The betting for this year’s Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, run over six furlongs on the Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket, is dominated by Richard Hannon’s unbeaten colt Ivawood (2.55pm Newmarket, Friday).
Ivawood (10/11), a son of first-season sire Zebedee, ran on strongly to beat Jungle Cat (12/1) by 2¾ lengths in the July Stakes on the other eponymous course at Newmarket. He had Muhaarar (6/1) a further half a length away in third.
He also had Jungle Cat behind when effortlessly following up in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood later the same month. Muhaarar and Jungle Cat subsequently contested the finish of the Gimcrack Stakes at York, so the form looks rock solid.
The two runners who have already raced at the highest level, Cappella Sansevero (13/2) and Kool Kompany (10/1), were separated by just a short head when filling the places in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on soft going in August. The pair have suffered different fortunes since.
Cappella Sansevero subsequently returned to the Curragh to win the Tower Stakes later the same month, while Kool Kompany could finish only sixth of 19, beaten 3¾ lengths, in the Yearling Stakes at York. Both of them have form on the forecast soft going but, while there promises to be little between them once again, marginal preference is for Cappella Sansevero.
Charlie Appleby’s (pictured) Oasis Dream colt Charming Thought (10/1) has won two of his three career starts and is clearly going the right way. He can reasonably be expected to improve again, but he is currently rated 20lb inferior to Ivawood, according the BHA, so seemingly faces an impossible task.
The Warrior (33/1) is by the top-class Australian sprinter Exceed And Excel and is the pick of four Aidan O’Brien entries at the five-day declaration stage. He has respectable form at a lower level and, while he remains a maiden after three starts, it’s worth noting that Rapid Applause, who beat him three-quarters of a length on his racecourse debut at Cork in April, was beaten the same margin by Cappella Sansevero in the Tower Stakes. The Warrior could belie his generous odds by running well, but expecting him to lose his maiden tag at Group 1 level is probably asking a little too much.
Ivawood appears a worthy favourite, but whether he represents any value, coming back from a 78-day absence on a surface he has not encountered before, is another question altogether. Cappella Sansevero, too, has been off the course a little longer than ideal, but has plenty of form on soft and heavy ground, including in Group 1 company, and could represent some value against the favourite on this occasion. Our Middle Park betting tips advice is to back CAPELLA SANSEVERO to win this seven-runner race at current best odds of 7/1 with Bet365.