/ Racing

Astaire leads home Kevin Ryan 1-2 in Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket

Updated: Sunday, 13 Oct 2013 17:50 | Comments

Kevin Ryan's representatives Astaire and Hot Streak fought out a thrilling to the Middle Park
Kevin Ryan's representatives Astaire and Hot Streak fought out a thrilling to the Middle Park

Whether Astaire or Hot Streak are capable of living up to the title of 'future champions' will be a matter for another day after they provided trainer Kevin Ryan with a fine one-two in the Vision.ae Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

The Rowley Mile's final big meeting of the season is billed for showcasing the best of juvenile talent and Astaire has only put one foot wrong all season as his front-running effort was his fourth success from five starts.

North Yorkshire-based Irishman Ryan had his breakthrough Group One in this same six-furlong event back in 2005 with Amadeus Wolf and once again his old ally Neil Callan was in the saddle to help the 8-1 chance weather the late challenge of the better-fancied Hot Streak by half a length.

Like Amadeus Wolf, Astaire had won the Gimcrack Stakes at York on his previous outing and after jumping well from the gates, Callan made a decisive move with two furlongs left to steal a couple of lengths.

The 2-1 favourite Great White Eagle never made any impression and finished eighth.

Callan was, though, given a six-day ban (26, 28-31 October, and 1 November) for using his whip above the permitted level and down the shoulder in the forehand position.

"He seems very tough and genuine. I've not sat on him since the Gimcrack and I said to his lad he'd grown and was a stronger horse. All credit to Kevin," said Callan.

"He jumped and travelled good and all he was doing was looking at the camera and that's why he drifted. Each run, he's become more relaxed."

The Middle Park has not provided a 2000 Guineas winner since Rodrigo de Triano back in 1992 and betting reaction was certainly muted with Astaire cut to 33-1 from 50s by Stan James and Hot Streak given no chance of staying a mile.

Ryan said: "In fairness, it's a shame one had to get beat. I thought going into the Dip that Hot Streak might pick him up, but Hot Streak got a bit warm today and maybe he's had enough for this year.

"He's a lot more relaxed even though he was making the running and from that draw (13) Neil was always going to make it. At home, he sits-in in all his work and is a relaxed horse.

"Five furlongs is probably Hot Streak's trip so we will be looking at sprinting with him next year and I'm sure Astaire will get seven furlongs or a mile," said Ryan.

Hot Streak won the Cornwallis Stakes over the minimum distance last week and David Redvers, racing advisor to owners Qatar Racing Limited, said: "Fair do's to Kevin Ryan - that's unbelievable.

"Hot Streak has run five times in seven weeks and Jamie said even Giant's Causeway couldn't do that. He is unbelievably tough, consistent and improved with every run.

"He is wider than he is tall, he's got scope and can turn into a top-class three-year-old sprinter."

David Elsworth, trainer of third-placed Justice Day, said: "He will be a decent little sprinter next year - that's the plan.

"Realistically, we knew he had a little more chance than the experts said and I thought it was worth chucking our hat into the ring."

Of Great White Eagle, trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "It was just the ground - you could see the wheels spinning."

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