Past Winners » Premio Loco


Premio Loco has drifted out to 13/2 this morning, and that is a fair bit too big in my book.

Of course, his weakness in the market is a concern, especially on his seasonal debut, and it may be that he is just not sparkling at home, but he was put in as clear favourite when they opened an ante post book on this race earlier in the week, and it may be that other factors are influencing his weakness in the market.

There seems to be a general consensus around that he may not have the stamina for 10 furlongs and, sure enough, a cursory glance at his form – just one attempt at 10 furlongs in a 31-race career, top class form over a mile, Group 2 win over seven furlongs – suggests that he may struggle for stamina.

However, that one attempt at 10 furlongs was in this race three years ago, and you couldn’t have said that he didn’t stay the trip. True, they didn’t go a great gallop through the race, but Premio Loco was delivered with what looked like a race-winning run down the outside and he ran all the way to the line. The problem was that so did Scintillo, who beat him by the bob of a head. The pair of them pulled clear of their rivals, and Scintillo went and won a Group 2 race over 12 furlongs at Chantilly two months later.

The other negative against Premio Loco today is his draw in stall 11. That is not ideal on the face of it, you generally don’t want to be too wide at Lingfield, but he is a hold up horse anyway, and the draw hasn’t been a huge factor in this race in recent years. Three of the first four home in last year’s race were drawn 10, 9 and 11 of 13 runners, and three of the first four home in 2010 were drawn 12, 10 and 9, also of 13. Scintillo emerged from stall 10 of 12 when he beat Premio Loco in 2009.

There are so many more positives than negatives. Premio Loco is the classiest horse in the race by some way. It is less than a year since he finished third, beaten four lengths, behind Canford Cliffs and Worthadd, and in front of Dick Turpin and Red Jazz and Twice Over, in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, and he proved that he hadn’t lost his trademark turn of foot when he beat Dafeef in the Group 2 Park Stakes at Doncaster in September.

There is a chance that he will be losing some of his speed now at the age of eight but, even if that is the case, the step up to 10 furlongs should negate that. His trainer said that ideally he would have got a run into him before today, but he is a horse who can go well fresh, he goes well on the surface and, now with Suits Me out of the race, there is a chance that the pace will not be very strong, and that will suit. He may under-perform, he may need the race a little, but he shouldn’t be too far off concert pitch, this has surely been his target since Wall decided not to bring him back to Meydan again this year, and 13/2 or 6/1 is too big.