The Middle Park Stakes (2.35pm, Newmarket, Saturday) is the first Group 1 race on the Rowley Mile course on Saturday afternoon and provides the two-year-old colts with the chance to test their mettle over 6 furlongs.
Great White Eagle (2/1) seems sure to be popular after comfortably beating Remember You by 2 lengths in the Tower Stakes at the Curragh in early September, but Remember You could only finish fifth, albeit beaten just a length, in the Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr three weeks ago, so the form may not be as smart as it first appeared.
Although more exposed, Sudirman (4/1) has a much more convincing profile than his main market rival. The son of Henrythenavigator beat Big Time and runaway Coventry Stakes winner War Command, over 6 furlongs, at the Curragh in August and again ran well when going down by 2¾ lengths to the unbeaten Toormore in the National Stakes, over 7 furlongs, also at the Curragh last month. He’s bred to be a top-class miler in due course, but shouldn’t be inconvenienced by dropping back to 6 furlongs at this stage of his career and sets the standard to which the others must aspire.
Hot Streak (9/2) was visually impressive when driven out to win the Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot last Saturday by 5 lengths. However, whether that form is good enough for him to figure is open to question and he’s held by Supplicant on their running in the Mill Reef Stakes, over 6 furlongs, at Newbury three weeks ago.
Apparently, connections of Supplicant (9/1) had already made up their minds to pay the £15,000 required to supplement the Kyllachy colt for the Middle Park Stakes even before his win in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury was franked by the third, Hot Streak. Supplicant has run well on all six starts since making all to win a maiden at Beverley on his racecourse debut in May, but appears to have really come into his own since stepped up to 6 furlongs three starts ago. Notwithstanding a facile success, at odds of 1/20, in a two-runner conditions race at Nottingham three starts ago, he’s shown progressive form in recent months and clearly comes into the race at the top of his game.
Astaire (15/2) surprised connections with his ability to act on soft going when winning the Gimcrack Stakes at York seven weeks ago and the runner-up that day, Wiltshire Boulevard, ran respectably when fourth in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp last Sunday. He’s one of the highest rated in the field, according to the BHA and, if the forecast rain arrives, he could well be in the shake-up.
So, too, could Shamson (14/1), Richard Hughes selected of Richard Hannon’s pair. The Invincible Spirit colt has work to do to reverse the Mill Reef Stakes form with Hot Streak and Supplicant, but was only beaten 1¾ lengths at Newbury on just his third start overall and his first over 6 furlongs. He could still be open to any amount of improvement and wouldn’t have to find much to trouble the best of these.
All in all, though, SUPPLICANT has the most convincing credentials, so our Middle Park Stakes betting tips advice is to back trainer Richard Fahey’s colt each-way at best odds of 9/1 with Betfred or William Hill. Ryan Moore, who usually rides for owners Cheveley Park Stud when available, has a 33% strike-rate on two-year-olds for the yard over the last five seasons, which just adds further weight to the argument.