The Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot will be the chief objective next season for Martyn Meade’s high-class colt Method.
The son of Mehmas appeared every inch a top-class juvenile in the making in winning his first two starts – comfortably dispatching of Fev Rover at Doncaster before landing a Listed prize at Newbury.
His tilt at Group One glory in last month’s Middle Park was a non-event after Frankie Dettori’s saddle slipped and he was well fancied to get back on the winning trail on his return to the Rowley Mile for Friday’s Cornwallis Stakes.
Method ran a creditable race over an inadequate five furlongs to finish second to Winter Power and connections are looking forward to seeing what he can achieve in 2021.
Reflecting on his latest performance, Freddie Meade, assistant to his father, said: “We achieved what we wanted as what happened in the Middle Park was so frustrating.
“Having had no sort of race in the Middle Park, we were desperate to give him another race and let him enjoy himself. The ground conditions were not ideal and we didn’t know how he would handle them and the trip was a bit on the sharp side.
“The speedier horses maybe got away from him, but he finished like a train. He will go back up to six furlongs next year, so we will aim for the Commonwealth Cup and work back from there.
“We were happy to get a nice race into him and we can put him away for the winter now and start again, when maybe we will see some people back on track cheering him on.”
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All eyes will be on Method as the talented youngster goes on a recovery mission in the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Breeding Project Cornwallis Stakes at Headquarters on Friday.
The Martyn Meade-trained colt is on a recovery mission following a luckless run in the Middle Park Stakes, when his saddle slipped – giving Frankie Dettori no chance to ride a race.
Method trailed home last of the eight after being eased down and allowed him to come home in his own time.
He was sent off the 100-30 second-favourite after winning his first two races in impressive fashion.
Meade admits dropping down to the minimum trip for the first time is not perfect – but hopes that will be tempered by the stiff track at Newmarket.
“Obviously it’s not ideal coming back to five furlongs – he is a six-furlong horse. Having said that, he does have plenty of speed and I have got to run him somewhere before the end of the season,” said Meade.
“He didn’t take anything out of himself in the Middle Park. He seems in good form and we’re hoping he can show his superiority over a distance that is a little bit shorter than ideal.
“It is a stiff five furlongs at Newmarket and the ground isn’t going to be lightning fast. From what I’ve seen of him working on soft ground at home, I don’t think it will be a huge inconvenience.
“Hopefully he can finish his season on a decent note.”
Clive Cox sees going back to five furlongs as a plus for First Edition, after the son of Invincible Spirit found the six a shade too far when fourth to Alkumait in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.
“He ran very well when he was fourth in the Mill Reef and is a horse we like a lot,” said Cox.
“The drop back to five furlongs seems to be a positive move, I just hope the ground isn’t too soft for him.”
Cox expects Snazzy Jazzy to relish the rain-softened going in the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes.
“He’ll love conditions and mainly his performances are very consistent,” said the Lambourn handler.
“He took a little step back on his last run, we’re not quite sure why, but he’s trained well.
“It’s his first run on the track and any rain will be appreciated by him.”
Godolphin have two contenders in Zakouski and Glorious Journey, trained by Charlie Appleby.
“We have been pleased with Zakouski’s preparation and are happy to drop him back to seven furlongs in testing conditions,” the Newmarket trainer told www.godolphin.com.
“He is a horse with a nice profile and doesn’t have to carry a Group Two penalty for his win earlier in the year. We are looking forward to seeing him back running on British soil ahead of another Dubai campaign.
“Glorious Journey has shown that he is capable of winning at this level and conditions will be there to suit. He came out of his run at Newbury well and his confidence is up on the back of that win. We are hopeful that he can put up another decent performance.”
A fascinating Group Two contest features a German raider, the Dominik Moser-trained Namos, fresh from his victory in a Group Three at Baden-Baden a month ago.
Roger Varian supplies the only two three-year-olds in the line-up.
Daahyeh makes a belated seasonal debut after being off the track since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita 11 months ago.
Khaloosy turns up after being withdrawn from the Guisborough Stakes at Redcar last weekend due to issues surrounding contaminated feed.
Joseph O’Brien is looking to pick up some more black type for Thinking Of You in the Godolphin Lifetime Care Group Three Oh So Sharp Stakes.
The American Pharoah filly was third in the Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh at this level after making a winning debut in a Limerick maiden.
“We’re hoping for some black type,” said O’Brien.
“She ran a very good race at the Curragh last time in what was a messy enough race. I’m quite hopeful of a good run from her.”
Opposition includes the Varian-trained Nazuna, who was second to Isabella Giles in the Rockfel Stakes, and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Saffron Beach. The New Bay filly made a big impression when making a winning debut over this course and distance two weeks ago.
Magic Lily returns from a 115-day break in the Darley Pride Stakes since Royal Ascot.
She was also busy at Meydan during the winter where she lifted the Group Two Balanchine and was second to stablemate Barney Roy in the Group One Jebel Hatta.
Appleby has slight concerns about the ground, but reports the five-year-old to be in good shape.
“Magic Lily was on the go for a while during the first half of the year and we gave her a nice break over the summer,” he said.
“This looked like a nice opportunity for her, particularly as she won’t have to carry a penalty for her victories in Dubai. There is a question mark about how she will handle the ground but she goes into this race fresh and well.”
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Method could run in the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes on October 9, having lost all chance in the Middle Park last weekend when his saddle slipped.
Unbeaten in the first two runs of his career, Method was strongly fancied to figure prominently in the Juddmonte-sponsored Group One on the Rowley Mile.
However, his race was over almost as soon as the stalls opened when Frankie Dettori’s saddle slipped forwards meaning he had very little control from on top.
“What can you say?” said Meade.
“Frankie wanted to take him down early and then get him in the stalls early with the aim of them dropping him in, but he jumped sharply and the saddle slipped. There’s not much more we can say about it. I was extremely disappointed.
“We’d thought of taking him to France, but it would mean using a different jockey so we might go to the Cornwallis over five furlongs.
“Obviously that’s not what he’s been running over, but I’ll look at his sectionals – not from the Middle Park, obviously!
“It was a bad day all round. We’d missed everything else purposefully for the Middle Park and then that happens.
“I don’t think five is his ideal trip, but he wouldn’t have a penalty and he needs to run somewhere.”
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The big four have all been declared for Saturday’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes as Minzaal, Supremacy, Lucky Vega and Method all stood their ground among a field of eight in the Group One.
Owen Burrows’ Minzaal arrives having won the Gimcrack in fine style at York, Clive Cox’s Supremacy was an impressive winner of the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood while Jessica Harrington’s Lucky Vega brings Group One form to the table.
Martyn Meade’s Method is defending the only unbeaten record, but needs to take a big step up from winning a Listed race in fine style last time out.
Aidan O’Brien should never be discounted in this race and runs Lipizzaner, with John Murphy’s Charterhouse also making the journey from Ireland.
Andrew Balding’s Royal Ascot winner Tactical and Michael Bell’s The Lir Jet, also successful at the big meeting in June, also line up.
In the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes, Karl Burke’s Dandalla, unbeaten in three, faces eight rivals.
The Albany winner has not been seen since winning the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes in early July.
Her main market rival is Ken Condon’s Miss Amulet, who will be sporting new silks since winning the Lowther in good style at York. She has been bought by Doreen Tabor, wife of Coolmore’s Michael Tabor, so Ryan Moore now takes the ride.
Aloha Star, third to Lucky Vega in the Phoenix Stakes, represents Fozzy Stack and is another to have changed hands since she last ran.
Richard Hannon’s Happy Romance will aim to add another big pot having won a couple of sales races already, while Richard Fahey’s Umm Kulthum is back out quickly having won at Ayr last week.
William Haggas’ Sacred, second in three Group Twos since winning on her debut, runs in cheekpieces with Alcohol Free, Illykato and James Ferguson’s first Group One runner Zoetic completing the field.
There was a shake up in the betting for the Juddmonte Royal Lodge after O’Brien chose not to declare ante-post favourite High Definition. He instead relies on Ontario, winner of one of his four races to date.
Mark Johnston’s Acomb winner Gear Up will aim to take his record to three from three while Cox’s Cobh, Roger Charlton’s Pleasant Man and Ralph Beckett’s New Mandate complete a field of five.
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Martyn Meade reports his exciting juvenile Method to be in fine form ahead of the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
The Group One contest over six furlongs has been the plan since the two-year-old son of Mehmas took his 100 per cent record to two with victory in the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury in July.
Meade’s charge had comfortably seen off another high-class youngster in the filly Fev Rover when making an impressive racecourse debut at Doncaster in June, before taking a step up in class in his stride last time out.
Fev Rover has boosted the form significantly since and was a Group Two winner at Deauville recently.
“He’s doing his final bits of prep for that and, at the moment, it’s all systems go for Saturday,” said Meade, whose top-class stayer Technician was retired in June after picking up a tendon injury in the Gold Cup.
“Everything is going to plan. He’s definitely on course for that. He’s fine and we’re hoping for a big run from him.
“It’s very exciting and we’d love to win that to make a miserable season a bit better.”
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