Midterm can get back to winning ways at Newmarket

By Dave Nevison
Sat 1 Jul 2017

I’m giving Midterm one more chance to show his true colours in the Betway Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Many punters had this one down as the Derby winner last spring but he got beaten in the Dante and then missed the summer.

He was highly tried in the Champion Stakes on his final start last season but finished only a length behind genuine Group 1 types in My Dream Boat and The Grey Gatsby.

That was a very good run in the context of this race and, even though he has not excelled in two runs to date this term, I doubt whether his trainer is concerned and probably regards this as an opportunity for a possible Group 1 type to run without a penalty in a Listed race.

Sir Michael Stoute has had more difficult horses than this in the last 40 years and I will be keeping the faith - for this run at least.

Breton Rock got the heavy ground which he loves in last year’s Criterion Stakes. He has not got as lucky this time but good to soft will suit.

However, the opposition looks stronger this time and, in particular, Hugo Palmer’s Home Of The Brave looks to be an improver.

He is a front runner, which I like at this track, and even though there are other pacesetters among the opposition I expect him to be strong enough.

James Doyle was impressive at Royal Ascot and Palmer’s string looks poised to at last hit good form.

Home Of The Brave’s victory on his return at Leicester, at the main expense of Tasleet, looks a serious effort now and Home of the Brave is a strong favourite for me.

Buick and Stoute team up again in the handicap at 4.55 and Swiftsure has a similar profile to Midterm in that, after looking very promising, he disappointed before showing signs of promise.

He looked really good on soft ground on his debut but firm going certainly could be one explanation for poor subsequent efforts.

He bolted up last time at Pontefract by six lengths and an extra 6lb (his penalty on Saturday) would nowhere near have stopped him. He can beat Road To Dubai here.

Regular readers will know how highly I rate Josephine Gordon.

Obviously, Godolphin clearly do as well and in an extremely tough Northumberland Plate I am siding with her and Natural Scenery - one of only a few course and distance winners in the field.

I am hoping that is an advantage but advise taking advantage of what I am sure will be extra places with bookmakers.

Dave Nevison’s Saturday selections:

2.05 Newmarket: Midterm at a general 5-2

3.15 Newmarket: Home Of The Brave at 11-4 with Betway and Boylesports

4.55 Newmarket: Swiftsure at a general 15-8

3.30 Newcastle: Natural Scenery (each-way) at 9-1 with Ladbrokes

 

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