Edited from a Newmarket release
A dozen high-class 2-year-olds have been declared to run in the group I Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket on Friday, Oct. 3.
The Roger Charlton-trained Three Valleys, a leading fancy for next year's 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, will bid to bounce back after sustaining his first defeat in three outings last time, when third to Guineas favourite One Cool Cat in the group I Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last month.
The Diesis colt had previously won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June by eight lengths from Botanical, a performance which inspired his trainer to describe him as "the best 2-year-old that I have trained."
Ireland's Aidan O'Brien, who has won the Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes with Johannesburg (2001) and Minardi (2000), has a powerful squad of four--Old Deuteronomy, second in the Curragh race, Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes runner-up Grand Reward, Born in America and Colossus.
Kheleyf currently races for Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum but judging by his performances on the racecourse this season, he is likely to be flying the Godolphin banner with credit next year. His only defeat in three starts came in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot where he went down by a length and three-quarters to Russian Valour. Trainer David Loder allowed the colt almost three months away from the track after that reversal and Kheleyf made a thoroughly satisfying comeback in a conditions race at Doncaster last month when beating Golden Sahara by a length and a half.
Auditorium, the neck second in Doncaster's Champagne Stakes (Eng-I) who was supplemented on Saturday, is the mount of current champion jockey Kieren Fallon while Pat Eddery, the 11-time champion who retires at the end of the season, is on Balmont who beat Fokine in York's Scottish Equitable Gimcrack Stakes and has won his last three races.
Whipper, winner of the group I Prix Morny at Deauville last month, represents French trainer Robert Collet, while the field is completed by Holborn and Nevisian Lad.