Madame Ready To Grace Middleton Stakes In Style
The second day of York’s Dante Meeting not only features the Dante Stakes, but also the Group 2 Middleton Stakes over 1m2f (2.40) – live on Channel 4.
Madame Ready First Time Up
Won by the likes of Midday several years ago, this middle distance event for fillies and mares always attracts a classy line-up and this year’s renewal is no different with last October’s Group 1 Champion Fillies & Mares winner, Madame Chiang, in the line-up.
Although well beaten in last year’s Oaks having won her first two races, she finally showed what she could do at Ascot that day over 1m4f on soft ground, which has proven the key to her.
Having won first time up for the last two seasons, this 113-rated filly holds good prospects on Thursday where the ground shouldn’t be too fast.
As a proven Group 1 winner, Madame Chiang will be well fancied, which fits the profile of past winners…
Of the last 10 Middleton winners…
10 returned 8/1 or shorter
10 had yet to win a Group 2 race
9 were officially rated 103 or higher
8 made the top three last time
8 were beaten no more than 2l last time
7 were making their seasonal reappearance
Sir Michael Stoute won it twice
More Stoute Success?
The above stats show that Sir Michael Stoute has won this race twice since 2005, which highlights the chances of his 4yo, Bragging (rated 107). Progressive in handicaps last summer, she stepped up to land a Group 2 on her return at Newmarket 11 days ago (1m1f, good), and has handled cut in the ground.
With the forecast set to be dry, however, the likes of John Gosden’s Belle D’Or (104) could enter the equation having stayed on to finish over 2l behind Bragging at Newmarket recently. She is entitled to come on for that (won second time out last season) and could get nearer at York having not received the clearest of runs at HQ.
Ribbons To Tie Up Rivals?
Elsewhere, James Fanshawe’s 5yo, Ribbons, is the highest rated in the race off 115, having won a Group 1 in France last summer (1m2f, soft). Another top effort followed when runner-up in another French Group 1 in October (1m2f, good), and she certainly has the best form in the book.
Just over 3l behind Ribbons in that French victory was Ralph Beckett’s Secret Gesture (rated 110), a dual Listed winner with history in this event having finished just under 2l in second 12 months ago (good to soft). She may not win, but has each-way potential.
Also with place prospects is Karl Burke’s Odeliz (rated 108), who was just 1l behind Secret Gesture in this last year, and was subsequently placed four times in other Group events.
There was plenty to like about Madame Chiang’s Group 1 win at Ascot in October, and she can take this en route to a return Royal visit there next month.