Value Bet: Lightning Bolt
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value from Newmarket and York on Saturday as he focuses on the handicap sprints.
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Decent claimers in competitive handicap sprints can be very important indeed and a few up-and-coming jockeys could well be thrust into the spotlight on Saturday afternoon.
With so many decent tracks fielding competitive racing all on the same day the very best jockeys are spread around the country, offering the chance for some of the sport's youngsters to shine on the big stage.
- 1pt win Jamaican Bolt at 12/1 (BetVictor) in 1450 York - appears to have his ideal conditions and is ridden by a talented claimer
- 1pt win Even Stevens at 33/1 (General) in 1450 York - flopped last time but the drop in trip will suit and has a good record with Hopkins on board
- 1pt win Regal Parade at 11/1 (BetVictor) in 1500 Newmarket - well handicapped on his recent form and makes appeal at a double figure price granted his optimum conditions
The BetBright Trophy at York (2.50) has seven claiming jockeys taking part and Robert Tart takes what could be a vital 3lb off the back of the relatively lightly-raced JAMAICAN BOLT.
Geoff Oldroyd's charge will be having just the 17th race of his career on Saturday - not many for a six-year-old sprinter - and though he's winless in his last eight starts it's reasonable to conclude his turn isn't far away.
Plenty of cut in the ground looks a pre-requisite for this son of Pivotal. His career wins have come on the fibresand at Southwell, at Hamilton on soft and at Ayr on heavy, and only two of his turf starts have been on ground without 'soft' or worse in the going description.
There will certainly be some cut in the ground this weekend and the drop back to five furlongs looks a good move too, following a sixth at York over six last time.
On his only other start this season he was third at Newcastle over five, behind Aetna who subsequently won that aforementioned race at York, staying on to take that position after being held-up.
That was the only previous occasion Tart had ridden him and he'll want to sit closer on Saturday, while a good position is likely given his stands' side draw in 19.
Tart will have options from that berth; he could bag the rail or tag onto the group up the middle ready for a late run stands' side. Either way Jamaican Bolt should have an untroubled passage.
The last time he ran off a mark this low (92) he was a neck second to Jack Dexter at Doncaster and that sort of form gives him a major chance here. He should be backed at 11/1.
The other one I want to be with is EVEN STEVENS at 25/1.
This horse is rated 11lb higher on the all-weather but he boasts some good turf form, especially with cut in the ground, and he was sent off at 8/1 for a similar race on his last turf start at Doncaster at the end of March.
That was over six furlongs and he flopped, but he's much better over five and this prominent racer could be hard to catch from his central draw.
The 7lb claim of Matthew Hopkins is handy too, especially as he has finished first, second and fourth on the selection from just three rides.
Finally, I can't resist double-figure prices about old REGAL PARADE in the Betfair Supporting The Animal Health Trust Handicap over at Newmarket (3.00).
The dual-Group One winner has clearly regressed since his pomp but he's still capable in this grade and this is the lowest mark he has run off for six years.
His efforts in the Ayr Gold Cup last September off 97 and even at York off 92 last time suggest he is capable off 90, with Philip Prince taking off another 5lb.
Cut in the ground and a stiff six furlongs have always been his optimum conditions and with the handicapper giving him a real chance, the 10/1 looks worth taking.
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: +259.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).