Horse Talk with Simon Jackson: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
MIDTERM is taken to make a winning return in the £60,000 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes on the second day of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend at Newbury on Saturday.
The one-time Investec Derby entry was sent off favourite for last year’s Betfred Dante Stakes where he finished fifth and was later found to have suffered a stress fracture which ruled him out of the Derby.
He pleased connections in two runs on his return last autumn when beaten a neck by Japanese raider Makahiki in the Group 2 Prix Foy at Chantilly and then seventh to Almanzor in the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes.
“Midterm is grand,” Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Midterm’s owner Khalid Abdullah, said this week. “He wintered well and has enjoyed a straightforward preparation for this.
“We think a mile and a half looks to be his best trip, although he was far from disgraced behind Almanzor in the Champion Stakes after an interrupted season.
“He fits a good Sir Michael Stoute profile going forward. Newbury looks a nice starting point and hopefully he has a clear run this year.”
Midterm is priced at 9-4 for the opening race tomorrow where he is fancied to secure the first leg of a treble of fancied runners with Her Majesty The Queen’s Call To Mind and Musical Terms.
The Queen’s duo are both making their racecourse debuts, ridden by Ryan Moore, trained by William Haggas and each priced at 2-1 for Divisions I and II of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes.
In other news Newmarket trainer Martyn Meade is targeting the Classics with the unbeaten Eminent after his likable victory in the £60,000 Group 3 bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.
The son of Frankel is entered in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby and the trainer spoke in glowing terms of his charge ahead of the impressive victory.
“There is a distinct possibility that he could be a Derby horse but I have to be careful to take one step at a time as I am in uncharted territory,” Meade said.
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.