Tag Archive for: Middle Park Stakes

Perfect result for Fahey in Middle Park

Christophe Soumillon produced Perfect Power with a flawlessly-timed run to get the best of a blanket finish in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Richard Fahey’s charge already had a Group One victory on his record as he landed the Prix Morny last time out, and he was sent off the 11-4 favourite to follow up in this six-furlong affair.

Soumillon was towards the rear through the early stages as Go Bears Go and Twilight Jet went toe to toe up front, setting a sound gallop, although the challengers were lining up in behind as the field approached the two-furlong marker.

Twilight Jet did his best to fend them off, but Armor, Asymmetric and Caturra all put the pressure on before Perfect Power came with a precision burst down the middle of the track.

He surpassed them all to steal a half-length verdict, with Castle Star also finishing with purpose from the rear to take second.

Armor was third, with Go Bears Go rallying again to snatch fourth.

Perfect Power halved the winner in price to 8-1 for the 2000 Guineas, while Coral go 10-1 about his chance in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

A relieved Fahey said: “I’ve been watching racing all week and when we got stall one I thought ‘someone down there doesn’t like me!’.

“I was very negative in my own mind, but he is a special horse. The way he quickened up today – it took a special ride and a special special horse to win like that today.

“We knew were struggling from the draw and Christophe said ‘I’ll drop him right out today’. I said ‘you do what you like, kid!’.

“He’s a ball of a horse who has had a busy enough time. When you go to Royal Ascot, then you go to Glorious Goodwood and then Deauville and then here, it’s tough – but he loves it.

“With two furlongs to run I thought we were in a bit of trouble, but when he pulled him out he picked up very well.”

He added of the future: “We had a board meeting about two months ago and we said we’d go Richmond, Deauville and then here. We haven’t got any further than that.

“For a two-year-old, he’s very special. He’s very easy and has a super mind. When he’s not exercising he eats and then goes to sleep.

“He could step up (in trip) on pedigree. His sire (Ardad) was a fast two-year-old and we don’t know much about his progeny, but on the dam’s side we’ve every chance of staying.”

Power poised to prove top of the class in Middle Park

Perfect Power will cement his position as the pre-eminent juvenile over six furlongs this season if he can come out on top in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Richard Fahey’s Ardad colt won the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in June from Go Bears Go, who quickly franked the form in the Railway Stakes in Ireland.

Perfect Power was then strongly fancied in the Richmond at Goodwood – but wherever the luckless Paul Hanagan went that day, he seemed to find trouble and was beaten just over a length into fifth behind Asymmetric.

He was extremely impressive in the Prix Morny at Deauville, however – displaying an electric turn of foot under Christophe Soumillon, who keeps the ride.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed, but we’re going there very hopeful,” said Philip Robinson, assistant racing manager for owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

“Obviously we were all delighted with the success in France, and Richard says he has got him spot on – he’s very happy with him.

“Hopefully he’ll win while the owner is in town. The hope is he’ll be there, and it will be great if he can win while he is.

“He’s won on quick ground at Ascot, so that won’t be a worry to him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they put a bit of water on because it’s been a bit breezy.

“Good, fast ground should be perfect. It’s what you want for a meeting like this, when you are trying to find the champions.”

While Perfect Power remains over six furlongs for now, the hope is he may stay further next season.

“Obviously we’re hoping he’s not just a two-year-old,” added Robinson.

“At this stage, whether he’ll stay any further we’ll just have to play it by ear, but we know he’s got plenty of speed.

“We’ll hope he gets a mile and we’ll maybe start off looking that way. We might find out a bit more in this, and we’ll see how he handles the track.

“With a horse of his calibre, you are always hoping they will be OK for the Guineas.”

One horse who looks sure to stay further next season is the Ger Lyons-trained Dr Zempf.

Fourth in the Railway Stakes on just his second start, he turned that form around with Go Bears Go and Castle Star in the Phoenix – in which he found only Ebro River too strong.

“His work has always been impressive, but we’ve always trained him with next year in mind,” said Lyons.

“I’m happy going into the Middle Park – I’m not saying he’ll win it, but he’ll be competitive. He’s always showed quality.

“I would much rather be going over seven furlongs with him, but we are erring on the side of weakness at the moment. Colin (Keane) has always said ‘stick to six with him for the moment’.

“I think it is the six furlongs that has been getting him beat up to now. Colin said he would reverse the form of the Railway Stakes, and he was right, but then we bumped into one in the Phoenix.

“The Dewhurst is not out of the question. We’ll see what happens on Saturday – he’s had a light season, and I can’t wait to see him over seven.”

Go Bears Go is already a big-race winner on his travels to Ireland
Go Bears Go is already a big-race winner on his travels to Ireland (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

David Loughnane remains convinced there is a Group One in Go Bears Go, who has had a break since the Phoenix.

“He’s not let us down yet, so it’s all systems go,” said Loughnane.

“He was my first runner in a Group One in the Phoenix when he was third, and he’s my only one.

“The winner franked the form in the National Stakes, so we’ll be going confident that he’s a Group One horse.

“He seems in a great place. We gave him a little break for a freshen-up after the Phoenix, and I couldn’t be happier with him at the moment.

“It’s a tough race, but he is definitely a Group One horse, so fingers crossed he gets the rub of the green.”

Clive Cox and Adam Kirby with Caturra at Doncaster
Clive Cox and Adam Kirby with Caturra at Doncaster (Mike Egerton/PA)

Clive Cox is rolling the dice with Caturra, who finished strongly to deny Morny fourth Armor in the Flying Childers over five furlongs at Doncaster.

The Lambourn trainer said: “Obviously this is another step back up in trip to six furlongs – but with the dry ground and his well-being, I’m pleased that we’ve got an option to run at the next level, having won his Group Two.”

Armor tries again for Richard Hannon, with the Morny form further represented by Alan King’s Asymmetric – who was third at Deauville.

Fozzy Stack’s Castle Star renews rivalry with Go Bears Go and Dr Zempf, and Aidan O’Brien has an interesting contender in HMS Endeavour – who has won the last two of his three starts.

The Michael O’Callaghan-trained Twilight Jet was third in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and adds further strength to the Irish challenge, which is completed by another O’Brien runner in the shape of the twice-raced maiden New York City.

Twilight could Jet into Middle Park picture

Michael O’Callaghan will consider supplementing Twilight Jet for next week’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

The promising juvenile has kept smart company since opening his account at Tipperary in early June, performing well on his last couple of starts to finish third in both the Gimcrack Stakes at York and Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Having decided against running in this weekend’s Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, the Twilight Son colt now looks set to be return to Group One level on the Rowley Mile on Saturday week.

“Twilight Jet might be supplemented for the Middle Park,” said O’Callaghan.

“He ran a good race at Doncaster, stepping up to seven furlongs. That run proved to us that six is possibly his best trip – he has a lot of tactical speed and a lot of speed.

“We put a line through his run in the Phoenix Stakes as he was proper sick afterwards and he went to the Gimcrack then at probably only 90 per cent and ran a big race.

“He ran an even bigger race the other day and in a competitive race like the Middle Park, I think he’ll run a big race again.”

Another juvenile O’Callaghan is looking forward to stepping up in grade between now and the end of the season is King X J.

The Cotai Glory colt was only seventh on his racecourse debut at the Curragh, but justified strong market support when landing a valuable sales race at the home of Irish Flat racing on Sunday.

O’Callaghan added: “He’s a fine, big horse who probably wants seven furlongs or a mile already, but we just thought he had enough class to drop back to a stiff six at the Curragh when there was such a big prize on offer. Thankfully the plan paid off.

“He might go for a Listed race in Dundalk, or he might even go for the Killavullan Stakes in Leopardstown.”

Perfect Power camp eye Middle Park next

Perfect Power is on course for the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket next month, after opening his Group One account in Deauville’s Prix Morny.

The Richard Fahey-trained colt showed impressive acceleration to land the spoils by a length and a quarter from Trident.

That emphatic triumph made up for an unlucky run in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, and was a return to the form he showed in winning the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“He looks like being a decent horse. Any horse that quickens like that has got a huge advantage over anything else,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

“I think he was a bit unlucky in the Richmond. They didn’t go much pace, and poor Paul (Hanagan) couldn’t get anywhere. He got stopped wherever he went – and then the race was over.

“I expected him to beat all those that ran in the Richmond. It was good.

“It will be the Middle Park next, and then we’ll see about next year.”

Minzaal heads top-class field seeking Middle Park honours

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.

Minzaal and Supremacy poised for Middle Park clash

Minzaal and Supremacy are on course for a mouthwatering clash in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Since finishing a promising fourth on his Ascot debut in late July, the Owen Burrows-trained Minzaal has shed his maiden tag at Salisbury and run out a thoroughly impressive winner of the Gimcrack Stakes at York.

Connections are looking forward to testing his powers at Group One level this weekend.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said on Monday morning: “That (Middle Park) is the plan for Minzaal.

“Owen has been very happy with him since York. I’m sure he has another bit of work to do later in the week, but provided that goes well, hopefully we’ll see him on Saturday.”

Clive Cox has confirmed both Supremacy and Nando Parrado for the six-furlong contest.

Supremacy was last seen dominating his rivals in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, while Nando Parrado proved his 150-1 victory in the Coventry at Royal Ascot was no fluke by filling the runner-up spot in the Prix Morny at Deauville last month.

Supremacy is set to represent Clive Cox
Supremacy is set to represent Clive Cox (Mark Cranham/PA)

With ground conditions on the Rowley Mile on the quick side of good, Cox is favouring running Supremacy this weekend, with Nando Parrado potentially waiting for the seven-furlong Dewhurst Stakes next month.

Speaking on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast, Cox said: “Nando Parrado would appreciate a drop of rain. We’re very keen at some stage to step him up to seven furlongs, but we’ll be keep the option open – if the ground did ease significantly, then we’ve got that base covered.

“We’ve left him in, but he probably won’t be declared if it doesn’t rain. He’s going to stay another furlong and probably even a mile next year – he’s a very exciting prospect.

“Supremacy is a proven horse on top of the ground. He was a very impressive winner of the Richmond, he’s in good form and he would be our chosen runner on Saturday, all being well.

Method adds further strength in depth
Method adds further strength in depth (Francesca Altoft/PA)

“We did think about the Gimcrack (at York last month), but he didn’t scope perfectly. It was a minor issue – everything is fine now. He’s a lovely horse with a lot of speed.”

Martyn Meade’s unbeaten colt Method is also among the 10 colts confirmed, as are Michael Bell’s Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet and the Queen’s Windsor Castle and and July Stakes victor Tactical, trained by Andrew Balding.

Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Lipizzaner and St Mark’s Basilica, Jessica Harrington’s Lucky Vega and John Murphy’s Charterhouse are possible challengers from Ireland.

Method firmly on course for Middle Park mission

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.”