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Accidental Agent will stake a claim

Eve Johnson Houghton's Group 1 winner returns to Newbury for Ladies Day

Liam Headd

Liam Headd

liam.headd@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886629

Accidental Agent will stake a claim

Picture: Newbury Racecourse

EVE Johnson Houghton’s Group 1-winning colt Accidental Agent will make his seasonal reappearance in the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday, May 18. 

The five-year-old, bred and owned by Eve’s mother, Gaie Johnson Houghton, finished sixth behind Rhododendron in last year’s race and Eve is hopeful that he can build on that result.

She said: “He has wintered well. He had a few little problems at the end of last year and had to have a surgery on a front ankle. 

“That was a minor surgery and he has come out of it very well.

“He ran a great race in the Al Shaqab Lockinge last year and I can see him running another big race this year. He is in really good form.”

Reflecting back on his Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes success last year, the trainer’s biggest career win to date, Eve said: “I backed him! I had £10 on him each way at 50-1.

“I knew he was going to run, which was half the battle, and I fancied him to definitely be placed.

“I thought he ran a great prep race in the Al Shaqab Lockinge. I knew he loved Ascot and I had him in the best form possible going into the race.

“I was really happy watching him in the race all the way through. 

“As the field opened up, I thought he was going very well, and we would be in the first six, then the first four, and then that we would actually win it. It was brilliant.”

Accidental Agent ran in top company twice more after his Ascot success, but failed to make the frame on both occasions.

His trainer is not concerned though and expects to see a fresher horse at Newbury Racecourse this month.

She said: “I think Ascot took a lot more out of the horse than I ever envisaged.

“He seemed fine at home, but then you got to a racecourse and he wasn’t quite himself. 

“He is doing very nice work at home at the moment. I think he will run a big race and I can easily see him being placed.”

The Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes run over a straight mile is worth an impressive £350,000 in prize money.

Won by some great horses in the past including the legendary Frankel and Ribchester, last year’s winner Rhododendron was the first filly to win the race since 2004.

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