A perfect Ten? All you need to know as Sovereigns faces Middle Park test
Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) | 6f | 2yo | colts | ITV4/RUK
Ten Sovereigns, unbeaten in two starts and 8-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, faces his biggest test in a race his trainer Aidan O'Brien has won five times, most recently with US Navy Flag a year ago.
Only a week separated Ten Sovereigns' seven-length debut win over this trip at the Curragh and his Group 3 victory in the Round Tower Stakes over the same course and distance.
On both occasions the son of No Nay Never oozed class and on Saturday he gets the chance to show there is substance to go with the style he has displayed, with jockey Donnacha O'Brien continuing his association with the colt.
"The way he won first time out was very impressive and I loved the way he opened up in the last furlong and went clear in his Group 3," Aidan O'Brien said. "All has gone well with him since and we're happy with him."
Joining Ten Sovereigns in the line-up is stablemate Sergei Prokofiev, the Coventry Stakes third who flopped on his last start when last of five in the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last month.
O'Brien said: "He was very keen in the Phoenix Stakes but we think he's more relaxed now and should run a better race this time."
Seamie Heffernan rides and will be seeking a third win in the event he won on Crusade in 2011 and US Navy Flag a year ago.
Jash bids to add substance to style
Simon Crisford has had some good horses through his hands in his relatively short training career, but perhaps none quite as exciting as the unbeaten Jash.
While he lacks the form of his other market principals, his two wins in novice company could hardly have been more impressive, prompting connections to make the leap into Group 1 company.
Crisford said: “He’s looked good in two novices but he needs to now prove himself against stronger opposition. He’s fit and well and you’d have to be hopeful he’ll give a very good account of himself.
“We didn’t get the opportunity to start any earlier with him as he was growing and we would have liked to have got a little more experience into him. That said, we’ve always liked him and going by what he’s done on the racecourse so far he’s improving and there looks to be more to come.”
Can Ana follow up Gimcrack success?
There is a new owner and jockey for Emaraaty Ana, who bids to follow up his classy success in the Gimcrack Stakes last month.
It is a feat trainer Kevin Ryan has achieved twice in the past – first with Amadeus Wolf in 2005 and more recently with Astaire in 2013 – and Emaraaty Ana lines up on Saturday with the highest official rating in the field.
Despite this, the Shamardal colt, who races for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid and jockey Andrea Atzeni, has plenty preferred to him in the betting and Ryan said: “He’s in great form and he’s come out of his York race really well.
“I don’t know what price he is or what price he’s going to be and I’m not really bothered either. I know he’s a very good horse and he’s shown very good form in his races. He deserves to take his chance and I’m sure he’ll run very well.”
What they say
John Gosden, trainer of Legends Of War
He ran a lovely race to be second in the Gimcrack and deserves to take his chance in the line-up, but we're aware of the strength of the opposition. He should be fine on the ground.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to Mark Johnston, trainer of Marie’s Diamond
His two most disappointing runs of his career came at Epsom and Deauville and they were both on soft ground so we hope a faster surface will see him in a better light. We aren't going there expecting him to win but it would be no surprise to me to see him hit the frame.
Richard Spencer, trainer of Rumble Inthejungle
We’ve put a line through his run at Doncaster. He’s fit and well and we’re looking forward to running him. We’ve been wanting to step him up to six furlongs for a while, but after winning the Molecomb like he did it made sense to go for the Flying Childers.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Space Traveller
We’ve stuck a visor on him and it needs to have a huge effect for him to be competitive. We do like the horse.
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