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: 08/09/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:27 08/09/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Doncaster’s St Leger meeting starts today, and is one that builds towards a crescendo on Saturday, with the oldest classic, the St Leger itself. Many big multi-day meetings look to open with a bang, but today’s fare at Doncaster is perhaps slightly lower on quality, but by no means low on interest – betting or otherwise.
The centre of the card is a three-pronged affair of a Listed sprint, a Group 3 fillies 7f, and the Leger Legends race featuring many recently retired pioneers of the saddle like Barry Geraghty and Richard Johnson. All three will be worth watching but make no appeal from a betting perspective.
So, for the only bet on the card, we will know our profitable fate at an early stage, as it comes in the meeting’s opening race – Take The Reins Nursery Handicap at 1.45.
The favourite Modern Games is a worthy one, as his form in three novice and maiden events looks strong, and he might not have been overburdened with his opening mark of 90, allowing him to run in this Class 2 nursery handicap.
While the trio at the foot of the weights – Bullet Force, Atrium and Sed Maarib – are also handicap debutants and as such could be unexposed improvers lurking in the midst.
But, the bet in the race to upstage them all is one of the most experienced horses in the race, Wonderful World, who at 11/1 is a very sound each-way bet for three places with Paddy Power. Sky Bet are going out on a limb with 4 places, but are significantly shorter at 17/2.
I constantly find myself battling with the choice between the extra places or the better price, and would usually unequivocally side with the larger safety net of extra places, but on this occasion a price difference of three points or around 20%, is just a little too stark, so I’m going to plump for the bigger price.
After a mid-summer break, Mick Channon’s Wonderful World removed his maiden tag with a resounding victory at Brighton, before running a hugely eye-catching race in a valuable 6f nursery at York’s Ebor meeting.
Finishing 6th of 20, beaten just 2¾ lengths, Wonderful World was the only horse to make any inroads from a high draw and a hold-up position, on the prominently ridden and lower drawn horses who were benefitted by track position and bias that day (and indeed for most of the meeting.)
In the final furlong, Wonderful World was closing hand over fist on the principles, and as such the step up to 7f here should suit. Despite being by a sprinting sire, his dam is a significant stamina influence also, having produced four winners over 1m+.
The reason we can get an enticing price about Wonderful World is that he finished 8th of 11 in a listed race at Ripon nine days ago. But having been drawn furthest from the stands rail that day, he was stuck on the wing of the field with no cover, and the fact that he looked to be shaping into the race two furlongs out, suggested he remained in good form.
All in all, day one of Doncaster’s St Leger meeting is a watchable one, and will hopefully reveal plenty of clues for the remaining three days, but as for betting interest we’ll know our fate early on with Wonderful World at 11/1 each-way with Paddy Power in the 1.45.