Tag Archive for: Middleton Stakes

Bluestocking wows with Middleton demolition

Bluestocking made light work of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes at York.

Ralph Beckett’s Juddmonte-owned four-year-old travelled well from the off in the Group Two, stalking Sapphire Seas as Rossa Ryan remained patient on board.

When the Godolphin runner began to falter, Bluestocking was left in front and after starting at 5-2 she was unchallenged when striding to a most impressive six-length victory.

Last year’s winner Free Wind, the 15-8 favourite, was the runner-up this time for John and Thady Gosden.

Rossa Ryan returns with Bluestocking
Rossa Ryan returns with Bluestocking (PA)

Beckett was understandably delighted with the winner, who finished second in the Irish Oaks and on British Champions Day last season.

“It’s about time, isn’t it? She was a bridesmaid too many times last year and it’s great to get that race under our belt,” he said.

“She has been frustrating. I said to Barry Mahon (of Juddmonte) yesterday that I felt we’d done everything right, but you never know with her.

“I thought she looked well all week, saddling her I thought she could have looked better but she’s put it all together well today on a track that really suits her. She ran well here in the Yorkshire Oaks last year and I was quite happy to come back even if the ground did dry out.

“We tried the cheekpieces on her last start last year and had them on again. I always think the cheekpieces are pretty much a halfway house, you can take them off pretty easily and put them on pretty easily and I don’t think she’ll always need them.

“Perhaps she’s just come of age today and we had all of our ducks in a row. She was full of confidence and Rossa rode her that way.”

The Kimpton Downs handler was non-committal regarding future plans, added: “We’re well entered up and we’ll work it out as we go along, I think.

“The Coronation Cup is a possibility, but it’s quite soon (15 days). We’ll have a think and see how she comes out it, all options are open.”

Of Free Wind, John Gosden said: “She stayed on nicely, but she needs the mile and a half now, she’s that bit older – she’s won a Park Hill over a mile and six so I was very happy with that run.

“She was doing all her best work in the last furlong so we’ll step her up in trip. The Lancashire Oaks at Haydock is the obvious race, but this is the only one you can run in early in the year so we’ll step her up.

“She only just got up to win this last year, but this year the winner has improved mightily from three to four. I was delighted with ours, but we’ll step up to a mile and a half. She got beaten a nose in the Yorkshire Oaks last year, so we’ll try that again, but we’re likely to meet this filly there.

“The idea is to get a Group One this year, she’s won a Group Two the last three seasons.”

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Infinite Cosmos primed for Middleton return

Infinite Cosmos will command plenty of attention in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes at York on Thursday, falling as she does into the bracket of one who could thrive as an older horse under the expert guidance of Sir Michael Stoute.

Lightly-raced with just four outings to her name, the daughter of Sea The Stars was third in the Musidora Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago but was forced to miss Royal Ascot and did not reappear until Yarmouth in September.

She was beaten there by Godolphin’s Sapphire Seas, but was perfectly entitled to be rusty after her time off and in any case ran with promise for the future.

“Free Wind and Bluestocking are obviously the form fillies, but the boss has his horses in good form and hopefully there is plenty more to come from Infinite Cosmos as a four-year-old,” her jockey Ryan Moore told Betfair.

“You’d hope there is progression in her after just the four starts, and she comes into this in good form at home.

“I’m happy with her. I think the track will suit her, as will the recent rain.”

Free Wind defends her title for John and Thady Gosden, with her liking for the track confirmed when running Warm Heart to a head in the Yorkshire Oaks at the Ebor meeting.

The Ralph Beckett-trained Bluestocking was fourth in that race and went on to be runner-up on British Champions Day at Ascot, while the aforementioned Sapphire Seas takes on Infinite Cosmos again.

Charlie Appleby’s filly was most recently seen finishing second to stablemate English Rose in the Balanchine in Dubai in February.

Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “Sapphire Seas had a little break after her run in Dubai and looks great heading into this. She has a bit to find on the ratings, but stepping back up in trip should suit and she deserves to be in the field. We hope that she can be competitive.”

Novus represents Gary and Josh Moore, with last year’s Oaks third Caernarfon taking her chance for Jack Channon.

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Ground key to Rogue Millennium’s summer plans

Tom Clover will bid to land a Group race with Rogue Millennium this summer, providing there is some ease in the ground.

The daughter of Dubawi stayed on well under Jack Mitchell to finish third to India in the Group Three Prix Allez France at ParisLongchamp at the end of last month, having opened her four-year-old season with a runner-up effort to Foxes Tales in the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton

Last season’s Lingfield Oaks Trial heroine may now be aimed at York’s Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes on Thursday week, according to her Newmarket handler.

Clover said: “She is a lovely filly. She has done well physically from three to four and it is nice she has got two more nice bits of black type next to her name this year already.

“I think she just relished that slightly easier ground at Longchamp. We had a very dry summer last year and it was very difficult to find suitable ground for her.

“But she has come out of it well and I suppose the last couple of years in the Middleton there have been five, six or seven runners.

“The race is an early closer, but we will have to have a look. I don’t know whether we will go there. There is also the possibility of a Group Two at Saint-Cloud.

“I think she appreciates some cut underfoot and we are a little dependent there. She is in good form and please God she can bag a Group race this year, which would be amazing. She is a lovely horse to have around.”

Clover will have plenty of juvenile talent within his ranks this season, although he has high hopes for three-year-olds Rogue Lightning and Rogue Spirit.

The former won a six-furlong Newmarket novice on debut last June and opened this term with a fair third in a five-and-a-half-furlong Listed contest at Chantilly in March, while Rogue Spirit won twice last season in a busy campaign.

“We are in a slightly rebuilding year. We have some lovely two-year-olds coming through and over half the horses are two-year-olds,” explained Clover. “A few horses ended up moving on last year, which is part and parcel of our game, sadly.

“Rogue Lightning looks a nice prospect. He ran a nice race at Chantilly in a Listed race to be third, when they went very hard and he didn’t quite get home.

“And Rogue Spirit’s form with Cold Case, who won at Ascot on Wednesday, looks very strong. Likewise, the form with Al Dasim, whom he beat at Haydock in September, looks solid, as that one did well in Dubai over the winter.”

He added: “We have a few maidens still to run. Rogue Sea, another three-year-old, won quite nicely a couple of weeks ago at Yarmouth on debut.

“Rogue Lion has quite a nice pedigree and ran quite a nice race on debut when fourth at Nottingham.

“Hopefully he is one to pick up nice races through the summer and hopefully will make up into a nice four-year-old as well. He’s going nicely and he’s a bonny horse – I like him.”

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