Astaire (near side) keeps stablemate Hot Streak at bay in the Middle ParkPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Astaire leads one-two for Ryan in Middle Park
Vison.ae Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) 6f, 2yo
KEVIN RYAN dominated the Middle Park with all-the-way winner Astaire bravely repelling the challenge of his better-fancied stablemate Hot Streak to score by half a length.
The 8-1 shot Astaire, the mount of Neil Callan, was quickly in front on the rail, with Hot Streak among those closest to him, and he kept finding up the final hill.
Hot Streak (5-1), ridden by Jamie Spencer, looked as if he might overhaul his stablemate but could not quite finish the task.
Justice Day (22-1), a length and a half further back, was best of the rest in a race where it paid to race on or near the pace.
Strongly fancied Irish challengers Great White Eagle (2-1 favourite) and Sudirman (4-1) were well beaten.
Astaire is a best-priced 33-1 with Coral for the 2,000 Guineas and, while he looks a sprinter, connections believe his growing physique and ability to relax may help him to get further than six furlongs next season.
"He's much stronger than he was in the Gimcrack," Callan said. "He's very tough and genuine and he ground it out up the hill."
Ryan said: "They're both very exciting horses. It was a shame one of them had to get beat. I'm sure Astaire will get seven furlongs, if not a mile. He's more relaxed now even when he's making the running.
"I thought in the Dip that Hot Streak might just pick him up but he has had a lot of racing in a short space of time and maybe he's had enough for the year."
David Redvers, racing manager for Hot Streak's owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, predicted a bright future in the sprint ranks.
"He has run five times in seven weeks, not even Giant's Causeway could do that. He's unbelievably tough and consistent and it was probably just a week too soon. Having said that, he has proved he's the second-best two-year-old sprinter in the country, if not Europe.
"He could be one of the few two-year-olds that turns into a top three-year-old sprinter. He's as wide as a bus."
David Elsworth, trainer of Justice Day, said: "He was only beaten a short head by Lightning Thunder at Doncaster, giving her weight, so I thought it was worth chucking our hat into the ring. He has run a good race and sprinting is his trip. He won't run again but is potentially a decent little sprinter."