Dream still alive after Middle romp

Dream Ahead added another level of intrigue to the two-year-old division by providing trainer David Simcock with his first British Group One in the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket today.

Dream Ahead added another level of intrigue to the two-year-old division by providing trainer David Simcock with his first British Group One in the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket today.

It was not so much a victory as a demolition, with the unbeaten-in-three colt sweeping through to lead with staggering ease at the furlong pole and finishing nine lengths clear despite drifting left across the track.

Dream Ahead is now the second favourite behind Frankel for next year's 2000 Guineas and he could yet challenge Henry Cecil's freakish colt, and the almost equally exciting Saamidd, in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at this course on October 16.

This has been a breakthrough season for Simcock and even more so for jockey William Buick, and Dream Ahead (5-4 favourite) had already provided the pair with a moment to savour in last month's Prix Morny.

Strong Suit and Approve, who were split by a short-head in second and third, may have been unable to test the winner, but Simcock's next mission will be to discover whether his star can handle quicker conditions as the Rowley Mile was described as soft after an onslaught of unsavoury weather.

Simcock said: "It's very much a relief. I said he was more mentally mature, but he's still maturing and you'd like to think there's more to come.

"He won't run on anything with firm in the ground description this year. In France it dried out and was definitely good ground. He is certainly better with cut in the ground and has got a big high action.

"I'd really like to see him run over seven furlongs and he is in the Dewhurst, but I will have to talk to the owner.

"I don't really want to take him for two runs in two weeks, but it's there as an option."

No Middle Park winner has captured the 2000 Guineas since Rodrigo de Triano in 1991 but Dream Ahead is a best-priced 7-1 with Coral and Blue Square to break the sequence.

Buick added: "He's a machine to do what he did. He just eats up the other horses and it seems like he's taking one stride to the others taking 10.

"David trains the horse and sees him every day, so it's all up to him. For me, it's him and Frankel this year.

"I'd be confident he'll stay a mile, so bring on next year."

Hooray contravened Sir Mark Prescott's expectations as another wide-margin winner in the Adnams Cheveley Park Stakes, but the trainer was fairly firm in his belief she will not last the extra two furlongs in next year's 1000 Guineas.

Hooray and Seb Sanders did just what they had for success in the Lowther and Sirenia Stakes, setting off with intimidating haste and urging the rest to either follow, or be left behind.

What happened was the latter outcome and she justified her position as 7-2 favourite by four and a half lengths from Rimth.

"I didn't think she would handle the ground," said Prescott, for whom it was a first domestic Group One in more than a decade.

"When they are as useful as she is on very hard ground, the unknown factor is when it starts to rain.

"I was very worried about the rain because I thought if it stayed firm she was probably the best filly. It looks like the trainer was wrong again.

"I thought she was very impressive. At the top of the hill you had a lovely feeling of seeing if anything was going well behind her. That's a rare thing in a Group One."

With two of the last three winners, Natagora and Special Duty, returning to Newmarket for Classic glory the following spring, Prescott was asked whether Hooray would be Guineas-bound.

"I wouldn't think she'd stay," he responded. "I hope I keep on being wrong.

"She has got bags of speed and she would have a job to keep that up for a mile.

"The owners (and race sponsors Cheveley Park Stud) would probably love to have a go if she does well through the winter but we have always regarded her as principally a two-year-old."

Wide-margin victories were the order of the day, with Havant managing one of them in the Group Three Sakhee Oh So Sharp Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute's filly (11-2) opened her account on the July course but had no issues in switching Newmarket tracks, quickening three and a quarter lengths clear for Ryan Moore.

Stoute said: "From the time she went into strong work she has done everything well.

"She won her maiden very comfortably on the July course and today she walked out of the stalls. She was so relaxed and laid-back.

"She was always travelling and looked like winning from a long way out."

James Toller would not be equipped with such equine riches but he has a potential talent in Loving Spirit (10-1), the easy winner of the Haafhd EBF Maiden Stakes.

"You never know what you have beaten in these races but hopefully he's something to go to war with next season," said Toller.

"The Horris Hill at Newbury could perhaps be an option."

Around this time two years ago Cityscape (4-1) was viewed as one of the most exciting juvenile candidates but injuries and unsuitable ground have restricted the chestnut to only a handful of runs as an older horse.

But he is a force to be reckoned with on the soft and inflicted a seven-length pummelling upon his rivals in the Nayef Joel Stakes.

Trainer Roger Charlton said: "The ground has been firm all year until about three weeks ago when he won at Haydock. He's a huge horse and will keep on improving. He didn't really like the track.

"There is one race in France, the Prix de Perth and possibly one race in Italy then that's it really."

Buick grabbed another winner as Myplacelater (3-1) took advantage in a non-runner-hit Aqlaam Godolphin Stakes.

"It's a fairytale job really because she cost only £600," said trainer David Elsworth.

"The Pride Stakes back here in a fortnight is a possibility and she'll stay in training next year."

Sarrsar (7-2 favourite), who missed the cut in the Cambridgeshire, was consoled with what is known as the silver version, the Standing For Success Handicap, as he dived for the line ahead of Sand Skier and Lost In The Moment.

Richard Hughes added another winner to his title assault thanks to a fatuously easy success for Scottish Boogie (5-4 favourite) in the Newmarket Challenge Whip.

More in this section

Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


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

Sign up

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