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: 16/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:57 16/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
A busy week on the Knavesmire for York’s Ebor meeting lies ahead, but in preparation for the four-day festival of racing feasts, there’s a couple of nice each-way bets to be had at Bangor-on-Dee today.
Local trainer Gary Hanmer and jockey William Shanahan team up for three chances today, and given the option, I’m sure they would suggest the in-form Sir Tivo in the 8.05 as their best chance of a winner. But, undoubtedly, the other two they team up with are better bets at the current prices.
Gary Hanmer has an extraordinarily good record at the track located just 15 miles from his Cheshire base, with an all-time strike rate of 18% (18 wins from 101 runners), and if you take just this season into account, that strike rate rises to 30%. Those are formidable numbers, whichever way you look at it.
In the Horseradish Catering Novices’ Handicap Chase at 5.35, he runs Dawn Raider over the sharpest trip (2m1½f) that he has encountered since his formative years, but at 14/1 each-way generally for four places, he is a big price to appreciate the significant drop in grade.
Hanmer clearly targets races at Bangor-on-Dee, to such an extent that he seemingly defied convention by using a beginners chase at the Galway Festival as a prep run for this 0-105 handicap chase.
Always jumping and travelling well in first-time cheekpieces, Dawn Raider was mixing it with much better rivals 17 days ago, and in his pomp, he was rated nearly two stone higher than the ceiling rating for this handicap today.
Hanmer is a dab hand at sweetening up horses, and Dawn Raider is a prime candidate to have a decent late summer period, which could begin with a big run in the 5.35 at Bangor-on-Dee today at 14/1 each-way generally.
Two hours later at 7.35, Hanmer and Shanahan combine again with the in-form Isthebaropen, who is significantly over-priced at 9/1 each-way with Betfair Sportsbook, who offer a great five places on the Paddock Restaurant Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
Often, odds compilers can be fooled into thinking that a horse whose form figures take a slight dip since a win has gone off the boil. But in the case of Isthebaropen, her 4th over course and distance 17 days ago represented an improved run to my eye, as it came in a much higher grade than her win before that.
Numerically and in terms of general form of Isthebaropen’s rivals, today’s 2m3½f contest looks tough, but she was competitive behind three horses rated around 120 just over two weeks ago. In contrast, today she meets all of her 14 adversaries, rated equal or lower than her perch of 107.
I’m a sucker for an in-form class dropper, and in the shape of the Gary Hanmer-trained duo of Dawn Raider and Isthebaropen, we have two good each-way bets at 14/1 generally in the 5.35 and 9/1 with Betfair Sportsbook in the 7.35, respectively.
Here’s to a good start to Ebor week!