Dark horse claims middle spoils

Dark Angel led the field at around the halfway point and kept up the gallop to gamely hold off all-comers in the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Dark Angel led the field at around the halfway point and kept up the gallop to gamely hold off all-comers in the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Trained by Barry Hills and ridden by his son Michael, the 8-1 chance stole a length or so approaching the distance and was always just doing enough to see off Strike The Deal (9-1) by a half-length.

The always-prominent Tajdeef, also trained by Hills, was sent off at 9-2 and stayed on to fill third spot, a further neck away, but favourite Sir Gerry was never travelling strongly and finished well down the field.

Hills senior said: “He’s a very good horse and has got a very high cruising speed.

“He’s improved all season but I don’t know if he’ll run again this year. If he does, it’ll be in the Dewhurst.

“I don’t know whether he’ll get a mile and I’d say sprinting will be his game next season.”

The winning jockey told Channel 4 Racing: “We went quick. This fellow has got a high cruising speed and I wasn’t going to mess around.

“He could possibly get a mile but he’s got a lot of speed and he’s not an easy horse to hold up. You could see how I rode him then, he loves to gallop.”

Strike The Deal’s trainer Jeremy Noseda said: “It was a good performance and I could not ask for more.

“I didn’t think he’d win but I thought he would be in the first three.

“There’s one or two options now, but he is also in the sales and I’ll talk to the owners to see what they think.”

James Fanshawe said of Sir Gerry, who beat just one home: “He had gone a bit hairy in his coat and he also likes a bit of juice in the ground.”

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox