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Inspiral and Big Rock set to do battle in Lockinge Stakes at Newbury

Inspiral and Big Rock are set to do battle once again at Newbury this Saturday, as both were declared for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes on Thursday morning. Poker Face and Charyn are amongst the other names seeking Group One glory in what could be a classic - live on Sky Sports Racing

Inspiral is heading for the Lockinge
Image: Inspiral is heading for the Lockinge

The clash between Inspiral and Big Rock is on after both were declared for Saturday's Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

The duo locked horns in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville last summer with John and Thady Gosden's star filly coming out on top by a little over a length.

She would go on to capture a further Group One prize at Newmarket in the autumn before finishing the year with stateside success at the Breeders' Cup.

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Meanwhile, having played bridesmaid in some of the best races around throughout 2023, Big Rock got his moment in the spotlight when blitzing the opposition with an emphatic victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day.

The son of Rock Of Gibraltar has since left Christopher Head and will make his first start for Maurizio Guarnieri at Newbury.

All 11 who stood their ground at Monday's confirmation stage have been declared, meaning Roger Varian's Charyn has the chance of an early-season hat-trick having thrived at both Doncaster and Sandown so far this term.

Poker Face, who was second to Charyn at Sandown, will represent Simon and Ed Crisford when attempting to turn the tables, with last year's 2000 Guineas third Royal Scotsman an interesting runner on his return from almost 11 months off the track.

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The King and Queen's Desert Hero headlines the nine declared for the opening Sky Sports Racing Aston Park Stakes.

Other notable names include the Gosdens' Middle Earth, who finished off winning in Listed company last term, and Ralph Beckett's Salt Bay, who was only beaten a neck when third over track and trip in the John Porter.

William Haggas also has a strong hand in the Highclere Castle Gin Carnarvon Stakes where Relief Rally is the standout name, although Sea Just In Time is a notable absentee in the concluding Haras De Bouquetot Fillies' Trial Stakes.

In the daughter of Sea The Stars' absence, it is left to Juddmonte's Siyola, Charlie Appleby's Diamond Rain and Roger Varian's Ejaabiyah to battle it out for a ticket to the Betfred Oaks.

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