A horse-by-horse guide to the runners in the Vision.ae Middle Park Stakes
By Ben Coley. Last Updated: 11/10/13 2:06pm
Hot Streak: May be the one to take the favourite on with
Ben Coley guides us through the runners in Saturday's Vision.ae Middle Park Stakes and goes for Hot Streak to score.
ASTAIRE: Speedy colt whose sole disappointment so far came behind Dewhurst entry Anjaal over course and distance on his second start. Since proved that HQ holds no fears and then showed good battling qualities in winning the Gimcrack last time. Runner-up ran a reasonable race in Group One company last weekend and Astaire isn't far off the best of these on all known form. Arguably favourite to lead inside the distance but may just find one or two too good come the line.
BAHAMIAN HEIGHTS: Bogged down in the Ayr mud last time but even if prepared to a forgive previous all-weather defeat he looks up against it, especially if the effect of blinkers wares off on what's a fourth start in them. Rating of 96 flattering and no realistic chance here.
BROWN SUGAR: Won Goodwood's Molecomb at the expense of stablemate Anticipated, then ran a good race in Group One company before confirming that impression with a tenacious win at Kempton last time. Feeling is that the Prix Morny in which he finished fifth lack a little depth but he's versatile and honest and ought to run with credit in defeat.
GREAT WHITE EAGLE: Set a new European record for a breeze-up sale when he went through the ring for £800,000 at Newmarket in April and ante-post favourite for this on the back of two stylish wins over this trip in Ireland, which suggest that money could well have been well spent. Group One entries beyond this race are at a mile and that's where his future probably lies, but that in itself makes the smoothness with which he's travelled to date all the more impressive. Form of his Group Three win last time nothing out of the ordinary but had previously beat a well-touted compatriot and clearly he represents top connections. Combine that with a likely furious pace to chase and he's the one to beat here.
GREEN DOOR: Another speedy type who is two from three in blinkers. It was a weak Flying Childers that he won last time out but having been keen his turn of foot close home was impressive enough. Concern would be that while a furious pace should help him settle, it may also leave him with little left in the final furlong, an opinion substantiated by his two disappointing efforts over this trip so far.
HOT STREAK: Five-length winner of the Cornwallis Stakes last weekend, a race which saw him settle much better and power clear close home over five furlongs. If that's a sign he's become more race-smart then there could well be more to come and there are few concerns over this trip - one he made his debut over and in impressive fashion too. Both starts immediately prior to that Ascot win leave him with work to do with a couple of today's rivals but may well have turned a corner, and from a rails draw he'll surely be waited with by ideal partner Jamie Spencer. Looks the pick of the Kevin Ryan pair.
JALLOTA: Finished ahead of Brown Sugar in the Prix Morny, as he had done in maiden company, and reversed form to beat Astaire when third in the July Stakes, two standout pieces of form from a strong-travelling horse. May just be the type to benefit from a truly-run stakes race such as this and a drop back in trip looks a wise move after he powered to the furlong marker before fading over seven here last time. The form book confirms he's got a bit to find and will find winning difficult, but at around the 33/1 mark it's possible he could sneak a place for each-way supporters.
JUSTICE DAY: Made all to win at Salisbury last time but that owed plenty to ground which he coped with while others patently did not. Earlier third behind Astaire, with conditions again to suit, leaves him with plenty to do and as one of several pace angles in the race his role here is likely to be relatively insignificant.
SAAYERR: Visually impressive in first two starts before shaping as if in need of six furlongs in the Norfolk Stakes. Got that when landing the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood and it's quite possible he found the ground far too soft behind Astaire at York last time. With that in mind he perhaps shouldn't be three-times the price of the aforementioned front-runner, and trainer has landed a couple of big-priced juvenile winners here before. On balance he's opposable, though.
SHAMSHON: Strikingly impressive winner of a Sandown maiden and harsh to use the subsequent exploits of the three in behind - each of whom is rated 55 or lower - to crab that performance. Subsequently won a Listed race overseas with something to space but had no apparent excuse behind Supplicant at Newbury last time, bar perhaps the ground. Difficult to know at this stage how much ability is there and this race should reveal a good deal more.
SPEEDFIEND: Four-race maiden with ground to make up on some of the lower-rated horses in this race. Has made the running the last twice and was a tad unfortunate not to hang on at Kempton. A rating of 84 would look to be stiff enough and if he beats a rival he's done well.
SUDIRMAN: Highly thought of and has improved for better ground since disappointing on his racecourse debut. Perhaps too keen to do himself justice in the National Stakes last time but still beat all bar the impressive winner well enough and it's fair to expect better of him back at six furlongs, a distance at which he'd previously looked at home. Trainer won this with Bushranger in 2008 and while this one looks an altogether different type, he goes into the race with a solid chance.
SUPPLICANT: Winner of four of seven starts and has taken off since upped to six furlongs, doing enough in winning the Mill Reef to convince connections to supplement him for this race. Trainer would like a little rain to aid his cause but even without it this progressive son of Kyllachy holds solid each-way claims with Ryan Moore back on top. May also be a little more streetwise than some of these less-experienced rivals.
VERDICT: With speedball Astaire drawn close to the rail and the likes of Justice Day and Green Door there to keep him honest, this is likely to be run at a breakneck tempo and that should play into the hands of ante-post favourite Great White Eagle. Aidan O'Brien's expensive Elusive Quality colt could be the real star in this line-up and it's quite possible he'll go off at 6/4 or shorter come race time. While his prospects look very good, at that sort of price he would be opposable and HOT STREAK could be the one to take him on with. Jamie Spencer looks a perfect partner for Kevin Ryan's horse and while his achievements over six furlongs so far aren't of the standard required here, his Ascot performance last time promised plenty and his trainer has no doubts about backing him up quickly. This race could be run to suit and the best is yet to come from this strong-moving son of Iffraaj. Of the remainder, look for Jallota outperforming his odds for a trainer who does well with his two-year-olds here.