Speed-Loving Astaire Takes Middle Park
Astaire made all the pace and gamely captured the Vision.ae Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) from stablemate Hot Streak Oct. 12 at Newmarket.
Ridden by Neil Callan, 2-year-old Astaire repelled a determined bid from Hot Streak, whom Jamie Spencer guided to strongly pursue from second over a furlong out. Hot Streak looked to overtake Astaire, but the winner dug in to prevail by a half-length while covering six furlongs 1:12.33 on turf rated as good to soft.
Both the winner and runner-up are conditioned by North Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan.
Astaire, at 8-1 odds, becomes the first group I winner for freshman sire Intense Focus, a 7-year-old son of Giant's Causeway . The 2008 Darley Dewhurst (Eng-I) winner stands in Ireland at Ballylinch Stud.
Hot Streak, winner of the BMW Cornwallis Stakes (Eng-II) Oct. 5 at Newmarket and starting at 5-1 odds, outfinished 22-1 longshot Justice Day by 1 1/2 lengths for second in the 10-horse field.
Great White Eagle, the 2-1 favorite off two wins from as many career starts, including the Go and Go Round Tower Stakes (Ire-III), was never threatening in an eighth-place finish.
Astaire tallied a third successive victory for owner Angie Bailey, following his neck victory after leading most of the way in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes (Eng-II) Aug. 24 at York off a conditions race in the same front-running fashion July 27 at Newmarket, both at six furlongs. He has four wins from five career starts.
Ryan teamed with bloodstock agent Stephen Hillen to buy Astaire for £70,000 ($90,020 in United States funds) at Goffs Ready to Run sale at Kempton in March. The speed-loving colt paid dividends immediately, winning his career debut by leading all the way May 25 at York.
Bred in Ireland by John O'Connor, Astaire is out of the unraced Dansili mare Runway Dancer, a half sister to 2000 Gimcrack winner Bannister.
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