Add 40/1 Levitate to Lincoln plan
The William Hill Lincoln looks set to finally go ahead after the Flat curtain-raiser was postponed by a week due to the snow, and now the white stuff has thawed we can look forward to some top-quality action at Doncaster.
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Last week I wrote that Richard Fahey's BRAE HILL looked the one to be on in the feature at the prices and at 16/1 I still think that's the case.
- 1pt win Myboyalfie in 1.55 Doncaster at 14/1 (Stan James, BetVictor) - rapid improver over a mile on soft ground and went well here on final start last campaign.
- 1pt win Brae Hill in 3.05 Doncaster at 16/1 (General) - race specialist who races off same mark as when winning last year, experience could be vital.
- 1pt e.w Levitate in 3.05 Doncaster at 40/1 (BetVictor 1/4 1,2,3,4) - goes well here and in the ground while switch in stables could eek out further improvement.
Put simply, he races off the same mark as when winning this contest last year, 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 and this fellow is an honest horse who has been there and done it, which could be vital.
The unexposed horses like Lahaag and Gladys Gal could be well handicapped enough to have a big say, but at single-figure prices you're banking on potential out-weighing experience and in the tough conditions I'm not sure that's the way we should be thinking.
This week's Lincoln is slightly different than last week's would've been as the top horses from the Spring Mile make it into the main race thanks to some defections.
They've all been shunted towards the bottom of the market, including Chosen Character who was my selection for the consolation race last week.
However, his rail draw was key to my thinking as well as his no nonsense tactics against inferior rivals - this rise in class will make it difficult for him to make all and even at 33/1 I won't be going in again.
That's not to say that those promoted from the Spring Mile should've been so widely overlooked, though, and at 40/1 I can't resist an each-way punt on LEVITATE on his first start for John Quinn.
This son of Pivotal is typical of his sire's stock in that he goes very well on soft ground and he also likes it on Town Moor too after a second on the straight course and a win on the round course on his last two starts at the track.
His win here came over a mile, his best trip, and he followed it up with a victory under a penalty in the Carlisle Bell, also over a mile on soft ground.
A good second at York followed where he proved he can mix it off Saturday's handicap mark of 90 and though his form tailed off in two starts after that he can bounce back here under ideal conditions this weekend.
If the switch in stables brings about any improvement at all he must go close, I liked the way he finished both of his last two races at Doncaster and the 40/1 looks worth taking.
Finally, in the Spring Mile, I've really warmed to the claims of MYBOYALFIE after watching his performances towards the back end of last season.
He was a rapid improver in 2012, winning five times as his rating rose from 68 to 89 and judging by the way he finished his campaign his upward curve may not have peaked just yet.
In October he won over a mile at Windsor and Nottingham (excellent effort) in soft ground, making all on each occassion and after showing plenty of pace in his races connections decided to drop him back to seven on his final start of the year at Doncaster.
He wasn't disgraced in the final race of the Flat season, but the combination of seven furlongs and good ground just seemed to catch him out, though he wasn't beaten far and was squeezed up a bit in the closing stages.
Back over a mile, on ideal ground conditions, he could take some catching and at 14/1 I want him on my side.
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).