Middle Park Stakes Betting

Beginning in 2011, the Newmarket Racecourse has a cracking new race day—The Future Champions Day. It has been scheduled in early October, a full week earlier than the old Champions Day fixture, but retains six thrilling Group races, including two each of Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3. Also on the schedule is the totesport.com Cesarewitch long distance handicap.

One of the most anticipated events of the day will be the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, which was previously run during the three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting. It will take place over six furlongs on the straight turf of the Rowley Mile—the esteemed “Course of Champions.”

This sprint is open only to two-year-old colts, each of which carries a weight of eight stone twelve pounds. The juveniles will be racing for a piece of the total prize pool, which is now worth £170,000. To the winner goes the lion’s share—slightly over £100,000.

The Middle Park Stakes was established in 1866, when it was originally known as the Middle Park Plate. William Blenkiron, he founder of the event, had it named after his stud located at Eltham in Kent. In the early days, the race was open to horses of either gender. But since 1987, it has been restricted to colts.

In the 1990s, Newgate Stud, Thoroughbred Corporation and Saudi Arabian Airlines each had brief residency in the race’s title role. Shadwell Racing has been the sponsor of the Middle Park Stakes since 2002.

It is quite common for the leading colts here to compete in the following season’s 2,000 Guineas. Prince Charlie was the first horse to win both events in 1871-72. A decade later, the 1892 Middle Park Stakes was the scene of the second career win for Isinglass, who went on to become the sixth U.K. Triple crown Winner the following year. Most recently, Rodrigo de Triano won here and at the 2,000 Guineas in 1991–92.

Among other great horses to show their form early by winning the Middle Park Stakes were Pretty Polly in 1903, Sun Chariot in 1941 and Dante in 1943. Another well known name in racing history that got his first taste of victory here was Brigadier Gerard in 1970. The noble bay went on to win 17 of his 18 career races, placing in the only one he lost—the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup in 1972.

Ever since the Middle Park Stakes was classified as a Group 1 race in 1971, no trainer has topped Aiden O’Brien’s three victories, which include Minardi in 2000, Johannesburg in 2001 and Ad Valorenm in 2004. Prior to classification, however, no fewer than seven trainers registered four wins apiece. The first was Joseph Dawson between 1866 and 1878, followed by John Porter (1867-91), Mathew Dawson (1883-93), Pretty Polly’s trainer Peter Gilpin (1903-15), Atty Persse (1918-40), Sun Chariot’s trainer Fred Darling (1929-47) and Frank Butters (1932-46).

Similarly, Lester Piggott is the jockey with the most wins in the modern era—half a dozen of them between 1967 and 1982. Earlier in the race’s history, two other riders had claimed six wins each: Danny Maher between 1901 and 1913, followed by Sir Gordon Richards during the period 1933 to 1953.

The American-bred favourite Dream Ahead crossed the finish line first here in 2010, paying 5/4. That continues the trend that has characterized the new millennium—six top-rated colts winning in the last decade (four of them from the United States) with none of the most recent ten victors paying higher than 8/1.

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