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Qatar Racing’s Middle Earth, who was born and raised at Tweenhills and is a Roaring Lion half-brother to Buckaroo, showed great battling qualities to win the Listed Noel Murless Stakes over 14f at Ascot on Friday.

Impressive Melrose Handicap winner Middle Earth bounced back from his run in the Gr.1 St Leger – when perhaps unsuited by the soft ground – to win the Listed Troy Asset Management Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot.

Middle Earth reversed St Leger form with Chesspiece – who had been third in the Gr.2 Queen’s Vase over C&D at the Royal Meeting – and confirmed his superiority over Naqeeb, whom Middle Earth had beaten narrowly in a Newmarket novice in July.

After being slowest from the stalls, Middle Earth had worked his way into midfield by halfway and found plenty for pressure to get past front runner Chesspiece under a drive from Oisin Murphy. Middle Earth only made his debut on June 17 and has come a very long way in the meantime. He could clearly be a ‘Cup’ horse for Qatar Racing and John and Thady Gosden in 2024.

Middle Earth is by the late Tweenhills stallion Roaring Lion and out of Galileo mare Roheryn, herself a Listed winner over 12f in Ireland in 2014. Roheryn has also produced the dual Stakes winner Buckaroo and winners Kihavah and Thousand Oaks.

Roheryn’s 2yo by Siyouni is a filly called Siege of Troy and she’s unraced for Johnny Murtagh and Qatar Racing. Roheryn had a Kameko colt who sold for €310,000 at the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale 2023 to the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Kingman mare Thousand Oaks had a 2023 filly by Pinatubo.

Middle Earth: very progressive Listed winner

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