Race of The Day Saturday September 29
15:006 furlongs (1200m)

Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group 1)

Newmarket (July Course)

  • Current Favourite  Ten Sovereigns
  • Current Odds 8/11
Race Analysis Runners 8 Going Good to Firm Distance 6 furlongs (1200m)

Race Overview

Nearly always won by a smart colt with pretensions to 2000 Guineas glory, the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes is staged over the testing six furlongs of the Rowley Mile track at Newmarket and this year offers guaranteed prize money of a hefty £275,000.

Aidan O’Brien won the race last year for the fifth, time, US Navy Flag landing the spoils before going on this season to climb to the top of the sprint tree with his win in the Group 1 Darley July Cup this summer. He is represented this time by hot favourite Ten Sovereigns, and the talented Sergei Prokofiev.

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World class trainer Aidan O'Brien

Favourite Ten Sovereigns

Ten Sovereigns, trained by Aidan O’Brien (pictured) is unbeaten in two starts so far and faces his toughest test yet. He was impressive last time out at the Curragh when easily accounting for Bruce Wayne in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes, but must now account for stronger opposition and handle the quicker ground.

Racehorse trainer Simon Crisford

Other Contenders

Simon Crisford’s has potentially his best horse yet in the shape of the unbeaten colt Jash, while Aidan O’Brien’s Sergei Prokofiev, third in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes is no slouch either. Rumble Inthejungle is a Group 3 winner at 5f, while Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes winner Emaraaty Ana is no forlorn hope ether in a good renewal.

Race Analysis

Given Aidan O’Brien’s fine record in this race you have to afford Ten Sovereigns plenty of respect, coming here unbeaten in two starts and having landed the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes in good style last time out at the Curragh. Whether the form of that race entitles the son of No Nay Never to be odds-on is quite another matter, and while he is undoubtedly an exciting prospect, he offers little value at the current odds.

Ryan Moore’s mount will be encountering faster ground than he has faced before, will be running downhilll into a dip for the first time, and is taking on better horses than in the past, so the value call is to look elsewhere for the winner, even though he may prove himself star material.

Fellow Ballydoyle raider Sergei Prokofiev has competed at this top level before and came up some way short, finishing last of five in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last month won by Martyn Meade’s Advertise. He may have had an ‘off day’ then, and on his previous third to Calyx in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot a bold show certainly cannot be ruled out, but he does have something to prove now.

JASH, like Ten Sovereigns, has yet to taste defeat, but his two wins have come at a relatively modest level. Simon Crisford’s son of Kodiac was impressive on debut on Newmarket’s July course earlier this term, then asolutely hacked up by nine lengths at Salisbury under his penalty in a six furlong novice stakes a couple of weeks ago. That in itself isn’t good enough, but it’s hard to deny the potential of Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum’s charge who has already proven himself on an undulating track and on fairly quick ground.

The word from the Crisford team is that they are very optimistic about this youngster, and with the handler having been associated with so many great horses during his two decades as racing manager to Sheikh Mohammed before turning his hand to training, you have to respect the fact that Jash is exciting connections. At current odds he looks worth chancing to overturn the odds-on favourite.

Emaraaty Ana has been acquired by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid since landing the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York last month over this trip. This well bred son of Shamardal got the better of Legends Of War by half a length on the Knavesmire and there may again be little between the pair who were some way clear of Space Traveller. Richard Fahey’s colt  appears to have it all to do to reverse the form.

Legends of War has since finished just fourth in the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster, and as a slightly fresher horse who is still relatively unexposed I expect Emaraaty Ana to confirm the York form, although it is questionable whether that will be good enough to bustle up the principals here.

Richard Spencer’s Rumble Inthe jungle was so impressive when routing his rivals in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood this summer before running a shocker when last of nine in the Flying Childers Stakes. If he has recovered from whatever affected him that day he would not be out of this, although his ability to prove effective at six furlongs has to be taken on trust.

Marie’s Diamond makes up the eight-strong field, and you’d have to say that current 50/1 odds are something of an insult about a horse who has been runner-up in two good Group 2 events – including the Richmond Stakes – this season. Mark Johnston’s colt isn’t out of place in this line-up despite not always bringing his ‘A’ game to the table.

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Ten Sovereigns

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.