05/14/2016 12:00PM

Belardo wins J.T. Lockinge Stakes


Belardo went winless in seven starts in 2015 but won for the second time in three races this year while capturing his first Group 1 since the Dewhurst in October 2014 when he beat Euro Charline by one length in the J.T. Lockinge Stakes on Saturday at Newbury in England.

Racing from well behind the pacesetters in the straight-course mile, Belardo surged down the middle of the course in the last-quarter mile, running past Euro Charline in the final furlong to win going away. Andrea Atzeni rode the winner for trainer Roger Varian and owners Godolphin and Prince Faisal.

Belardo was among the best 2-year-olds in Europe during 2014 but struggled for most of his 3-year-old season, and it was only a rallying second behind Solow in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in October that spurred his connections to give the colt another try in 2016. Belardo won a listed stakes to start his campaign, finished fourth in the Sandown Mile on April 22, and improved markedly Saturday over a drying course rated “good” at race time.

Euro Charline, a good second in the Dubai Turf last out, maintained her solid form and loomed a winner before Belardo’s late heroics. She could go next in the Falmouth Stakes, while Endless Drama, a neck back in third while making his first start in about one year, might meet Belardo again in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Limato finished fourth, going some way to confirming that he doesn’t quite stay one mile, while Toormore, who was second in the 2015 Lockinge, could only manage fifth.