Saturday selections: Golden Horde (25/1)

6f (Row) Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) (Colts) (Class 1) (2yo)

Newmarket’s four autumn Group Ones for juveniles generally sort out the winter pecking order for both the aspiring milers and sprinters – and thanks to the rocket Pinatubo’s exploits this season, many of the best have avoided him in the 7f Dewhurst Stakes next weekend in favour of Saturday’s Middle Park Stakes over six.

When seeking a Newmarket winner, course form is particularly important due to the track’s undulations, and I like front-runners – or those who at least race prominently – as it’s not easy to make up ground coming out of the dip. This is backed up when analysing recent winners of the race. Whilst the 2018, 2014 and 2011 winners tracked the pace, the 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2013 winners all virtually made all. The last horse to win from the back was Dream Ahead in 2010.

You can’t make the running in a sprint without having genuine pace – this race won’t go to a stayer – so proven pace and a sprinting pedigree is preferred.

The one I’ve landed on is GOLDEN HORDE for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby. He won the Group Two Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, outpacing subsequent dual-Group Two winner and Coventry Stakes-second Threat – who lines up here as well – fair and square. I’d argue Threat has held his form rather than improved, so there’s absolutely no reason for him to be so much shorter than Golden Horde in the market. Over 6f I fancy Golden Horde to confirm he’s the faster horse, and his prominent run style perfectly suits Newmarket as well.

He’s got two or so lengths to find with the favourite Earthlight from their Prix Morny showdown on heavy ground, which he wouldn’t have appreciated. It was a very good run as he beat Coventry Stakes winner Arizona as well as three-times Group Two winner A’Ali, with the other horse in front of him, Raffle Prize, herself a Royal Ascot winner whose juvenile form is among the best in Europe. If the heavy ground did slow him down, or simply ask a little too much of his stamina, the ground at Newmarket should be much more to his liking and 25/1 is a massive price.

1pt each-way Golden Horde @25/1, 15:00 Newmarket, Saturday (1-3, 1/5)

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