Turf Talk: Midgley mounts two-pronged assault on back-to-back Gosforth Park Cup bid

Orvar can give trainer Paul Midgley back-to-back victories in the Stobart Energy Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle.

North Yorkshire trainer, Paul Midgley. PIC: Gerard Binks
North Yorkshire trainer, Paul Midgley. PIC: Gerard Binks

The five-year-old has not had the rub of the green since moving to the North Yorkshire handler from Robert Cowell’s stable in Newmarket.

He may have won first time out for Midgley at Wolverhampton in February but has been unlucky not to add to that success with a series of good efforts.

His latest run at Musselburgh is best ignored as he was out wide on the course and could never get competitive in the Scottish Cup Sprint won by Caspian Prince.

Trainer Eve Johnson Houghton. PIC: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

Midgley was mob-handed at the entry stage and has whittled his team down to two, with Orvar getting the nod over his other runner, Naggers, to emulate last year’s winner Line Of Reason in this five-furlong feature.

Magnolia Springs can give in-form Eve Johnson Houghton another big-race triumph by taking the Group Three honours in the Stobart Energy Hoppings Fillies’ Stakes.

The Johnson Houghton stable will still be on a high from the exploits of Accidental Agent in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and in Magnolia Spring they have a second potential headline-grabber.

The daughter of Shamardal stepped up on previous efforts to take the Listed Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood on her first try at a mile and a quarter.

Owner Dr Marwan Koukash. PIC: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

That was only her fourth start, so it is fair to assume there will be more improvement to come.

Sharja Silk has been getting better when tackling longer distances and the extended mile and three-quarters for the Britvic Handicap at Doncaster looks right up his street.

The three-year-old son of Dubawi stuck on well to take second place behind Ghostwatch over a similar trip at Sandown, on what was only his fourth start.

Roger Varian’s charge should relish the long straight on Town Moor to help him get off the mark.

Mazzini returned to something like his best form when just touched off by Spanish City back up to seven furlongs at Doncaster last time out.

With that fine effort under his belt, the James Fanshawe-trained five-year-old can go one better in the Moughton Engineering Handicap at Yarmouth.

Pippin has been steadily going through the ranks with victories in his last two starts at Salisbury and Newbury.

Hughie Morrison’s improving three-year-old can take another successful step up in grade in the Fly London Southend Airport To Prague Handicap at Newmarket.

This year’s winning Chester Cup combination of owner Marwan Koukash and trainer Ian Williams are fancied to taste more success on the Roodee with Gossip Column in the Caldwell Construction Handicap.

The Arcano gelding was bought out of Charlie Hills’ stable for £15,000 at Goffs UK Autumn Sales and already repaid his new connections with a win and a second from his two starts.

He can continue the good work in this handicap over an extended 10 furlongs, despite going up 8lb in all.


CHESTER: 5.55 Lord Vetinari, 6.30 Even Keel, 7.05 Feline Groovy, 7.40 Call Out Loud, 8.15 Gossip Column, 8.50 Harry Beau.

DONCASTER: 2.00 Wind In My Sails, 2.30 Evie Speed, 3.00 Blonde Warrior, 3.30 Al Jellaby, 4.00 Arabian Gift, 4.30 Sharja Silk (treble), 5.00 Ghost.

NEWCASTLE: 5.45 Quantatmental, 6.20 Uncle Charlie, 6.55 Two For Two, 7.30 ORVAR (NAP), 8.05 Magnolia Springs (next best), 8.40 Algaffaal, 9.10 Riverside Walk.

NEWMARKET: 5.35 Marilyn, 6.10 Rollicking, 6.45 Nicklaus, 7.20 Pippin, 7.55 Gorgeous Noora, 8.30 Brorocco, 9.00 Wilson.

YARMOUTH: 2.10 Wiff Waff, 2.40 Autumn Splendour, 3.10 Go On Gal, 3.40 Loving Your Work, 4.10 Mazzini, 4.40 Protected Guest, 5.10 Ertidaad.