WhichBookie racing analyst Andrew Blair White provides a preview and betting tips for races at Lingfield on Friday 21st January.
|Castle Star||8/1||Ante Post
Newmarket 15.00 - Saturday 25th September
Date of Tips: 20/09/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (17:59 20/09/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
This weekend’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at 3.00 on Newmarket’s Rowley course promises to settle an argument once and for all – which of the two Irish Sea-neighbouring racing establishments’ two-year-olds hold sway in the juvenile sprint division.
Always a narrative that racing fans love to ignite, 6 of Saturday’s 14 entries for the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes are from across the water. Aidan O’Brien is responsible for three of them, and while they should obviously be respected with the stable’s juveniles hitting form as the autumn approaches, the main Irish challenge surely comes from one of the other trio of entries.
Dr Zempf will have his supporters for the all-conquering Ger Lyons/Colin Keane axis, but the bet in the race now that the five-day entry stage has whittled down the field, is undoubtedly the Fozzy Stack-trained Castle Star, who appeals as a great each-way ante-post bet with William Hill, Bet365, Ladbrokes or Coral at 8/1.
The British challenge is represented mainly by a handful of form lines – the July Stakes at Newmarket, the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, the Prix Morny at Deauville and the Flying Childers at Doncaster’s recent meeting.
The likes of Perfect Power, Assymetric, Lusail, Armor, Ebro River and Caturra have met numerous times, and for all that Perfect Power won the Group 1 Prix Morny, the market has wildly over-reacted to that cosy victory by installing Perfect Power as the general 2/1 favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 feature.
Ebro River and Go Bears Go have both crossed the water westward this season, and give us a bit of an inkling as to the relative merits of the two country’s form lines. Go Bears Go won the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh in June, while Ebro River raided the Curragh also, taking out the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes.
On both occasions, Fozzy Stack’s Castle Star was in behind – 2nd to Go Bears Go in the Railway and 4th behind Ebro River in the Phoenix. These bare placings don’t tell the whole story though, and is surely the reason that 8/1 each-way is available with William Hill, Bet 365, Ladbrokes or Coral – about a horse who I firmly believe is the best of the Irish contingent, but just hasn’t had a real chance to show it.
Held up for a late run on those two showings, both times Chris Hayes has had to ask Castle Star to quicken fairly visibly twice, and to be in with a shout (given the notable tactical disadvantage in both races) suggests to me that Castle Star possesses an engine that hasn’t been fully engaged efficiently yet.
With the prospect of a well-run race at Newmarket, and the booking of Jamie Spencer an indication that hopefully Castle Star’s chances will be increased by racing more agreeably, he is this week’s standout ante-post investment at 8/1 each-way for the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket at 3.00 on Saturday.
The junior Fozzy Stack has made a very solid early fist of taking over from his much-revered father Tommy, and is actually 1 from 1 with his runners at Newmarket in the shape of Lady Wannabe, who won the Group 3 Darley Stakes last backend, and was ridden by…you guessed it – Jamie Spencer.
In addition to all of this, in the race which is very much known as a ’sire-making’ Group 1, in which 8 out of the last 10 winners have gone on to varying levels of success in their post-racing careers, Castle Star’s sire Starspangledbanner is worth considering more closely.
Himself a winner of the Group 1 July Cup over the undulations of Newmarket’s July course, he has produced 18 horses who have achieved an official ratin of 100 or over.
These 18 horses include three who have won at Newmarket – most notably Millisle, who won the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes; Anthem Alexander, who was agonisingly pipped by Tiggy Wiggy in the same race; and in the shape of Spangled and Home Of The Brave, he has sired multiple course winners.
It seems Castle Star is bred to be at his best over Newmarket’s ups and downs, and will have been targeted at this race for his retribution bid on his Irish-trained counterparts, he is a huge price at the aforementioned 8/1.