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.
|Spear Head||16/1||Each Way
Date of Tips: 24/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (10:40 24/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
It wasn’t to be yesterday at Ballinrobe as I fired a blank from two selections. This month has been like that, with plenty of ups and downs, but gladly with a week to go in the month, I find myself still above water. It has not been easy to garner much consistency this month, with results and ground fluctuating – so I am trying to keep the head down and have a decent week to finish off, and then kick on into September. There is flat action at Bellewstown this evening and jumps racing at Bangor this afternoon, which is where the destination of today’s selections will be.
Starting off with Bangor this afternoon, and the one race I will be looking through on this card is the 2.10 race, which is an excellent 3m Handicap Chase for horses rated from 0-130. This class 3 event is going for a decent pot and has attracted a nice round field of 8 to the tape. Not surprisingly, it’s recent Course and Distance winner, Wishful Dreaming that tops the betting in this one, and his chance is there for all to see under just a mandatory penalty of seven pounds. However, he is a short price for a race as competitive as this and I would be more than happy to let him slide by without touching that price.
Instead my selection in this race could be quite hit or miss, as it’s the fine line between a well handicapped horse and a horse in decline. I would be questioning why they are keeping pumping the legs of old-timer, Fingerontheswitch, and wonder whether now back down to this sort of mark – he could have a chance to reignite his career one more time. Having had an excellent season two years ago, Fingerontheswitch has been generally disappointing off lofty marks. Since his uninspiring run at Perth over a month ago, he has been dropped six pounds by the assessor and now runs off 119. Off the majority of his back form, this would give him more than enough of a chance to compete in this sort of grade, and his run two starts back at Market Rasen was not devoid of promise. He may not happen, but if it does happen – it will be today as these conditions are optimum. At a best price of 14/1 with Ladbrokes, who offer the standard 3 places – I will take that risk each way.
Moving to the Irish shores and to Bellewstown, who have racing on the next two evenings, with tonight’s flat action accompanied by tomorrow’s jumps card. The flat action this evening is puzzling to put it mildly, so therefore I have opted for two slightly off the beaten track for tonight. Starting in the 4.55, which is a 1m maiden race. This doesn’t look like a brilliant race and even though it is usually my style to side with form over potential, I think the horses at the top of the market and with the form in the book are quite exposed and I wouldn’t be able to trust having my hard earned money on them.
Instead I’ll be taking a punt on an unraced sort, who ran in a barrier trial last week. These barrier trials are becoming more and more prevalent in Irish racing and I would urge all who haven’t already, to make it your business to look at the results and put horses into the tracker before they run. I was disappointed in this case, as I have slightly missed the fancy prices about Spear Head, who shaped with considerable promise last week under the tenderest of handling from Billy Lee. Andrew Kinirons does well with the horses he has and it is no surprise to see money around for this lad in what looks a weak enough maiden. If he is useful, and his barrier trial indicated he was not short of cruising speed, he could play a part in this race. It’s always hard to predict what they’ll do on the track first time up, which is a concern, but it’s part of the risk of the price. With Bet365 offering 16/1 each way, I’ll take that risk.
And the final action of the day comes in the nightcap at Bellewstown, which is the staying 2m1f handicap at 7.55. This Qualified Riders race looks an interesting one to solve and there are plenty with good form on the table coming into this contest. I will be taking a risk on a horse who hasn’t been seen for a long time and I will be hoping he returns with the same level of ability as he was beginning to show for his previous connections. The horse in question is Jeweller, who is a fascinating recruit for the Paul Power stable from Sir Michael Stoute. After a sluggish start to his career, he won his last two starts in Britain in facile manner over 2 miles, looking like a progressive young stayer who had a future. He hasn’t been seen since his last win in late 2019, and returns here with a new stable off a mark of 73. Maybe I’m turning mad, but if he does retain that ability, the 25/1 with SkyBet is more than generous in this contest, and with that bookmaker offering 5 places. I’ll be backing each way.