Value Bet: Risk reward
Our Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.
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Sire De Grugy is the key horse on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival as he's the clear form pick in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase yet is available at a tantalising 3/1.
That price is too big considering his efforts in the Tingle Creek and the Clarence House Chase, but two defeats from two efforts at Cheltenham temper enthusiasm about Gary Moore's stable star.
- 1pt win Le Bec in 2.05 Cheltenham at 14/1 - ground is right for him to strike
- 1pt win Meister Eckhart in 2.40 Cheltenham at 20/1 - last year's second impressive last time out
- 1pt e.w. Calculated Risk in 2.40 Cheltenham at 40/1 - more to offer at this trip; looks overpriced
- 1pt win Clarcam in 4.40 Cheltenham at 16/1 - similar profile to last season's winner
Still, there's no getting away from the fact this is a below-par renewal of the Champion Chase and his class could well get him through. If he drifts any more, he's going to be too big a price to resist.
As it stands, though, I'll be leaving Wednesday's feature alone with the 28-runner Coral Cup more to my liking, with several good horses available at big prices because of the nature of the race.
Chief among them is MEISTER ECKHART, Alan King's runner-up from last year who looks worth backing to go one better at 20/1.
He was second to stablemate Medinas off a 6lb lower mark last season, but has been lightly-raced since and got his season back on track last time with a good second in the National Spirit at Fontwell following an aborted novice chasing campaign.
The son of Flemensfirth was second in the same race at Fontwell last season before going on to run a cracker in this race and the same can be expected again judging by his latest effort.
Outpaced as Kayf Moss turned the screw, he stayed on really well - just failing to get up - and the return to this track and trip looks ideal.
He's worth backing at 20/1 and so is CALCULATED RISK at double those odds for John Quinn.
This horse was hampered in the Greatwood here at Cheltenham back in November and then finished sixth in a good race at Sandown on his next start.
Last time, up in trip to two and a half miles at Sedgefield, he travelled well and then saw off the attentions of Oscar Tanner, the pair 18 lengths clear of the rest.
Saved for the big spring Festivals since then, he has more to offer at the trip and looks overpriced for shrewd connections.
Earlier on, it looks a fantastic renewal of the RSA Chase, a point underlined by the 14/1 available about a good horse like LE BEC who is worth chancing.
Emma Lavelle's horse was a good hurdler, finishing sixth in last year's Albert Bartlett, but he's a much better chaser and showed good form earlier in the season when first beating Sam Winner, and then losing to him giving him 8lb.
He'll have to jump better than he did that day if he's to have a say in a race as hot as this, but he's usually solid over his fences and the ground has come right for him.
He seems to be a big price because his form was earlier in the season, but nothing has come out and stamped their authority on this division since then, and, on what we've seen from this bunch, 14/1 underestimates his chance.
Finally, CLARCAM appeals at 16s in the Fred Winter.
Gordon Elliott's charge has a profile not dissimilar to the stable's winner of this race last year, Flaxen Flare. He too won his maiden before meeting defeat when highly tried, only to bounce back to winning form on handicap debut.
That's what Clarcam will attempt to do here, and his efforts behind Guitar Pete and Broughton (when giving him weight) read well in this company.
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: +235.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).