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.
|Here and Now||28/1||Each Way
Date of Tips: 18/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:20 18/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling for a racing fan when approaching a high quality meeting, especially a festival over a number of days. Whether it’s over jumps or on the flat, there is nothing that quite matches the excitement of looking forward to the big clashes throughout the week on the Knavesmire, but also the amount of potential betting opportunities both at Group and handicap level. I’ll be looking through the day one card and trying to pick apart the best betting opportunities for us punters.
There is no better place to start than in the first group race of the day at 2.25. This sees a really small but select go to post for the Acomb Stakes over 7 furlongs. The five runners in this race are all potentially smart types and it would be remiss to not think that all of them, including the outsider of the lot, Royal Patronage, could go and win this race. Dubawi Legend is shading favoritism at the top of the market at the moment, courtesy of his incredibly strong win on debut at Doncaster – that looked very smart and everything about it would sum up that he has a massive chance in this race. Ehraz was green on debut behind Noble Truth, and bettered that effort with a smart performance at Ascot. However, he showed a lot of speed that day and I am not sure whether he wants the full extent of 7 furlongs to be seen to his best at present.
However, the horse that is getting the least amount of press from the big three in the market is Noble Truth. There is absolutely nothing to prove that this horse won’t have improved again from his smart and taking effort at Newmarket to get off the mark at the second attempt. His debut effort behind Lusail has been very well franked by the winner since, and Noble Truth has every right to be in this line-up and with a massive chance. Given that progression will be natural for this horse and Appleby’s horses are flying, would indicate that this horse should not be underestimated. At a price of 3/1 with William Hill, I am hoping he can get the job done.
The feature race on the day, the Juddmonte International at 3.35, is a race that usually I would sit back and enjoy without the feeling of getting involved with a bet in the race. That was until I saw that some bookmakers are paying out 3 places, instead of 2 for this 7 runner contest. When bookies are offering such advantageous terms, it would seem rude not to try and capitalise – and that is what I have ended up trying to do. There is plenty of talk about Mishriff and Love in this race, but I will be taking a chance on the still unexposed Alenquer, who could well be suited by this contest. Having beaten future Derby and King George winner, Adayar, at Sandown earlier in the season, Alenquer won at Royal Ascot convincingly before finishing third in the Grand Prix De Paris. He found himself far too far back in a steadily run race on that occasion, and going a quicker tempo may help this horse’s ability to close. At a price of 9/1 with Betfair, who are paying those 3 places – I’ll be backing each way.
The final roll of the dice on day one of the York Festival comes in the 4.10 race, which is a staying handicap over the extended 2 miles. The favourite for this race is Arcadian Sunrise, who is an Irish raider from the yard of John Queally. This horse has been very progressive under both codes of late and comes here with a big chance. However, the price is just too short to get involved in this sort of handicap at a price of 3/1. Instead, I am going to take a chance on the previous course and distance form and a previous winner of this race in the shape of Here and Now, who is simply too big of a price to turn down. I understand that there are still plenty of caveats to backing this horse, as he is returning off the back of another big absence and may need the run. However, I would have thought that this previous winner would have been prepared for another stab at this race, and continues to be progressive when he has been running in recent years. For me, it’s the price that is tempting me into having a nibble on this charge, and at a price of 28/1 with SkyBet, who are the only firm to pay 6 places, I’ll be backing him each way.