Horses To Follow » Dangerous Midge

Dangerous Midge

Dangerous Midge put in a really good effort to be sixth in the Duke of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot on Saturday. Drawn in stall six, Brian Meehan’s colt had to race on the outside of runners throughout. Just worse than mid division in the early part of the race, he didn’t seem to be travelling all that well at the halfway stage and Martin Dwyer actually gave him a crack of the whip at the four-furlong marker. He was widest of all around the home turn and widest of all when they came up the straight, but he still managed to stay on really well to finish sixth, only beaten just under four lengths by Cill Rialaig and Imposing.

Dangerous Midge’s three wins so far have come over 10 furlongs and he disappointed when favourite in a good race at York on his previous run, on his first try at 12 furlongs. The worry coming into this was again whether the 12 furlongs would stretch his stamina. As it turned out, he stayed every yard of the trip, and left the impression that he would improve over further. It is a pity that he seemed to run in snatches, but he did really well to finish so close given that he raced so wide and that the race was run to suit those who raced handily and were drawn high. In fact, at Royal Ascot all week it was difficult to make ground in the home straight, so he did well to get so close. He is a quirky enough character, the manner in which he needed to be encouraged along so early in the race isn’t a positive, and he ran poorly when he was sent off as favourite for that race at York won by Hanoverian Baron, when stamina obviously wasn’t the issue. In fairness, he was up 11lb from his previous run for that race, so perhaps the handicapper’s expectations were unreasonable.

Dangerous Midge is lightly-raced, this was only his seventh start and he can progress again. He already has three wins to his name, and he will be interesting if given another try over 12 furlongs next time. He has been dropped another 1lb for this effort, back down to a mark of 96, which is just 8lb above the mark off which he was such an impressive winner at Doncaster in April. He may need everything to drop right for him, but he is a talented individual when it does, and he may be under-rated wherever he goes next.

19th June 2010