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.
|Jazz Ranger||11/1||Each Way
|Good Time Jonny||8/1||Each Way
|Hello Pilgrim||16/1||Each Way
Date of Tips: 17/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (10:51 17/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Weekday evening meetings around Ireland are a staple of a good summer tradition. Sligo is a track that benefits from these old school traditions, as its summer jumps and flat cards are not often packed with superstars, but still manage to bring the same level of intrigue and excitement, as if they had. Tonight’s card is no different, and brings a certain level of joy trying to dissect a trappy summer jumps card with plenty of interesting handicaps to get through. I have found four selections for this evening’s racing – and hopefully they all run with some level of respectability.
The first race I will be having a look at is the 5.15, which is a handicap hurdle over 2m 1½ furlongs. This is a typical summer handicap for horses rated between 80-102, and there are not too many lurking here who are not exposed. It is a case of trying to find a horse that may be approaching a mark where they can compete to a good level, and are proven at providing at this level of race. I think there is one in here that is screaming out for ticking those boxes, and it’s Jazz Ranger for James Fahey and talented claimer, Jordan Gainford. This horse is a two time winner and regularly competes well off the mark he is on today. After a close shave at Tramore earlier in the summer, he has been poor the last three times off higher marks. He returns to a mark of 98, which is the exact same as for that Tramore run, with Gainford taking an additional 5 pounds off his back. At a best price of 11/1 with Paddy Power, who offer a generous five places in this contest, I think he is a good each way bet.
The 6.15 race is the same level of handicap, this time over the intermediate trip of 2m4f. Nuttoridge looks a well deserved favourite in this contest, having won nicely at Downpatrick last time out and with the trainer, Mark McNiff, usually targeting winners at his local track. However, a price of 5/2 about anything in this sort of contest is skimpy. I am going to take a speculative chance on the veteran in this line-up with the old timer, Cappacon. He has not won a race for a while at this stage, but that has not been through a lack of endeavour from the horse, who still puts his all into his races despite his age. He went close a few times over fences earlier in the year, but his handicap hurdle form has been patchy recently. However, his effort at Kilbeggan last time out was a solid performance in fifth, and he has come down another 2 pounds in the handicap since then. At a price of 16/1 with William Hill, who pay out 5 places, he is another each way bet.
The 6.45 is the feature race on the card and has attracted a field of 10 to contest a handicap over 2m4f. I have a guilty pleasure for Tony Martin horses, and despite his recent record being a little bit off-putting, I am willing to take a chance on his runner in this race. I was convinced going into last season that Good Time Jonny was going to be a horse that might put Martin back on the map in National Hunt circles. After an impressive win in a bumper at Musselburgh and then a respectable 9th in the Champion Bumper, his hurdles form has been woeful in comparison. After a few quiet rides in maiden hurdles in the winter, he has returned to further tender handling on his two starts this summer. Most importantly today, Phillip Enright is now booked to take the ride. Enright is the only jockey to have won on this horse thus far, and also is usually the man that Martin turns to when the day is right. He is undoubtedly well handicapped off his bumper form, and although it’s a leap of faith – I’m willing to take it. He is a best price of 8/1 with Paddy Power, who offer the regular 3 places, he is another each way bet.
Finally, we turn to 7.15 for the final selection on today’s card. I got some good success yesterday from following a horse near the top of the weights coming back in grade, and I’m going to try my luck again with a similar type. Hello Pilgrim fits that bill nicely, as he steps back in grade to run off top weight of 109 in this contest. His recent form has been hit and miss and can’t be seen as the most reliable – but he is a good performer on his day and shouldn’t be underestimated. He won a maiden hurdle at this track over 3 miles, so is used to the conditions and could be feasibly weighted to run well. Similar to yesterday’s success with Magnetic North, this horse is also sporting first time headgear, with the blinkers coming on after finishing fourth last time out. At a price of 16/1 with William Hill, who yet again offer 5 places, it’s another each way bet.