Value Bet: Count on Cappella

  • By: Ben Linfoot
  • Last Updated: June 17 2014, 16:48 BST

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day one of Royal Ascot and he's backing Villa Royale in the penultimate race.

Toronado: Worth taking on in the Queen Anne
Toronado: Worth taking on in the Queen Anne

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day one of Royal Ascot and he's backing Villa Royale in the penultimate race.

Just the 95 horses are due to run at Royal Ascot on Tuesday with three or four potential superstars set to light up day one of the famous meeting.

I've a feeling we will all be talking about the brilliance of Kingman following the opening day and I fully expect John Gosden's Invincible Spirit colt to reverse 2000 Guineas form with Night Of Thunder in the St James's Palace Stakes.

Though Richard Hannon's horse holds Kingman on their Newmarket run, it's fair to assume the subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas winner wasn't quite at his best in the HQ Classic and he can confirm himself the top three-year-old miler on Tuesday.

There seems little point in taking him on and I'm also reluctant to oppose Hot Streak, Sole Power and Shea Shea in the King's Stand too. The lack of an Australian superstar means they are the three to concentrate on, with slight preference for Kevin Ryan's new kid on the block.

Toronado looks a much more vulnerable favourite in the opening Queen Anne Stakes, given he is one from four when tackling horses at the highest level.

That one was in the Sussex Stakes when he beat Dawn Approach and Declaration Of War and if he runs up to that level of form he'll probably win.

However, he hasn't been seen since finishing last in the Juddmonte International and though he has gone well first time out in the past, this is by far the toughest test he's had on his seasonal reappearance.

Verrazano and Soft Falling Rain are both interesting contenders but the bookies have factored in their potential, unlike ANODIN who sneaks in under the radar at 16/1.

Freddy Head's charge is a full-brother to the wonder mare Goldikova who won this race in 2010 and though he has a long way to go before he hits the same heights of his sister, the signs are he's on the right track.

Head has stated on a few occasions that he feels Anodin is a late maturer like the rest of his family and he certainly put in the best effort of his career on his last start when second to Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp.

That was his best effort in Group One company with the promise of more to come when he encounters better ground - he's only run on genuine 'Good' ground twice and he was a cosy Group Three winner on one of those occasions.

He was beaten a short-head by Olympic Glory in last year's Prix du Moulin but finished two lengths ahead of that rival in the d'Ispahan and on that form alone he's no 16/1 chance in this company.

The market is heavily-weighted towards Toronado and though he's the favourite on merit he hasn't done it enough times to warrant being such a short price and Anodin is the improver that looks too big a price.

Away from the Group One contests CAPPELLA SANSEVERO looks worth backing at 10/1 in the Coventry Stakes.

Ger Lyons' Showcasing colt is three from three and holds Kool Kompany and War Envoy, both ahead of him in the market, on a line through Toscanini who he beat at Naas.

A comfortable winner over five furlongs at the Curragh in a Listed contest on his latest start, he has the experience and the form to have a big say in the Coventry with better conditions also expected to see him run to a higher level.

He was sold for £1.3million to Sheikh Fahad Al Thani on Monday night on the eve of the meeting and he could well give his new owner a very quick return here.

Finally, in the Ascot Stakes, VILLA ROYALE appeals at 16/1.

The five-year-old mare has massively improved since the application of a hood and moving to Mick Appleby's and she put in a career-best effort last time when winning the Investec Specialist Bank Handicap off a mark of 88.

Last year's Ascot Stakes winner Well Sharp won the same York race before prevailing at the Royal meeting and from just a 5lb higher mark than her Knavesmire success, Villa Royale can repeat the trick.

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: +247.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).

  • Posted at 1830 BST on 16/06/2014.