Middle Park outing still favoured for Vandeek

Connections are excited to see what Vandeek can achieve next, as his rapid rise through the ranks is likely to see him line up in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes in September.

Trained by Simon and Ed Crisford, the son of Havana Grey only made his debut in late July, but since that successful bow at Nottingham, he has gone on to scoop the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood before providing his Gainsborough Thoroughbreds training operation a first Group One success when plundering the Prix Morny.

That top-level success in Deauville was also just the second Group One triumph for his Bahrain-based owners KHK Racing Ltd after Eldar Eldarov’s St Leger success last season.

Now their latest high-class performer is on course to try to add further riches to his glowing CV and is pencilled in to appear at Newmarket on September 30, where possible opponents could include Aidan O’Brien’s Prix Morny third River Tiber.

“The horse showed to everybody that he is very much on the upgrade. His rise has been pretty quick really and within the space of five or six weeks he has gone from winning a maiden at Nottingham to winning a Group One at Deauville,” said Chris Wall, racing manager for the owners.

“He’s improved and improved and improved with each run and he’s well entered up, but at the moment the plan is to go for the Middle Park.”

Vandeek also holds an entry in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, again at Newmarket, on October 14 and the way the progressive colt saw out the six-furlong trip on both the Sussex Downs and Normandy coast would suggest seven furlongs would be well in reach.

Wall admits the timing of that typically red-hot event does bring the race into calculations, but for now the focus appears to be on having Vandeek in peak condition for another crack at six-furlong success in the Middle Park.

He added: “There’s two weeks between the two this year and he has shown he can take his races back-to-back fairly quickly. That is what he has done so far this summer and doesn’t hold any horrors for him.

“But we’ll go one race at a time and I would have thought the most likely spot is the Middle Park and then after that we’ll see what we want to do.”

KHK Racing also have Knight in training with the Crisfords and last year’s Horris Hill winner took a step in the right direction when second to Angel Bleu in the Group Two Celebration Mile.

It was Mehmas gelding’s best performance since his unbeaten two-year-old campaign and although future plans are still to be confirmed, a trip to ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend is one possible option.

Wall said: “He’s a horse who is getting back on track. Things hadn’t gone his way in the early part of the season and he was getting very upset and stressed about all sorts of things, so we had him gelded and that seems to have done the trick.

“His comeback run in the Thoroughbred Stakes was satisfactory, it was a solid enough run for a horse that hadn’t run much this year. But he took a big step forward and ran a much better race in the Celebration Mile and it is good to see him getting back to that.

“I think a bit of cut in the ground always helps him, his best form has come with that.

“I’m not sure what Simon and Ed have planned for him yet, but I would have thought something like the Prix Daniel Wildenstein over at the Arc meeting might be a suitable spot for him.

“He’s going to be kept in training as a fun horse to run in all of those sort of races and I think he will fit into that category nicely.”

Source link