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.
|The Grand Visir||8/1||Each Way
|He's a Hardy Bloke||14/1||Each Way
|Decor Irlandais||8/1||Each Way
Date of Tips: 30/07/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:52 30/07/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
It has been a hard week to surmise so far between Galway and Goodwood as neither track has afforded me much luck from a punting perspective and there were more near misses yesterday throughout the selections. Overall though, it has been a disappointing week personally and I will be endeavoring as hard as I can to turn the tables around in the last few days. July has been a good month overall so far, so let’s try to finish it with a strong thrust rather than a whimper.
Starting off at Goodwood again, and this time around I’m going to be taking in their opener – which is the brilliant staying flat contest over 2m4f. It’s typically as competitive as usual with the market led by a 13/2 chance, so there are plenty of different roads you could go down in this race. This being said, I am going to be taking one of the safer conveyances – as The Grand Visir could almost be a tour guide for these staying flat handicaps. He is always slightly vulnerable from a win perspective as he doesn’t get his head in front too many times, but often runs his race and this soft ground will pose no issues to him. He comes here in good form after a staying on 3rd in the Queen Alexandra before a Listed 2nd at Sandown. He is right at the top of the weights in this as a result, but there is reasoning to that. At a price of 8/1 with Paddy Power with 6 places available, I’ll be expecting a typically solid run.
One of the big races from Goodwood today is the 3.35 – which sees some exciting sprinters go to post for the King George Qatar Stakes. This week, it’s been quite tempting to put up horses who have drifted in price due to the going, and this has been a hard one to avoid. Despite the soft ground not being ideal whatsoever, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to back Battaash at 15/8 in this race. He is the premier sprinter around, and has been for the last few years, and I would love to see him back up what already is a fantastic record in this race. The likes of Dragon Symbol and Art Power are sure to put it up to him, but if he performs to his best, he wins. 15/8 with Ladbrokes looks worth that risk.
Moving to Galway now and again I will be taking in their opener this afternoon, which is a maiden hurdle. I have not managed to get the Willie Mullins horses’ right this week, it seems to be a case of whatever I back, doesn’t deliver and whoever I don’t back, does deliver. I am hoping I am on the right path with Purple Mountain however, who in truth, should take a lot of beating on her hurdle bow. Having won a Listed bumper last year, she reappeared with a tame performance behind Grangee at Leopardstown. She has not been since then, and with the owners having such an affiliation with the track, I would say this has been the target. At a general price of 13/8, she should win.
The 5.00 is a much more competitive affair. This time around, I’ll be siding for something at a bigger price and that horse is He’s a Hardy Bloke for Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan. This horse was quietly progressive throughout the winter last year and has warmed up for this effort with a flat run last month. That should leave him cherry ripe for this, and he is dangerously handicapped on some of his best form. I think he has been a little bit forgotten in the market, and at a price of 14/1 with Paddy Power for 5 places, I think he is a fair each way chance.
The 5.30 is an equally competitive staying handicap hurdle and yet again, I’ll be siding with a horse nearer the top of the weights than the bottom. Decor Irlandais was a horse I put up a few weeks ago for a flat maiden, when running respectable at Leopardstown. In hindsight, that must have been used as a prep run for a race such as this, with the conditions of this race suiting a lot more. He has a rating of 149, which doesn’t leave much margin for error, but he is quite clearly the class act in the race and should be bang there in the finish. At a price of 8/1 with Ladbrokes for 5 places, another fair each poke.
Finally at Galway is the 6.40 race, where again, I’ll be hoping that I can find the right side of the ball for Willie Mullins, unlike the previous few days. I am going to take a chance on Annamix in this, who might have had the easiest race of the lot earlier this week. He was never sighted in the Plate and given a fairly easy time of things. Horses like Darasso and Koshari have run big races in defeat already this week and it might have left its mark, while Annamix usually pops up in races such as this. At a price of 6/1 with Ladbrokes, he is my final bet of the day.