Saturday 17 March 2018

Caravaggio absent from Middle Park at Newmarket


Aidan O'Brien is responsible for five of the 16 juveniles confirmed for Saturday's Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket - but Caravaggio is not among them.

The master of Ballydoyle is set to bid for a record fifth victory in the six-furlong Group One and Caravaggio would have been his main hope if lining up on the Rowley Mile.

However, O'Brien revealed last month his unbeaten Coventry and Phoenix Stakes hero could miss the rest of the season after suffering a minor setback and he is not among those to stand their ground.

In his absence, the trainer could call on impressive Round Tower Stakes winner Intelligence Cross, as well as Courage Under Fire, Leo Minor, Peace Envoy and Sportsmanship.

The Ger Lyons-trained pair of Medicine Jack and Psychedelic Funk are the two other potential Irish contenders.

Heading the home team are Charlie Appleby's Blue Point and Mehmas from Richard Hannon's yard.

Mehmas came out on top when the pair met in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, adding to his previous victory in the July Stakes.

However, Blue Point was seriously impressive on his next start in the Gimcrack at York, while Mehmas was beaten in the National Stakes at the Curragh by the exciting Churchill.

Appleby said: "Everything has gone well to date and we are on target for the Middle Park. He is fit and well and is a very exciting horse.

"I'm sure Aidan will bring something over that is progressive, but he has already beaten half the field and if he turns up in the same condition as he did at York, he is the horse they have got to beat."

Mubtasim flopped when well fancied by William Haggas for the Gimcrack, but has since righted that wrong with victory in a valuable sales race at Doncaster.

Mark Johnston has three possible contenders in The Last Lion, Yalta and Sutter County.

Simon Crisford's Mokarris, the Hugo Palmer-trained Koropick and Saeed bin Suroor's Silver Line complete the list.

Press Association

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