Common myth would have it that you should never be afraid of one horse, and while that certainly rings true on many occasions, in terms of today’s daily selection, I am definitely afraid of one horse. That is favourite Wink Of An Eye in the Haydock Park finale at 4.25 this afternoon – Join Racing TV Now Handicap.
By the time that this race is run, the ground at Haydock this afternoon could be as testing as many flat horses will have ever seen, as the forecast predicts steady rain all day, which will be on top of ground described as heavy, soft in places. For these lightly raced three-year-olds running over an extended 1m2f, it could be a significant culture shock.
So, while Wink Of An Eye is a rightful favourite on the back of his supremely eye-catching effort at Goodwood on his seasonal debut, and could easily handle conditions as he ran on heavy ground at Leicester as a two-year-old – it is worth approaching the race with an open mind about his chances. Which is why I am suggesting backing selection Miramichi in a slightly different manner to usual.
At 14/1 each-way with Sky Bet, who offer four places if the race has 8 or more runners, Miramichi is a cracking price. But on the proviso that Wink Of An Eye could be a class above, it is also worth halving your stakes and backing Miramichi in the ‘market without the favourite’, at 10/1 each-way with Paddy Power for three places also.
Paddy Power are one of the only bookmakers to offer each-way terms on this alternative market, whereas plenty will offer a price ‘win only’ in this ‘without favourite’ market. Shop around and see what you can find in terms of price and place terms.
In terms of his chances, Miramichi handled soft or heavy ground very well as a two-year-old, and given how hard he hits the ground with a very rounded action, he is sure to relish it more than most. His sire Markaz is a brother to the soft ground loving Mecca’s Angel, and had a winner on testing ground at Lingfield Park yesterday too.
While Miramichi also reappeared this season with a cracking run at Doncaster over further, he shaped as if this slight drop in trip, to just in excess of 1m2f would be about perfect.
Whatever way you play it, it is definitely worth stating that Miramichi is significantly over-priced, and should be backed accordingly.