in the Railway Stakes at The Curragh on Derby weekend, which is a pity, as he wouldn’t have been out of place in that. He should be good enough to win at Group 3 level now, possibly even higher.

14th June 2009