Value Bet: Take a Chancery
Ben Linfoot, fresh from three big-price winners at Goodwood, seeks out the value from Ascot and Haydock on Saturday.
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There's a bit of rain forecast before Saturday's racing at Haydock with 11mm expected to fall on the Lancashire track and that will be music to the ears of EDUCATE'S connections ahead of the Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes.
Hillstar and True Story head the betting for the Group Three contest but both are worth taking on, with the former having not won over the 10-furlong trip and the latter having plenty to prove.
Educate isn't far behind the pair on official ratings anyway and he should have conditions to suit as long as the precipitation gets into the ground.
- 1pt win Chancery in 2.20 Haydock at 14/1 (Ladbrokes) - forecast rain will suit, as will the likely strong pace, ran well at York and goes well here
- 1pt win Energia Davos in 2.20 Haydock at 18/1 (Sky Bet) - rain shouldn't bother him and ran well from poor draw at Chester last time
- 1pt win Educate in 2.55 Haydock at 15/2 (Sky Bet) - coming to the boil after just two runs in the UK this season and conditions should be ideal
- 1pt win Bantam in 2.05 Ascot at 14/1 (Betfred) - Ed Dunlop's filly can resume upward curve over this trip and has landed the booking of Olivier Peslier
The five-year-old is returning to the boil after an ambitious tilt at the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan and last year's Cambridgeshire winner didn't look far off his best when running an excellent fourth off top weight in the John Smith's Cup at York last time.
He travelled like a class horse on the Knavesmire and did as well as anything that came off the pace, finishing a never-nearer four lengths off Farraaj.
As always, that was a good race and Sennockian Star and Red Avenger both came out of it to win competitive handicaps at Glorious Goodwood.
A mile and a quarter with a bit of cut in the ground is ideal for Educate. He ran well at this meeting last year when placed in the preceding handicap and he's gradually working towards a peak that looks good enough to claim this prize.
At 15/2 he's worth chancing to get back on the winning trail.
Earlier on the card CHANCERY looks worth backing in the Betfred Goals Galore Handicap at 14/1 (if you can't get on at 14/1 Friday night, Ladbrokes have those odds advertised for the morning.)
He too will be suited by a drop of rain and he too ran a good race in the John Smith's Cup, finishing just behind Educate having come from even further off the pace.
Subsequently, at Ascot, he disappointed. He was slowly away that day and could never get into it, but at least the handicapper has dropped him 3lb and he can be competitive off 97.
Twice a winner at Haydock in the past, the long straight really suits and crucially there looks to be plenty of pace on which will bring his stamina into play.
Salutation, Fattsota and Busatto all like to be up there and that should bring hold-up merchants like Chancery into contention.
For similar reasons Groundbreaking and Queensberry Rules were on the shortlist too, but the other one I want to be with in the contest is Marco Botti's ENERGIA DAVOS.
The six year old was a Grade One performer in Brazil and was tried in such exalted company when first coming over to Europe, running behind Arc winner Danedream on one occasion in Germany.
He was out of his depth, but trawling through his old form there is more than a hint that he will not be inconvenienced by any rainfall and there was plenty to like, regarding his chances at this level, when he was fourth off top weight at Chester on his latest start.
That he finished a close fourth from a poor draw after racing wide throughout was to his credit, and though the form has worked out horribly there was still enough improvement from his second British start to suggest he could be a player in this grade.
The handicapper has dropped him a couple of pounds, which helps, and at 18/1 he's worth a small bet.
Over at Ascot the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is taking place and the one horse that takes the eye at the prices is BANTAM in the Challenge Handicap.
The Teofilo filly progressed well last year and was placed at Windsor off a similar mark to Saturday's.
She finished down the field on her only start this season at Newmarket, but the Ed Dunlop team are in much better shape now and the vibes regarding her chances are strong.
Olivier Peslier has landed the ride and there aren't many in-form horses in this race with obvious chances off their current marks.
The step back up in trip to a mile and a half looks sure to suit considering her progression last year and at 14/1 she's a fair bet.
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: +302.59pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).