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Last Updated: October 11, 2013 11:51am
Supplicant: Nothing to lose in going for Middle Park
Connections of Supplicant believe they have "little to lose" by upping him to Group One level in Saturday's vision.ae Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
After looking exposed mid-season when meeting with defeats at Royal Ascot and Goodwood, Richard Fahey's youngster has struck form with a vengeance, rattling off a hat-trick of wins culminating in victory in the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.
Supplicant was subsequently supplemented for the Middle Park, in which he bids to emulate Awzaan, who won both races in 2009.
"The rain will be appreciated and he's in good form. We've got little to lose by running him," said Chris Richardson, managing director of the owners, Cheveley Park Stud.
"After he won the Mill Reef, we decided to supplement him for the Middle Park, and now we'll find if he's up to a Group One. It's only surprising to find 13 were declared with only six going for the Dewhurst."
Gimcrack winner Astaire represents Kevin Ryan, with the trainer taking the same route as in 2005 when he saddled Amadeus Wolf to win at York before claiming the Middle Park.
Astaire has won three of his four starts, with his only defeat coming at Newmarket in the July Stakes, and the Hambleton handler is confident he will handle any ground conditions.
"I don't think he has any preference as far as the ground is concerned. You wouldn't have thought he would have gone through the soft ground at York, but he did, and I don't believe there is any such thing as fast ground at this time of year," said Ryan.
"He never leads in his work at home but I will leave the tactics to Neil Callan, he knows the horse very well.
"Astaire is, like all Gimcrack winners, a very good horse. He has shown us loads since day one and has since proved himself on the racecourse."
Ryan also runs last week's impressive Cornwallis winner Hot Streak, who is stepped back up from the minimum trip.
Aidan O'Brien's highly-regarded Great White Eagle is the only unbeaten runner and won a Curragh Group Three without coming off the bridle last time.
O'Brien last won this two years ago with Crusade, who went on to finish sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
"We are happy with him, he's in good order. He's only had the two runs but I have been happy with his work since (the Curragh)," said the Ballydoyle handler.
Richard Hannon has two representatives, Molecomb and Sirenia Stakes winner Brown Sugar and Mill Reef fifth Shamshon, who is owned by Sheikh Joaan Al Thani.
Ed Sackville, racing manager for Brown Sugar's owners De La Warr Racing, said: "His form stacks up, he's tough, and he always tries his best. The options were to run in the Cornwallis and potentially win another Group Three, or go for a Group One."
Richard Hannon junior, son and assistant, said: "Brown Sugar is in great form. He won the Sirenia Stakes on the all-weather pretty well and he's got better as the season has gone on. He's very quick and there's no reason he won't go very close.
"Shamshon wasn't able to show his best form last time because of the ground - it was very soft at Newbury and he didn't go on it. He was still beaten less than two lengths, so he ran pretty well and he'll run better on Saturday."
Trainer Olly Stevens has enjoyed a great first season and runs his Flying Childers winner Green Door.
"We always thought that Green Door was a very nice horse," Stevens said. "I was slightly surprised he didn't win first time out, but he bumped into Justice Day (who reopposes here) at Newbury.
"He lost his form after winning in May and I think one of my mistakes was to keep running him. However, he's a much stronger horse now and he has come back to form.
"After he won the Flying Childers so well, he deserves to take his chance. We didn't expect to be having Group One runners. The whole plan for this season was to make a modest start and work on building a good team. We bought inexpensive horses, but horses like Green Door have surpassed that."
David Wachman's Sudirman, the WIlliam Haggas-trained Saayerr and Mick Channon's Jallota also bring top-class form to the table.