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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.

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“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.”