Van Der Neer to spring a surprise
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on QIPCO 2000 Guineas day at Newmarket and he's backing a 25/1 chance in the Classic.
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It's a high-quality renewal of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas with last year's outstanding juvenile Dawn Approach the long-time favourite for the season's first Classic.
His many attributes have been discussed at length throughout the racing media so let's get straight to the dilemma - is he worth backing at prices around 13/8?
Clearly, he's the one to beat. But my gut feeling is he's just too short in this field with many high-class opponents taking him on.
His much talked about 'flat spot' is a slight concern for me, particularly on the fastest ground he'll have ever raced on and at the odds I do think he's one to swerve.
Richard Hannon's Toronado is the next most obvious winner considering his unbeaten record and excellent reappearance win in the Craven Stakes.
I like him a lot and heavy market support following that Craven win has seen his odds contract to 2/1 with the noises from the Hannon camp bullish to say the least.
However, with his main rival in the Craven, Dundonell, having had a less than ideal preparation, there are some question marks over the worthiness of the form and with that in mind 2/1 is very short.
The front two in the betting shape the market and if you are prepared to take the big guns on it's a good race to bet in each-way. That's exactly what I'll be doing with VAN DER NEER the selection at 25/1.
I think his price is inflated purely because he's the second string to Toronado but he's a very good horse in his own right and his form entitles him to be shorter in the betting.
The Dutch Art colt looked very good in minor races at Yarmouth and Leicester as a juvenile, but he took his form to another level when runner-up to Kingsbarns in the Group One Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
The soft ground won't have suited him that day and I'm excited about his chances on a much faster surface with a strongly-run mile looking to be absolutely ideal for him at this stage in his career.
On his reappearance at Lingfield he raced wide all the way and was last turning for home but he still won very cosily, with connections stating he was only '80 per cent straight'.
He should come on a bundle for that and I just have a feeling that the Racing Post Trophy form has been overlooked here with Kingsbarns absent.
Hannon's second string he may be, but at 25/1 he looks a decent spot of value for each-way punters.
Earlier on, WHISPERING WARRIOR looks a decent bet at 8/1 in the opening Makfi Suffolk Stakes.
He's a different horse since transferring to David Simcock's from Jeremy Noseda's and his new handler has improved him 17lb in just three starts.
He hasn't stopped improving yet and a 7lb rise for his latest win looks lenient, with useful claimer Darren Egan taking 3lb off his back at the bottom of the weights.
With just one run on turf under his belt he is open to bags of improvement, especially when you consider he's never run over the trip either.
The way he finishes his races over a mile gives hope nine furlongs will be within his range, and of all the improving four-year-olds in the line-up he appeals most at the prices.
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: +215.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).