Pearl a Great bet at Ripon
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value from Ripon and Newbury on Saturday, with Pearl Ice fancied in the Great St Wilfrid.
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The undulations at Ripon seem to bring out the best in certain horses and there's plenty of course form to go on when tackling the ultra-competitive William Hill Great St Wilfrid at Ripon on Saturday.
You could consider Spinatrix and El Viento to be Ripon specialists while David O'Meara, who has won the last two renewals with another course specialist in Pepper Lane, saddles Dick Bos who won at the track earlier in the season.
- 1pt win Pearl Ice in 15.30 Ripon at 10/1 (General) - goes very well at Ripon and primed to strike judging by latest effort
- 1pt e.w Zacynthus in 15.20 Ripon at 25/1 (General) - looks well worth a try at six furlongs, in form and switch in yards could spark improvement
- 1pt win Poetic Dancer in 15.50 Newbury at 20/1 (bet365, Stan James) - filly who goes very well at Newbury with return to seven sure to suit
Borderlescott, Thunderball and favourite Baccarat have all won over the course and distance too, as has PEARL ICE who almost made it two from two at the track last time.
That day he hit the front inside the final furlong but was half a length off the winner, Spinatrix, at the line.
It's likely to be fairly close between the pair again, but preference is for David Barron's horse who gets a 2lb pull and is aided by first-time cheekpieces which might just sharpen him up a bit.
He's only 1lb higher than his sole career win on turf which came here at Ripon in June last year when he beat a decent field by almost three lengths.
I don't know much about his jockey, 3lb Irish claimer Conor Hoban, but if Barron thinks he's up to the assignment that's good enough for me and at 11/1 he makes most appeal of those towards the top of the market.
As is usual in these big-field handicaps I want another one on my side and I can't resist the 25/1 available about ZACYNTHUS.
I just think the layers are taking a chance here with a horse who has never run over six furlongs in his life.
Campaigned mainly over seven by various handlers including Luca Cumani most recently, he's shown plenty of speed in his races and is in fine form with top-three finishes on his last three starts.
He looks the type to benefit dropping back in trip to a strongly-contested six and if the switch to Kevin Ryan's brings about any sort of improvement he'll be right in the mix.
Ryan has never won the Great St Wilfrid, but he is becoming a master in the prestigious six-furlong handicaps and his stable remain in good form.
There is a chance his new recruit Zacynthus won't be quick enough, but at 25/1 I'm happy to pay to find out.
Finally, down at Newbury, I want to be with Clive Cox's POETIC DANCER at 20/1 in the Betfred Mobile Sports Ladies Day Handicap at 15.50.
She's had a few indifferent runs on her last two starts but has dropped a couple of pounds in the weights as a consequence and I'm hopeful the return to Newbury will spark her into life.
Two from two at the course, she also runs well at Doncaster, a similar track, where she was a head second off just a 2lb lower mark earlier in the season.
She didn't have the legs for six furlongs last time so the return to seven is in her favour too and she seems to have been underestimated.
With 15 runners going to post, a small win bet is advised.
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: +267.56pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current). The column is +135.25pts to recommended stakes in 2013.