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.
|Eileendover||14/1||each-way (four places)
Date of Tips: 09/09/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:06 09/09/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The feature of yesterday’s opening day of the four-day St Leger Festival at Doncaster was fast ground, warm weather and a slight following wind in the straight, meaning that the emphasis was on speed and prominently ridden horses with a high natural cruising speed.
Conditions are due to change slightly today, with the wind (although not that significant) turning round to a direction that will be into the runners faces in the straight, and the threat of heavy showers, meaning that perhaps today the focus will be more on stamina, and horses that can last home that little bit more effectively than yesterday.
The first three races on the card look very open, though I nearly suggested a win only bet on York sales race winner Ever Given, to follow up in the valuable sales race at 2.10, but I’d have slight doubts about whether stall 3 limits Danny Tudhope’s options a little, so at the prices he’s passed over.
Again, it’s a one bet only day today, and that comes in the Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes at 3.15, run over the St Leger course and distance.
Since 1975, there have been only two winners of this who are aged 5, the rest 3 or 4, and that would obviously be heavily skewed due to fillies and mares likely to retire to the breeding paddocks at an early stage. But recent years have shown a tendency towards the four-year-olds winning perhaps more than would be expected, considering the notion that three-year-olds would be improving at a greater rate of knots.
So, I’m more than happy to side with a big priced four-year-old here, Eileendover, who at 14/1 with Sky Bet for four places each-way, has the look of a horse who has been trained very much with an autumn campaign in mind.
Many of you will remember Eileendover as the filly that lit up the bumper sphere last jumps campaign, and was sent off Evens favourite for the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
Seen as a likely type to make her mark back on the flat, initially I was lukewarm on her prospects back on the level, and was slightly less than enthused by her first three runs in a novice event at Haydock, and then two listed races at Pontefract and Newmarket.
But I have a strong sense that Pam Sly has been bringing Eileendover along slowly, and as such her initial handicap mark of 92 was swept aside with some ease at Newmarket, in a valuable handicap worth nearly £26k to the winner.
Stepping up to 1m6f that day, she was notably strong at the line, and given the extra emphasis on stamina that Doncaster’s long galloping expanses provide, and the additional yardage of 1m6½f, she will no doubt improve again.
Eileendover has a few lengths to find with a few of her rivals from previous meetings, but she can on the basis that stamina is clearly very much her strong point, and that she was perhaps not at fever pitch for those previous encounters.
At 14/1 each-way with Sky Bet, she is a great bet to at least fill one of the four spots that they are paying out on for place purposes, and I think she can go very close to adding another four-year-olds name to the Park Hill Stakes roll of honour.