O'Meara set for big day at Donny
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value at Doncaster on Saturday and he's backing horses at 8/1, 11/1 and 14/1.
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It's a rare low-key Saturday in the racing world as we move away from the big spring National Hunt festivals and towards the Flat season proper, and again it's to Doncaster who offer the best early season turf action.
- 1pt win Stand My Ground in 2.20 Doncaster at 14/1 (Ladbrokes) - decent form in Europe and any improvement for switch in yards could see him go close
- 2pts win Move In Time in 3.30 Doncaster at 8/1 (General) - hosed up on first start for O'Meara and remains a well-handicapped horse on old form
- 1pt win Yeeoow in 3.20 Doncaster at 14/1 (General) - unexposed on turf, should benefit from a strong pace and has a nice turn of foot
Two weeks on from the Lincoln the Channel 4 cameras are back at Town Moor and though there isn't a handicap of that ilk on the card there are plenty of competitive races to get stuck into including the listed Doncaster Mile Stakes on the round course.
Last year Andrew Balding had the hot favourite who was clear on ratings in Side Glance, but David O'Meara took the prize with Penitent, a horse having his first start for Middleham Park Racing and the Helmsley handler.
It's 14/1 that lightning strikes twice as STAND MY GROUND bids to follow in the hooves of Penitent on his first start for O'Meara and Middleham, with Balding's top-rated Highland Knight standing in his way.
It's well documented how well O'Meara does with horses from other yards and this horse had some useful form in France, twice finishing second in listed contests at Saint-Cloud.
It's difficult to get a handle on how good he is compared to his opponents on Saturday, but he did beat Amico Fritz (fifth and sixth in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot in 2010 and 2011) by 10 lengths at Angers last October giving him 5lbs.
He has form on good ground too and in a first-time hood for O'Meara he looks worth chancing against a bunch of rivals that might just need the run (none of them won first time back last season and Chandlery, though fascinating, hasn't run for 626 days).
Later on the card, O'Meara has another great chance with MOVE IN TIME who looked revitalised last time up at Musselburgh.
Gelded and dropped to a career-low mark since moving to O'Meara from Bryan Smart's, he absolutely bolted up off 85 and a 10lb rise may not stop him.
He was rated 103 at his zenith and he could well be operating at somewhere close to that level judging by his last win, while the step up in trip to six furlongs could bring about further improvement too.
Drawn in 18 I'd expect him to blast out and bag the rail next to the stands and in his form he'll take some stopping.
I can't resist the 8/1 but there is plenty of pace drawn low too with Xilerator and Spinatrix over on the far side and the 14/1 about Elaine Burke's YEEOOW looks worth taking.
He's been racing freely on the all-weather but has still been running with great credit, often displaying a lethal turn of foot despite running with the choke out.
I think he'll improve tracking a really strong pace and he's so unexposed on turf there could be plenty more to come yet.
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: +209.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).