KEVIN Ryan returns to the scene of his first major victory as he unleashes Bapak Chinta in the Emaar Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
This was the race that gave the Hambleton trainer his first Group One triumph when Amadeus Wolf prevailed in 2005.
And he is hopeful Bapak Chinta, who has not been seen since landing the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, can prevail.
Though a minor injury saw the nippy grey, unbeaten in two starts, miss the Nunthorpe at York’s Ebor festival, Ryan said: “He’s very well and will love the ground. He didn’t miss too much time out and he goes into the race in great form.”
It will be not easy. This six-furlong sprint, part of Future Champions Day, was won 12 months ago by the William Buick-inspired Dream Ahead, the speedster that defeated French heroine Goldikova at Longchamp last weekend.
Heading to the Middle Park in the form of his life is Alan McCabe’s Caspar Netscher, who followed up his victory in York’s Gimcrack Stakes by taking the Mill Reef at Newbury.
Newark-based McCabe’s biggest concern is the likely fast ground as York jockey Robert Winston is reunited with Caspar Netscher, a battle-hardened juvenile with eight runs to date, after missing the Newbury race through suspension.
“He looks well, he’s been keeping to his old routine and there’s no difference now from when he won the Gimcrack and Mill Reef,” said McCabe. “He’ll be entered in both races at the Breeders’ Cup.”
Another with Breeders’ Cup aspirations is Malton trainer John Quinn, whose Red Duke flies the flag for Yorkshire in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, a Group One race over seven furlongs.
A traditional stepping stone to next year’s Classics, Quinn’s horse will be ridden by Tom Eaves – a rider at the top of his game after landing the Prix de l’Abbaye on Tangerine Trees for Bryan Smart.
However, Brian Meehan hopes Most Improved, the mount of Frankie Dettori, can live up to his name following a recent Newmarket success.
“Most Improved is a lovely, progressive colt with a wonderful temperament and takes everything in his stride,” said Meehan.
“He reminds me a lot of other good horses we’ve taken the same kind of route – the likes of Fast Company and Crowded House.”
JOE Tizzard can hardly wait to partner Cue Card as he makes his steeplechasing debut at Chepstow today.
The brilliant 2010 Champion Bumper winner won twice from five starts over hurdles and ran with plenty of credit when second behind Menorah in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He was again far from disgraced on his final two starts in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and in a Grade One at Aintree.
Among his three rivals is the Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti, just one place behind Cue Card in the International.
“He’s in cracking form and this is what we’ve been looking forward to doing with him right from the first day we had him,” said Tizzard. “He’s schooled ever so well at home. There’s only four runners but it’s a competitive little race.”