The Middle Park Stakes (Saturday 30 September, 2.55) is a 6-furlong Group 1 Race for 2-year-old colts run on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Course. Named after the local stud of William Blenkiron, it was first established in 1866, and has been won by top-class horses like Brigadier Gerard, Oasis Dream and Dream Ahead.
5 of the last 10 winners started from stalls 1 or 2, with 3 of the last 5 winners in stall 2
8 of the last 10 winners had won last time out
Winners had run 13 to 55 days previously
Mark Johnston has trained 2 of the last 8 winners
Shalaa is the shortest-priced winner in the last 10 years at 1/2
3 of the last 6 winners have been relative outsiders returned at 22/1, 25/1 and 25/1
First run in Britain after four solid runs in Ireland, but he was outstayed over 7-furlongs last time on soft ground, having looked like he needed that trip previously when behind the re-opposing Sioux Nation. Something to find with that rival now.
Already won a Group 2 on the July course at Newmarket, but overall form leaves him with a bit to find as he’s already finished behind the likes of Sands Of Mali and US Navy Flag. Still a contender though as he’s trained by Mark Johnston.
Looked sure to win a big sales race at Doncaster last time before getting caught late on, but that form leaves him with around a stone to find with the best of these.
Backed like defeat was out of the question at Royal Ascot, but flopped there, and again when behind stablemate Sioux Nation last time. This looks even more competitive.
Finished behind stablemate US Army Flag earlier in the season and, though he’s won twice since, his run in the Acomb Stakes leaves him with quite a bit to find.
Finished behind Sands Of Mali, Sioux Nation and Unfortunately on his last three starts, but return to ground with a bit of cut in it could see him in a better light, as he his best run was when runner-up on similar ground in a French Group 2. Drawn in stall-2.
Only had three runs, and could still be improving, however the form of his third in the Goffs Yearling Sales Race has been slightly let down since.
Won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and didn’t lose any creditability when only third behind Cardsharp and US Navy Flag in the July Stakes when conceding those rivals 3lb. Back off level-weights here, and likely to have benefitted from being freshened-up.
Sands Of Mali
Seemingly unfancied on all 3 starts so far. However, after being well-beaten on debut, he’s won at 5/1 and 14/1 since. Especially impressive last time when he had Cardsharp 4-lengths behind, and the runner-up that day was unlucky not to win a Group 2 last time at Newbury.
Aidan O’Brien trained runner who looked nothing special on first 4 runs, but was a big-priced winner at Royal Ascot before beating Beckford ¾-length in a Group 1 last time. Worst runs have come on rain-softened ground though. Drawn in stall-1.
His inform stable has landed some big targets recently with its 2-year-olds, and interesting that Karl Burke has booked Jim Crowley to do the steering. Every chance.
US Navy Flag
Improving sort, but has already finished behind the likes of Rajasinghe, Cardsharp and Sioux Nation. O’Brien’s second string on jockey bookings.
Unfortunately, Sands Of Mali and Sioux Nation all have obvious chances on the ratings but, as there have been plenty of shocks in this in the last few years, I’m taking an each-way chance on Frozen Angel. He only has ½ a length to find with Unfortunately and, the soft ground should suit this son of Dark Angel, who could be another winner from stall-2.
Tip : Frozen Angel – Each-Way @ 40/1 PaddyPower