Alhell to pay in Cesarewitch
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value from Saturday's action and he's backing a 28/1 chance in the Cesarewitch.
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It's a fabulous card at Newmarket on Saturday with the likes of Dawn Approach and Reckless Abandon aiming to do its title of 'Future Champions Day' justice.
The former in particular looks to have a very bright future ahead of him and as he's scared off the opposition in the Dewhurst the prestigious juvenile contest looks his for the taking.
He will in all likelihood oblige but at quotes of 4/9 he can win as far as he likes without my money on him and it's the 34-runner Betfred Cesarewitch that I'll be taking a punt in.
And the horse that catches the eye above all others in the betting is Maurice Phelan's ALHELLAL who looks to have been hugely underestimated at 28/1.
This son of Kalinisi won a 2m4f hurdle at Ballinrobe last August so the potential he has for a real stamina test on the Flat is massively untapped given he's never raced beyond 1m6f on the level.
Yet this season he's improved at a rate of knots over a mile and a half, winning three times from five starts including the Magners Ulster Derby last time at Down Royal.
Significantly, the third home that day was Royal Diamond, the subsequent Ebor second and Irish St Leger winner, so his form is up there with the best in this contest.
He was getting 18lbs from Royal Diamond and that horse has clearly improved since, but still, it's a tasty piece of form and it's becoming clear why Phelan has saved this horse for a big pot.
Unraced since that Down Royal victory in June, he races off a mark just 5lbs higher and now tried over much further the 28/1 on offer appeals greatly.
The only negative I can see is his very wide draw but it's factored into his price and I think he could be well-handicapped enough to overcome it.
His main dangers are Countrywide Flame and Montaser, who sneaks in at the bottom after Dr Marwan Koukash pulled out Address Unknown, but they're priced up accordingly.
Hurricane Higgins is 10lbs well in after his excellent run in the Doncaster Cup but there's no juice in his price either given his aversion to starting stalls - 12/1 isn't enough to reel me in given you could do your money very early on.
Martyr is also well in but he appeals more as a back-to-lay option given he often travels beautifully before finding very little off the bridle while Tominator, though interesting on his first start for Jonjo O'Neill, could get too far back from his low draw with Jamie Spencer up top.
Given such question marks over the market principals I want another outsider in the staking plan and I like the claims of COSIMO DE MEDICI at 28/1.
Hughie Morrison's five-year-old went off at 16/1 for this race last season after two victories at Newmarket, including in the Cesarewitch Trial off a mark of 84.
He's back down to 86 now after some indifferent performances since then but while the Ces was his eighth run last season it will be his fourth this time around and Morrison hasn't been shy in saying he's been bringing him along to peak in this race.
Last time at Ayr he ran an eyecatching fourth and I'd wager he'll be putting in a season's best by some way on Saturday.
Over at York SIRIUS PROSPECT is worth a bet in the Coral Sprint Trophy at 16/1.
He won the race last year off just a 1lb lower mark but has struggled since then in pattern company.
Still, he was only two lengths off Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot and then ran pretty well last time in a conditions event at Yarmouth after rearing at the start.
Certainly, he's showed enough in those two runs to back him at 16/1 in a race where he's been there and done it before off a similar mark.