Make it a grey pay day
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton and the Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle.
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I like a potential improver as much as any punter. Finding one the handicapper hasn't got to grips with yet is something I look for daily and forms the basis of many bets.
But sometimes you just cannot ignore the claims of the elder statesman and this weekend's feature race, the Racing Plus Chase, serves up a fascinating clash between some sexy up-and-comers and a gallant old servant.
I am, of course, beginning to talk up the claims of NACARAT, Tom George's 12-year-old grey who loves nothing better than a spin around Kempton in late February.
His record in the Racing Plus Chase is thus. 2009 - 1st. 2010 - 2nd. 2011 - 3rd. 2012 - 1st.
He just loves charging around Kempton over three miles and I'm firmly of the opinion that he could have won a King George had he not been around during the Kauto Star era.
That's why every time he turns up in this handicap off a mark in the 150s he goes well and I can't see it being any different on Saturday.
He runs off 155 this weekend, 1lb higher than last year when he won by 11 lengths with some ease, and the best thing is he's twice the price of last year at 9/1.
He didn't run very well in the Grand Sefton at Aintree in early December, his last run, but I can forgive him flopping over the National fences in heavy ground and the handicapper dropped him 5lb.
Freshened up with this race in mind since Liverpool, Nacarat has always gone well here after a mini break (usually two months following the King George) and the extra time he's had off this season can be to his advantage.
Last year he chased a fast pace as Fiendish Flame went off like a scalded cat and Paddy Brennan should be able to sit in just behind the leaders again with plenty of pace in the field.
The likes of Wyck Hill and Rolling Aces have obvious chances but so has Nacarat and he's three times the price while the value looks to have been squeezed out of Duke Of Lucca who is otherwise interesting having been dropped 4lb since the Hennessy.
The grey is the one to be on and the same can be said in the Betfred Eider up at Newcastle with Gordon Elliott's TARQUINIUS an irresistible bet at 8/1.
This horse has always been a stayer since his days with Charlie Mann and Elliott is beginning to get the best out of him now he's turned 10.
His head second to Jadanli in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran last time was a career-best effort and that form stands out here especially with the step back up in trip likely to suit him these days.
Crucially, he revels in bog-like conditions and I can see him travelling into this contest very well before Jason Maguire really goes for him in the straight.
You can't miss this grey with his bright red blinkers and white noseband and you shouldn't miss the general 8/1 on offer about him either.
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: +150.56pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).