“They’re deadly around here, Middleham Park.”
OUR 12th WINNER OF 2021: PAROS, trained by Nicky Henderson OBE and ridden by James Bowen: 'The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, Gateway to Champions Novices' Hurdle', over 2m 1/2f at Musselburgh.
When Fiveandtwenty won the Listed Scottish Triumph Hurdle at the track in February, Ed Chamberlain commented on ITV Racing:“They’re deadly around here, Middleham Park” and yesterday, we notched up our 4th National Hunt winner, from 7 runners there this season - another was 2nd!
PAROS made the long journey up, as did James Bowen and this was his first ride at the track. The pair were second favourite behind the fancied Donald McCain runner and set off at a steady pace in front. He settled well and although he was headed after the 2nd hurdle, he went on to lead again and put in some good jumps, as those behind him made mistakes. Coming to the home turn, he was shaken up to quicken and soon went clear, pulling away to win by 5 1/2 lengths.
Watch the full race replay here: https://www.racingtv.com/videos/watch/horse_racing_replays/321503-irish-thoroughbred-marketing-gateway-to-champions-novices-hurdle-3
Here's James talking after the race:
See the official photos here: https://www.grossick.co.uk/p/80532khg/C385147533/x1-paros
Syndicate manager Tom says: "I am delighted for his owners as we have had to work hard to choose the best conditions for Paros and Nicky has probably heard more from me about this horse than any other. As they say on The A-Team 'I love it when a plan comes together!' He was big and bold over a few and jumped well on the whole, but the fact that he settled was also a very pleasing factor. He appreciated the better ground and James kept him up to his work coming to the line. That was great to see and I hope all his owners are celebrating with a dram, as I am! He got back late last night and is fine this morning after a lead out. We'll see what the handicapper does and make a plan from there. Well done everyone."
So, we are indeed 'deadly' at the track and Musselburgh racecourse told us: "You were very close again this season and finished only 1 point behind Straightline Bloodstock. It would be great to see Middleham Park colours on our Owners lawn as champion owners. Let's hope the flat season is good to you. However your colours will be on our colours' board as one of our most loyal owners. This board hangs at our owners entrance."
All eyes are on Doncaster this weekend for the start of the flat season and we start as we mean to go on! But the National Hunt team are not finished yet, as The Grand National meeting at Aintree will see FIVEANDTWENTY, unbeaten over hurdles, line up esteemed in Grade 1 company. Then, at the Scottish National meeting the following week, Tom has been lining up a few potential runners. Both meetings will see owners in attendance, which is very exciting too. Keep up to date with our entries and declarations here: https://www.middlehamparkracing.net/entries.htm