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: 26/07/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (10:46 26/07/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The week of the Galway and Goodwood Festivals being side by side is one of the most exciting of the summer. It gives the opportunity for everyone to have something to enjoy – with high class flat action being on both sets of cards, tricky handicaps to dissect and some of the finest jumps handicaps of the entirety of the Irish summer with the Galway Hurdle and Galway Plate. On WhichBookie, myself and Will Smith will be glancing over both cards each day and will endeavour to find you all a few winners and hopefully like Royal Ascot, we can succeed to do so.
The Galway card today is one of the trickiest to try and get through and has plenty of hard races to try and cut apart. It’s a full flat card this afternoon with a combination of maidens and handicaps. I have managed to pick out 3 selections for the card and hopefully they can all run with credit and potentially return a bit of money for ourselves.
I’m starting off in the 5.15 race, which is a 7f handicap for horses rated between 50 and 80. As a rule this year, I am going to be paying the closest attention to all of what Ado McGuinness has to run, as his efforts in these types of contests have been brilliant in recent years – and he does target this festival with his best. He runs Godhead in this race, who overall has been disappointing since joining this outfit. At his peak for John Gosden, he was placed in a Bunbury Cup over 7 furlongs off a mark of 93. Since joining this yard, he has been experimenting with trips, but has not found the answer and has slipped markedly down the weights.
He now runs today off a career low mark of 78, and has eased back into a 50-80 grade handicap, and is potentially the class act on show in this race. If he can rediscover some of his old form, he would have to come here with more than a fighting chance. Given the fact that the trainer targets these types of races, it would be remiss to not think that this has potentially been a long term plan. At a price of 7/1 with Ladbrokes with 4 places available, I’ll be backing him each way.
The big amatuer riders handicap at 6.15 is always an excellent race to watch and Willie Mullins has had an excellent return in this race, however none with his son, Patrick, on top. It usually pays to be down the weights in this contest, and with this in mind, I have sided with Zoffanien, who has to be well treated in this race off a mere mark of 83. Having been trained in France on the flat, he has made his mark this winter over hurdles, when developing into a really smart type. He had form tied in with the majority of the good juveniles in that division, and returns here off a lenient mark in comparison to some others.
This trip should suit him and the way he travels would indicate he might well suit Galway, as he travels well on the bridle and is able to pick his way through horses. Barry O’Neill rides him – which is a great plus and I wouldn’t be too concerned by his draw of 18, and he will probably be held off the pace anyway. At a best price of 6/1 with Coral for 5 places, he is another each way bet.
My final bet of the day comes in the 6.45 race, which is a 60-90 rated handicap over the extended mile and a half trip. This morning, there were some silly prices going about for the progressive, Citronnade of Jessie Harrington’s and even though the market has begun to correct itself – this filly is still far too big given her chance in this race. After being thrown out in the stewards room of a Curragh maiden in May, she bounced back to get the job done at Killarney in impressive fashion. That day, she beat Rosscarberry, who is a solid yardstick from the Joseph Murphy team and she did it decisively.
This is her first handicap that she’s running in and she doesn’t seem too overfaced by a mark of 85, which may well seem lenient by the time of the second last race of the day. She has a very straightforward style of running, which should suit the course and a draw of 12 is not too much of an inconvenience. I would be hopeful of a seriously big run from her and she is probably my best bet of the 3 for today. At a price of 13/2 with Paddy Power with 4 places available, that will complete my each way selections for the day.