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.
|Cayenne Pepper||8/1||Each Way
|Baron Samedi||11/2||Each Way - 4 Places
|King of the Castle||33/1||Each Way - 5 Places
|Star Harbour||12/1||Each Way
Date of Tips: 12/09/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:19 12/09/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The last few days have been a bit like a broken record for myself, as a case of so close to a good winner, yet so far was applicable yesterday again after Pearls Galore was edged out of the Matron by the finest of margins. It’s tough going at the moment and like always, you could do with a winner to settle some of the nerves, and we will keep endeavouring to find them. The Curragh hosts Day Two of the Irish Champions Weekend, and has look excellent Group 1 action to choose from throughout the card.
Starting off today with the 2.20, which is the Blandford Stakes over 1m2f. It sees a drop in class for Love, who has been ultimately disappointing in her last two runs after a very impressive come back win at Royal Ascot. One could easily make the case that she still has the best form in here, but at such a short price – you would be more happy to let her win than getting involved at that sort of price. Instead, I think a justifiable case can be made for last year’s winner – Cayenne Pepper. This mare has been very consistent throughout her career, whilst always looking like coming up a bit short at proper Group 1 level. She usually is right in amongst the finish on any step down in grade, and she won this race (albeit a weaker race) last year by four lengths. I would have to assume that she has been trained to the minute for this race and will be primed to run well. At a standout price of 8/1 with Bet365, I’ll be backing her each way.
The next action I will be taking in is the 3.30, Moyglare Stud Stakes over 7 furlongs for Group 1 2YO fillies. This looks a fascinating contest and perhaps unsurpingsly, it sees the Dermot Weld trained, Homeless Songs, at the top of the betting after a really impressive debut victory. She hasn’t been seen since but she could have any amount of ability and you certainly would not bet against her having a very good run. Similar to Love, whether I want to take a favourites price about her is a different story. Again, I’ll be siding with the in-form duo of Harrington and Foley as Discoveries will be looking to go a few spots better than her last effort at the Curragh. She was third in the Debutante on softer ground, and I have a sense she will be more at home and could improve for this nicer surface. At a price of 11/1 with William Hill, I make her an each way bet.
The 4.40 Irish St Leger is the feature race on the card at the Curragh, and looks a typically interesting renewal with plenty of different form lines coming to the table against each other. I have two selections for this race gven how tricky it is and hopefully both can run with credit. Starting off with Baron Samedi, who has been an ultra progessive type over the last two seasons and whos winning streak finally came to close in a Group 1 in France last time out. That was still a respectable effort over a distance short of his best, and should be more suited by this race and the conditions. He is currently a best price of 11/2 with Betfair, which are paying out 4 places – I make him an each way bet as a result.
The other horse I am going to throw into the mix is ante-post selection for the Doncaster equivalent, King of the Castle – who is a big price and rightly so given his overall form. Whether it’s notions or not, I have had always had a feeling that there was more to come from this horse and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this horse outrun his odds in a big race soon. His effort at York was a phenomenal one considering how slow out of the stalls he was, and if breaking better should be at the front end throughout the early stages. Whether he can go and stay there is another story, but he is a stout stayer and could run well. I will be backing him with SkyBet, who offer 5 places in this race instead, at a price of 33/1.
And the final race I will be covering is the Northfields Handicap over 1m2f at 5.45, and the concluding race of the entire week. This looks a minefield of a race, with plenty of chances across the way. Infact, this is a sort of race where you could find a horse to have been beaten only a few lengths – and finish out of the places. Bear this in mind when having a go at the race, but I can’t help but feel drawn to Star Harbour, for the in-form Colin Keane and Ado McGuinness. This horse has made steady progress this year and seems to be more than well suited to the 10 furlong distance, where he hacked up at Navan earlier this summer. He has also procured some big field handicap experience, and his effort to finish fifth behind Bopedro over the straight mile here was an excellent effort. With this in mind, he should have no issue going close off a mark of 94. At a price of 12/1 with Paddy Power, who offer 6 places for this huge handicap – he will be my final selection of the day.