WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and an ante-post each-way selection for the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday 25th September.
Date of Tips: 23/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:15 23/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
It is often nice after a few days of trying to find winners, to take a bit of time away from the game and reassess and come back fresh. Like anything, a fresh mind can hopefully lead to better decision making and punting. As it happens, the meetings over the weekend looked very tough at first glance and I was quite glad that I didn’t get involved financially, as it might have taken a turn for the worse. Instead I can focus on my bread and butter for this blog, which is Monday evening jump racing at Ballinrobe.
And it is the 5.15 where I will be venturing first, with quite a rare 4YO handicap hurdle, which allows for last season’s juveniles to find their feet in handicap company without having to face their much more experienced rivals. A fair few of these have won maidens last year over hurdles, but have perhaps struggled to land a blow in races since, and this might be a nice opportunity to get back to running well against horses of the same age. Flying Scotsman is top of the pile after a good effort in a competitive Galway handicap, while Baltinglass Hill has been progressing nicely and has won his last two from two. However, I have been going through the horses at bigger prices and it takes looking all the way down the list before arriving at the destination of my first selection.
I quietly fancy the chances of Nazine, who was a maiden hurdle winner at Navan back in March and has perhaps not come forward quite as much from that as one might have thought. He was thought of well enough to be thrown into the deep end of a good Grade 2 juvenile at Fairyhouse after that win, and although being well outclassed in that contest, one would have to think he could be competitive at this level. On reappearance at Galway, he was never going on handicap debut and I hope he can have learnt from the hustle and bustle of that experience. He arrives here off a mark of 113, which I would be disappointed if he wasn’t able to run well of this sort of mark now, and in the future. At a monster price of 40/1 with Paddy Power, who offer 5 places for this race, he is worth a chance each way.
From the big prices to the small prices, as my next selection from the 7.45 race, is right at the top of the betting in contrast to Nazine. This Beginners Chase looks to involve very few in my mind. With a fair few looking well outclassed on the figures, I sense only 3 or 4 could make an impact in this race, which is the sort of betting heat that I enjoy thoroughly. Having made that decision to narrow it down to so few, it’s now about picking the right one to get his head in front. That horse I have plumped for is Ennemi Public, who brings the most solid hurdle and chasing form to the line up. Having won a maiden hurdle in December, beating the impressive Mercury Lane, he backed that up with a solid handicap effort at Naas. His chasing debut at Wexford a month ago was also a good performance, coming second to Roi De Dubai and jumping fluently for a first try over the larger obstacles. He comes here fresh off the back of that and could have more improvement left up his sleeve than the consistent but slightly exposed, The Dabbler. At a price of 5/2 with William Hill, I made him a bet.