Middle Park Stakes Tips: Supremacy to reign at Newmarket

A classy field will line up for the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket this weekend.
A classy field will line up for the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket this weekend.

Steve Chambers previews the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, which will see a host of exciting juveniles line up in the 6f contest at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon...

A spectacular day's racing will see the youngsters take prominence at Flat HQ on Saturday, and it's the Middle Park Stakes that will take centre stage at 15:00, with a plethora of star two-year-olds looking to throw their hat into the 2000 Guineas picture with a victory in this contest.

Martyn Meade's Method is the only unbeaten youngster taking his chance, and the son of Mehmas is looking to build on a very taking listed victory at Newbury in July. A two and a quarter length winner of the Rose Bowl Stakes, Method showed a smart turn of foot to pull clear of his rivals that day, and Oisin Murphy wasn't forced to get too active on his mount, who picked up for his urgings. As big as 33/1 for the 2000 Guineas, Method shaped like there's a lot more to come, but having only been seen twice on the racecourse it's hard to assess how good he could become. Mighty Gurkha was second in the Rose Bowl Stakes and has since gone on to win the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton, but this Group 1 assignment could test Meade's charge to the maximum.

One of the most eye-catching juvenile performances came from the Owen Burrows-trained Minzaal, who is a prominent figure in the betting here, and looks to be a major player. A two-length winner of the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York, Minzaal travelled smoothly through the contest before unleashing a quick turn of foot to put the race to bed. While he won comfortably, Minzaal did edge right in the closing stages of that contest, which was fine at Group 2 level, but a step up to Group 1 company will mean that he has to do everything right, and if he veers off a straight line again then he could well just lose his chance.

An exciting contender is the Clive Cox-trained Supremacy, who was a sensational runaway winner of the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, and the speedy colt will be the second son of Mehmas lining up here. Having broke smartly in the Richmond, Supremacy maintained the gallop and dominated the entire contest to go on to beat Yazaman by four lengths. Having shown blistering pace, Supremacy could well turn into a potential Commonwealth Cup contender next season rather than a Guineas horse, but this six furlong trip should play to his strengths. If Adam Kirby can adopt similar tactics to the Richmond, then he could well get the hop on most of his rivals, and while they will be storming home in the closing stages, he could well just maintain his advantage and add another notable victory to his CV.

In an intriguing betting heat which sees four contenders vying for favouritism, it's Jessica Harrington's Lucky Vega that completes that quartet, and the son of Lope De Vega adds yet more depth to the Middle Park. Second in the Railway Stakes on his second career start, Lucky Vega then went one better by landing an impressive three and a half length win in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, where he impressively beat The Lir Jet. However, he failed to follow up when well beaten in the National Stakes at the same venue, so he needs to bounce back to form to land this prize. A colt that appears to enjoy some cut in the ground, Lucky Vega will be hoping that conditions slow at Newmarket in the hours leading up to the race, and if the wet stuff hits the track then he can be a lively contender.

There's a significant chasm in the betting between the top four in the market and the bottom four, and with the rest of runners available at double-figured odds then the market suggests the remaining quartet will struggle. Andrew Balding's Tactical sparkled in the early part of the season winning the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Stakes at Newmarket, but he failed land a blow in the Prix Morny, and he could just be outclassed over six furlongs here.

The aforementioned The Lir Jet was unable to get close to Lucky Vega when the pair clashed in the Phoenix Stakes, and while Michael Bell's charge showed his class when winning the Norfolk Stakes, he could be another that struggles over six furlongs. Lippizzaner and Charterhouse complete the octet, and it's the former that makes more appeal as he was a winner for Aidan O'Brien in a Navan contest last time out, but steps up to six furlongs here and could improve for the step up in trip. Charterhouse struggled to feature in the National Stakes at the Curragh last time out, and this looks too big a task in a race that can go the way of Supremacy.

Middle Park Stakes
Supremacy silk


2020 Middle Park Stakes Odds
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