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: 04/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:03 04/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
It seems Galway fever has infiltrated my psyche, as not long after the week-long jamboree finished on Sunday, I am casting an eye on a very similar undulating right-handed track on the west coast of Ireland.
I’d be fairly sure that in a normal year, many other folk would be feeling the effects of ‘Galway fever’ for long after, such is the ferocity of the usual frivolities in Galway Festival week.
Sligo is a little different to Galway, in that it is perhaps less of a stamina test compared to the punishing climb to the line at Ballybrit, but it is equally defined by draw/early track position as the counterpart further south.
As such, the betting shape to the Keash Hill Handicap at 1.45 this afternoon has a very appealing look to it. Likely favourite First Blood has a lovely draw in stall 3, and it might be that they don’t see which way Declan McDonogh goes on the Joseph O’Brien-trained improver, after an eye-catching run at Navan last time.
But next in, Ten Ten Twenty, has a horrible draw and would prefer faster ground. While the next couple in single figure prices, Bader Ginsburg and Queen Amenirenas are far from convincing at this trip of 1m2f.
There are a couple at much bigger prices, who have good draws, and could be significantly overlooked in the early price market.
Firstly, French Company at 33/1 each-way with BetVictor is crazy big, and they are offering four places also. Drawn in stall 2, Chris Hayes is berthed perfectly to sit handy from there into the early first tight right-handed bend.
Having stepped up to 1m on handicap debut at Leopardstown last time, he caught the eye in a much deeper race to be a staying on, never-nearer seventh. With his sire French Navy being a multiple winner on soft ground, and his dam’s sire Fast Company being a notable soft ground-handling influence, French Company will surely be less inconvenienced by any showers that may fall, compared with many in the field. At 33/1 with BetVictor, he is a great each-way bet.
The other one to back, in the hope that he gets in as second reserve, is Itsnoteasyhi. Also, at 33/1 with Paddy Power for that extra fourth place each-way, or 40/1 with Bet365 for just the three places, he is also way too big. Obviously, if he didn’t get a run, you would get your money back, so it’s a bet to nothing hopefully.
In finishing only 4½ lengths behind general 11/4 shot Ten Ten Twenty on his last start at Fairyhouse, despite having a horrible passage through the race, a better draw and the experience of that second handicap start can be put to good use by Itsnoteasyhi today.