05/14/2010 11:00PM

Paco Boy in control at Newbury


Paco Boy outclassed his eight rivals in the $290,000 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday. Given a supremely confident ride by Richard Hughes, the 5-year-old son of Desert Style took the Group 1 mile by an eased up three-quarters of a length from Ouqba to record his third victory at racing's highest level.

In atoning for his fourth-place finish in last year's Lockinge, Paco Boy provided clear evidence that he is much improved since last year when he won Royal Ascot's Queen Anne Stakes, whose title he will defend in his next start on June 15. In the Lockinge, he was allowed to settle comfortably in sixth place behind the slow pace set by Stimulation. A furlong from home Hughes was still sitting chilly as the riders on the other principals, Zacinto, The Cheka, and Lord Shanakill, were all hard at work. Finally, at the sixteenth-pole, Hughes pushed the button, and the 8-11 Paco Boy surged to the front about 50 yards from the line. Lord Shanakill was third, 3 1/2 lengths behind runner-up Ouqba. The Cheka was fifth, and 7-2 Zacinto, winner of the Group 2 Celebration Mile in August, finished last, duplicating his disappointing performance in the Breeders' Cup Mile. The time for the straight mile on good to firm ground was 1:37.31.

Coming off a repeat 3 1/4-length victory in the Group 2 Sandown Mile, Paco Boy, who is trained by Richard Hannon in Marlborough about 18 miles from Newbury Racecourse, must now gear up for a likely Queen Anne challenge from Goldikova. The two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner is expected to make her seasonal debut next Sunday at Longchamp in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, the 1 1/8-mile, 55-yard contest in which she finished seventh last year.