Midterm returns in John Porter at Newbury
By Press Association
Last Updated: 21/04/17 12:23pm
Midterm aims to make up for lost time following a restricted three-year-old campaign when he makes his seasonal debut in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes at Newbury.
The son of Galileo looked set for a successful 2016 campaign when he kicked off with a promising victory over Algometer in Sandown's Classic Trial, only to miss the Investec Derby with a stress fracture after disappointing in the Dante Stakes at York.
Midterm was sidelined until September, when he returned with a close second to Japanese raider Makahiki in the Prix Niel at Chantilly,
He was then pitched in at the deep end in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in October when he was seventh to Almanzor.
His trainer Sir Michael Stoute has won this Group Three contest over a mile and a half - registered as the John Porter Stakes - a record seven times and connections are hoping for a good start to the year.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Midterm's owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "Midterm is grand. 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."
Chemical Charge, formerly trained by Ger Lyons in Ireland, made a winning start to the season for trainer Ralph Beckett with a comfortable success over Saigon City at Doncaster three weeks ago.
"He's come out of his Doncaster win in good form and we're looking forward to running him," said Beckett.
"It was a good start for the year. We think he can be competitive on Saturday."
Crimean Tatar is the most inexperienced horse in the field, but is the only unbeaten runner in the line-up.
The Hugo Palmer-trained four-year-old claimed the scalp of Chemical Charge at Kempton in November on the second of his two starts.
"He's by Sea The Stars out of a Sadler's Wells mare and the family tend to progress with age," said Rob Speers, racing manager to owner Ibrahim Araci.
"It's well known that he had a setback at two which prevented him from running, but since then he's done nothing other than improve.
"Physically, he now looks the best he has ever done and we're looking forward to an exciting season ahead.
"He has shown enormous potentially in his two races to date, winning his maiden well and then a Listed race and this has looked a nice target ever since - it looks an ideal starting point.
"Obviously, he's only had two races in his life and is still learning. He'll be up against much more battle-hardened Group performers, but this is the next step.
"He seems to have the pace for 10 furlongs but his dam is a three-parts sister to Mizzou who nearly won a Gold Cup for Luca Cumani, so he could easily stay further.
"I don't think he'd ever want rattling fast ground given the time off he had.
"We would have loved to have had him running in a Derby trial this time last year, but it wasn't possible. It might just be we get the benefit of that this season.
"He's only got a few miles on the clock and we're hoping he can make up for lost time."
William Haggas saddles Dal Harraild, who signed off last season with a Listed success at Newmarket.
The Newmarket handler said: "He'll need the run, however he is in good form at home.
"It looks a hot race but he will love the ground there and that is why I am running him.
"He has to have quick ground."