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Country Reel primed to give Loder his third Middle Park.

Byline: David Carr

COUNTRY REEL is in "very good form" for his bid to bring a change of luck for David Loder's two-year-old academy at Newmarket today.

After the injury blow which ruled out his Champagne Stakes-winning stablemate Almushahar for the rest of the season, Country Reel aims to get the Godolphin juvenile team back on track by lifting the Group 1 Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes.

The colt, a supplementary entry, is stepping up in class after a half-length victory in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes over the same trip at York in August, but Loder knows precisely what is needed to take Britain's biggest six-furlong test for juveniles, having won it with Bahamian Bounty and Lujain in the mid-1990s.

"He has done everything right so far and deserves to take his chance after his win in the Gimcrack," said the trainer of Country Reel, who is unbeaten in two races after collecting a maiden on the July course on his debut.

"He is a very lazy horse and is never going to win by too far.

"We have been lucky in the race before - it is difficult to compare him with our past winners, but he certainly deserves to take his chance.

"I don't know how the race will go, but Elusive City looks very good and Mick Channon's horse [Zafeen] looks good too, but it is a Group 1 race so you would expect to face some opposition.

"Country Reel is in very good form. We will see how he gets on, but I hope he will run well."

The John Gosden-trained Oasis Dream takes an even steeper rise in class, having beaten four rivals in a

Nottingham maiden last time out.

Khalid Abdullah's colt had previously chased home subsequent Listed winner Rimrod at Sandown, where he seemed not to stay the seven-furlong trip.

His owner's racing manager, Teddy Beckett, said: "He won very nicely at Nottingham and he has got good form with Rimrod. He is well thought of and has plenty of speed.

"It is a tough race, but it is a Group 1 so it is not supposed to be easy."


Country Reel (Frankie Dettori) lands the Gimcrack by half a length at York in August
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2002
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