Value Bet: Chief fancy

  • By: Ben Linfoot
  • Last Updated: August 21 2014, 15:03 BST

Ben Linfoot had a 25/1 winner on the first day of York - check out his Value Bet selections for day two's action.

Navajo Chief (orange cap): Loves running over a mile at York
Navajo Chief (orange cap): Loves running over a mile at York

1pt win Navajo Chief in 3.05 York at 16/1 (General) - course and distance specialist on winning mark.

1pt win Energizer in 3.05 York at 16/1 (General) - classy operator who could thrive dropped to this trip.

The fillies take centre stage at York on Thursday and there will be no finer speciman on show than the brilliant Oaks and King George heroine Taghrooda.

She has got a penalty kick in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks as she towers abover her rivals in terms of pure talent and it's difficult to think of a scenario in which she'll be beaten.

There are some quite heavy showers forecast overnight but a bit of cut in the ground wouldn't bother her and there's every chance she'll stroll to victory before taking on the colts again in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

I see no point in taking her on and the big three in the Lowther Stakes, Anthem Alexander, Tiggy Wiggy and Cursory Glance, look to have that particular contest between themselves too.

It's to the Clipper Logistics Handicap to which we turn in search of value, then, and this is a fiercely competitive heat with just half a stone separating second in the weights Gabrial's Kaka and bottom weight Kosika.

Such is the compression it's very difficult to find one that stands out from a handicapping perspective and I'm almost inclined to treat this like a conditions stakes where I would simply try and find a horse that will cope best with the conditions on the day.

And if you're looking for a horse that excels at a blood and thunder mile handicap round the bend at York look no further than NAVAJO CHIEF.

He's run in no less than nine handicaps over this course and distance in his career and his record is simply outstanding. In chronological order he's been fourth off a handicap rating of 98, first off 103, fifth off 100, first off 99, fourth off 105, first off 100, 14th off 103, first off 97 and 18th off 100.

There are a couple of ropey performances towards the end of that sequence, including the 14th in this race last year, but there's no denying he loves this test and he races on Thursday off a rating of 99.

He's been dropped just 1lb after finishing last on his last two starts, but the handicapper is rightfully wary of dropping a horse that has been so consistent when racing off this sort of rating over the years.

Kieren Fallon has ridden him to three of his seven career successes and he's back in the saddle, while any rain will be to his benefit as he thrives when there is a bit of soft in the going description.

The negatives are he's seven and vulnerable to a whole host of more progressive rivals. But that is more than factored into the price and 16/1 about this course specialist is worth taking.

Passing Star is also worth a second look as he's lightly-raced and Barry Hills used to target three-year-olds at this contest, but I'd rather chance ENERGIZER for Godolphin at 16/1.

He actually ran in the Great Voltigeur at this meeting last year but has been running with the choke out over further and looks well worth dropping to a mile especially in a big field like this.

He won the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot as a three-year-old, beating Mukhadram by five lengths off level weights in the 10-furlong contest, but his career hasn't really gone on from there for new connections.

However, he retains plenty of ability and his seasonal reappearance at Royal Ascot was a good one relative to his chances on Thursday.

That day he was beaten just over four lengths in the Wolferton Handicap (dropped 3lb since), but he was keen early on and he finished his race well - suggesting there would be more to come given the right test.

Is that test a big-field mile handicap at York? I expect he'll be dropping out the back under Richard Hughes from his wide draw and he could finish with a real flourish, so at 16/1 I'll pay to find out.

*Ben tipped the Symphony Group Handicap winner Blaine, advised at 25/1, on day one of the Ebor Festival.

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: +342.09pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current) 2014 running total +74.28pts.

Preview posted at 1850BST on 20/08/2014.