All eyes will be on Midterm at Newbury as Sir Michael Stoute’s Classic hope makes his seasonal bow in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes.
The three-year-old is already as short as 12-1 for the Investec Derby and as a son of Epsom hero Galileo out of multiple Group One winner Midday, he is certainly bred to excel.
Stoute exercised patience with the colt last term, waiting until the dying days of the season before pitching him into a Newbury maiden that has boasted some classy previous victors.
While Midterm only won by a length that day, he looked thoroughly in need of the experience, picking up well from off the pace to win a shade cosily at the line.
He looked a very useful colt that day and while Epsom in June is still a long way off, his big-race entries show the regard in which he is held and the vibes have been positive enough from the Stoute camp.
Dutch Masterpiece has shown winning form on testing ground in the past and that factor could prove crucial in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.
Rated 110 and thought good enough to tackle the Prix de l’Abbaye a couple of years ago, Dutch Masterpiece has struggled to regain the kind of form that saw him win three on the bounce in 2013 after a year off through injury.
Gary Moore’s charge showed up well in some competitive events last term and eventually managed to poke his head in front in a Listed contest at Ascot last October.
Grumeti returns to the level fit from hurdling in the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap.
His winter over the sticks did not yield much joy so it may be wise to judge him on his latest Flat start, when he ran out a shock 50-1 winner of the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last October.
* Selections -
Ayr: 2.00 Nambour, 2.35 Clan Legend, 3.10 Caledonia, 3.45 Definitly Red, 4.15 Quiet Candid, 4.45 Robins Reef, 5.15 Wicklow Gold.
Bath: 4.50 Arthur’s Queen, 5.20 Inclination, 5.50 Big Amigo, 6.20 SHADOW HUNTER (NAP), 6.50 Kreb’s Cycle, 7.20 Deep Blue Sea, 7.50 Onorina.
Newbury: 1.45 Jet Setter, 2.20 Buying Trouble, 2.55 Shall We, 3.30 Dutch Masterpiece, 4.05 Grumeti, 4.35 Midterm, 5.05 Pure Art.
Fontwell: 2.10 Alberta, 2.45 Lessons In Milan, 3.20 Clondaw Cian 3.55 Dusky Lark, 4.25 Leg Lock Luke, 5.00 Mr Bachster, 5.30 Blue Sire
Southwell: 4.40 Riddlestown, 5.10 Edlomond, 5.40 Milansbar, 6.10 Klepht, 6.40 Reyno, 7.10 Pawn Star, 7.40 King’s Walden.
Double: Shadow Hunter and Dutch Masterpiece.