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.
|Midnights Legacy||18/1||Each Way
|Jewel in My Crown||9/2||Each Way
|Tudor City||9/1||Each Way
|Mister Bells||8/1||Each Way
Date of Tips: 20/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:08 20/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
It has ended up being a lot more low-key a week then I had originally anticipated but I’m not overly sorry, as when you’re not sure from a punting perspective – the worst you can do is force things. I haven’t really been happy with York so far this week, the handicaps have looked extra tricky, the draw bias seems to be changing day to day, and the overall results are not perhaps what everyone is expecting. I think the adage of low stakes applies to this sort of meeting, and despite finding two selections for today’s card – it is a card to tread carefully.
The opening 1.50 race sees the first selection of the day in this wide open 1m4f handicap where 16 are going to post. There are advantageous each way terms from some bookmakers and I feel that’s the way to play this race, as it is very hard to narrow down much to be the winner. I am going to side with Midnights Legacy, who looks a fair each way price in this competitive contest. This horse has been holding his form very well thus far this season for Alan King, having won at Epsom on derby day in a big handicap. He was raised 8 pounds for that performance, but has run with real credit in finishing fourth in two tough handicaps off that revised mark since. He has been given some leniency from the assessor, who has dropped him a pound to a mark of 99, which might give him a squeak in this contest. At a price of 18/1 with Paddy Power, who offer 5 places, it’s too big a price to pass up.
The 4.40 is another very tricky handicap, over 1m2f for fillies and mares. Just the 12 go to post for this race but there are plenty of horses coming into this race in rude health and with a proper good chance. I am going to be playing it safe for this encounter, and will be backing the ultra progressive, Jewel in my Crown in this contest, at a tentative each way price of 9/2. This filly has been a typical Rae Guest improver, winning three of her last four and shooting up the ratings. The ease at which she won at Nottingham last time out would indicate that she has more in the tank and this mark of 85 might not be enough to defy her. The reason for backing each way is due to the competition in the lineup, with some equally progressive fillies lurking in there. Jewel in My Crown is a fair bet at 9/2, and I’ll be taking the 4 places with Coral for safety purposes.
It would be rude of me to not pitch in with a few ideas from Killarney as well, who are in the second day of their August Festival, and have some very competitive jump racing action this evening. The featured handicap hurdle at 5.00 is the best race on the card, and sees a lot of Galway form come to the table for this decent pot. Tudor City is a horse that is an absolute guilty pleasure for me, you know you’ll get your heartbroken, but it still doesn’t stop you from trying to make it work. He travelled well for a long way in the Galway Hurdle, and despite the fact that he rarely finds too much off the bridle, that performance has sucked me in for backing him again today. He runs off a mark of 139, which is the same as winning the Galway Hurdle a few years ago, and his fifth this year – so it is a workable mark and Mike O’Connor takes over the steering. If able to get into his normal good rhythm amongst horses, he could well make his presence felt. At a price of 9/1 with Ladbrokes, who have four places available, he is an each way bet.
The final selection for today comes in the 7.00 race, which is a 2m4f handicap chase. Avec Espoir is your favorite for this, and rightly so after romping clear at Tipperary last time out. However, he has a much higher mark to contend with this time around, and could be a little bit more vulnerable than his price would indicate. Instead, I will be looking for the ultra consistent Mister Bells to turn the form around from Tipperary, where he was well beaten in second. He gets an attractive pull at the weights from that effort, and Jordan Gainford takes over the steering this evening, the same jockey that led this horse to victory in Limerick earlier in the summer. Nolan’s horses have consistently held their form this summer and this lad has been a model of consistency. At a juicy each way price of 8/1 with Paddy Power, who go with 4 places as well, I’ll be hoping for a good finish to the day.