Glorious bet at Newbury
The unseasonal weather could see to everything apart from Southwell on Saturday and if that's the case I'll be keeping the powder dry until the elements relent.
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But, with fingers firmly crossed, they could race at Newbury and Doncaster and the former track in particular has hopes of going ahead with their E.B.F. Ultima Business Solutions Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle Finale the highlight.
- 1pt win Glorious Twelfth in 2.55 Newbury at 12/1 (BetVictor, Coral) - Henderson has great record in the race and this talented mare has had ideal preparation.
- 1pt win Chosen Character in 2.40 Doncaster at 14/1 (General) - goes well in heavy ground and for this jockey; good draw considering prominent tactics
- 1pt win Brae Hill in 3.50 Doncaster at 18/1 (Sportingbet, BetVictor) - race specialist who runs off same mark as when winning last year, ground fine.
Nicky Henderson has had two winners, a second and a third to his name in the last three renewals of this contest so it is a surprise to see his sole runner GLORIOUS TWELFTH chalked up at 12/1.
Perhaps it is because she was beaten last time, but that's of no concern to me as both his winners of this race also lost on their preceding start and consequently they won at double-figure starting prices.
This Old Vic mare looks an ideal type for a slog in the mud over 2m5f as she showed when rallying for second over the course and distance in November.
An easy win at Huntingdon - a track Henderson used in preparation for his previous winners of this race - showcased her natural ability and I'm not sure the sharp right-hand turns at Ludlow will have suited her last time.
She'll be much more at home at Newbury and a bold bid is expected.
Also expected is the abandonment of Doncaster, so I won't dwell on the ifs, whys and maybes regarding the feature Flat curtain raiser that is the William Hill Lincoln.
But if it does go ahead then BRAE HILL looks to be the one to be on at 18/1.
Put simply, he races off the same mark as when winning this contest last year, Richard Fahey says he's more forward than he was this time last year and the ground won't bother him a bit.
His form tailed off last season but he's always a better horse earlier in the campaign - he was second in the 2011 Lincoln too - and it's hard to fathom why this Doncaster specialist is such a big price.
Perhaps it's because he's vulnerable to something way ahead of the assessor, but you're going to need guts to take the prize if it does go ahead and this fellow is an honest horse who has been there and done it, which could be vital.
In the Spring Mile, I like CHOSEN CHARACTER who is an attractive proposition at 14/1.
Tom Dascombe's five-year-old just kept improving last season, proving a liking for very testing conditions along the way.
Any very soft ground will hold no fears for him and he's struck up a really good partnership with jockey Natasha Eaton who has three wins and two seconds on him from six starts.
The point and go tactics they employ could be an advantage in the heavy ground and from their rail draw they'll take some pegging back.
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet Aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +145.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).