Middle Park Stakes Tips: Brilliant Blackbeard to storm to more Group 1 glory

Aidan O'Brien bids for a seventh win in the Middle Park Stakes
Aidan O'Brien bids for a seventh win in the Middle Park Stakes

Some of the premier juveniles in training in the UK & Ireland will lock horns in a mouth-watering renewal of the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon, and our in-house tipster Steve Chambers previews the event here and picks out his best bet for what should be a top notch renewal...

Aidan O'Brien has saddled the winner of this race for a record-breaking six times and the master of Ballydoyle will send across a dual pronged attack from Ireland for the 2022 renewal with Blackbeard and The Antarctic flying the Emerald Isle flag. While current 2000 Guineas ante-post favourite Little Big Bear has flown the flag for the O'Brien two-year-olds this season, Blackbeard has been a real top performer in his own right and he will line up as a 3/1 second favourite.

Fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, the son of No Nay Never showed his class by beating the aforementioned The Antarctic in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly, while he kicked on from that with a fine victory in the Prix Morny back in France. That Group 1 victory has certainly seen him enter the Group 1 picture and a win here should see his odds of 25/1 for next year's Guineas shorten further. It could prove to be that sprint trips are more his bag and this six furlong test should prove ideal to BLACKBEARD, so providing he can emulate his European form here then he should be the one they all have to beat.

A Group 3 winner in his own right, The Antarctic will have significant form to turn around with Blackbeard as he was over two lengths behind him in the Morny last time out, and at 9/1 he will need to improve immeasurably from that effort to play a notable role here.

Half a length behind Blackbeard in the Prix Morny was Richard Hannon's Persian Force, who has been a real model of consistency at the highest level this season and is 9/2 to strike gold here. Second in the Coventry Stakes earlier in the season, he showed his class when winning the July Stakes at Newmarket and a return to that track on Saturday should see him at his best, and while he was trounced seven lengths by Little Big Bear two starts ago he can show his class here and push Blackbeard close.

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Karl Burke's Marshman may have lost his unbeaten record last time out when finishing second behind Noble Style in the Gimcrack Stakes at York, but that Godolphin raider is a real class act and the pair of them pulled miles clear of the rest of the field that day on the Knavesmire, so he's entitled to be a short price here. A runaway winner on his second start at Thirsk, the son of Harry Angel has looked a real top notch performer and is a 33/1 shot for the 2000 Guineas next season, but in Blackbeard he comes up against a real experienced rival, who has shown top level form with consistency of late and Burke's charge may just prove vulnerable.

Charlie Appleby trained Charming Thought to victory in this race back in 2014 and the multiple Classic-winning handler will look to claim more Group success at Flat HQ as he saddles the 7/2 shot Mischief Magic, who was last seen bounding to victory in the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton at the start of September. A novice stakes winner at Newmarket prior to that all-weather win the Godolphin raider is a fascinating contender stepping up in class and adds more depth to a cracking contest.

An impressive winner on debut at Yarmouth, James Ferguson's Zoology (9/1) will step up in grade considerably for this event and will face a huge assignment here in the early stages of his career, so may struggle, while the Ismail Mohammad-trained duo of Never Just A Dream (66/1) and One More For Luck (150/1) complete the line-up and are merely making up the numbers in a race that can go the way of team Ballydoyle.

Middle Park Stakes
Blackbeard silk

Blackbeard

won
Today's Horse Racing Tips
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