Away We Go for Sandown Gold
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the bet365 Gold Cup Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
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There's a lot of dead wood in the bet365 Gold Cup Chase at Sandown on Saturday with only a handful of runners looking likely to improve on their current ratings in the future.
The progressive horses have unsurprisingly found their way to the top of the market with AWAY WE GO, Same Difference, Hadrian's Approach and Well Refreshed disputing favouritism at around 8/1.
The two novices, Hadrian's Approach and Same Difference, could improve over this trip but neither look particularly well treated at this stage in their careers and the former's jumping issues don't bode well for a test like this.
Well Refreshed could well extend his winning sequence to four as he is clearly on the upgrade, but at single-figure prices he's got better ground and a steep rise in the weights to deal with.
So, while it's hardly original to side with a Willie Mullins-trained favourite, I do think the 9/1 about Away We Go still represents fair value as he has the credentials to get significantly backed into clear market leader.
His recent second in the Irish Grand National perhaps came as a surprise to Team Mullins. It was his first start over fences for the Irish Champion Trainer and he was sent off fairly unconsidered at 25/1.
Yet he travelled sweetly and jumped really well before going down to Liberty Counsel by just half a length, the winning jockey's 5lb claim perhaps the difference in the end.
Off the same mark of 134 here, Mullins has decided to employ the services of useful 5lb claimer Declan Lavery to further ease the burden of his charge and purely from a handicapping point of view he must hold a great chance.
The better ground isn't a concern as he's won on it before and it could actually bring about further improvement - his sire Stowaway's most famous son, Champagne Fever, has certainly looked at home on a better surface the few times he has encountered it.
bet365 go 9/1 and it looks worth snapping up, though the general 8/1 is also fair. Ladbrokes are set to offer 10/1 on Saturday morning, which looks excellent value if you can get it.
If there is one at a bigger price to trouble the Irish raider it could be Mary Hambro's DOVERS HILL who is worth backing each-way with those bookies (bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power) who go five places.
He's a big price because he's trained in a small yard and hasn't been seen for a while, but he goes so well fresh the absence is not a concern.
A Sandown specialist who thrives on good ground, he's sure to give a good account of himself from the front under Sam Thomas.
After he won on good ground here last season he went on to be sixth in this race behind Tidal Bay, tiring in the soft conditions after trying to make all.
With Saturday's likely conditions much more suitable, he can beat off many from the front end and ensure we get a good run for our each-way stakes.
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: +217.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).