With a career record in Stakes races which reads, eight wins, six second places and two third places and only one finish outside the top three, it is easy to see why Midday, trained by Sir Henry Cecil in the UK is the favourite to claim a second win in the Breeders Cup Fillies & Mares Turf later this year.
The incredible five year old mare has ran with huge distinction throughout her racing career and the only item missing from her racing CV is that she failed to take a Classic race as a three year old. Although not deemed ready for the 1000 Guineas two years ago, she did try her luck in both the English and Irish Oaks, but finished second in the English version and third at the Curragh in races won by the fabulous Sariska.
Notwithstanding, Midday showed plenty of courage when returning from the Curragh after the Irish Oaks to win the Group One Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, a race she was to go on and win twice more, in 2010 and 2011 to complete the hat-trick. A month before heading off to Santa Anita for her first Breeders Cup appearance, she ran third when going off as the 11/4 favourite, in the Group One Prix l’Opera at Longchamp on ‘Arc’ day behind outsider Shalanaya in what transpired to be one of worst career performances.
That run however was soon forgotten a month later after she went flying past the post to claim the Breeders Cup Filly & Mares Turf and the million dollars first prize. In that race she beat the cream of America’s female talent, including the previous year’s winner, Forever Together. It was the perfect end to a very exciting three year old season and the decision was taken to keep her in training.
In her first run as a four year old she came up against her old adversary, Sariska, and once again had to settle for second place behind her in the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York. She then went on a three race winning streak, all at Group One level, taking her second Nassau Stakes, the Yorkshire Oaks and the Prix Vermeile at Longchamp. Back to the Breeders Cup, this time at Churchill Downs, she had to settle for second place, beaten just half a length by Shared Account.
The plan for 2011 has always been to take her back to America for a final bid at the Breeders Cup in the Filly & Mares Turf and she has shown for the most part of the season that she has lost none of her speed and ability. She has had five runs so far, winning the Middleton Stakes and a third ‘Nassau’ as well as finishing second in the Group One Coronation Cup at Epsom behind St Nicholas Abbey, She was second behind Misty For Me in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in June and was second again behind stablemate, Twice Over in the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes at York last month.
It is thought that she will have one more run in the UK, probably on Champions Day at Ascot on 15th October in either the British Champion Fillies & Mares race or the Champion Stakes. Following that run she will be sent across the Atlantic to finish her racing career with the aim of winning the Breeders Cup Filly & Mares Turf for a second time and as it stands, she looks to be one of the more confident European selections that will be headed to Churchill Downs on Saturday 5th November. Perhaps the American readers could suggest some Stateside rivals that could lay down the biggest challenge?