Bennys is not to be Mist
Ben Linfoot picks out his bet of the day, best longshot, horse in focus and a 12/1 enhanced accumulator ahead of today's action.
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Venetia Williams fired in a couple more winners on Saturday thanks to Carrickboy and Katenko and with the yard flying Bennys Mist is of real interest down at Taunton today. The Beneficial seven-year-old ran well from the front in a really hot handicap chase at Newbury on Hennessy day and while he raced a tad keenly in that contest I think he would've gone close to winning if the ground had been soft (heavy in places) as it is down in Somerset. He won his last two handicap hurdles in similar conditions as well as his chase debut at Exeter and that Newbury form from last time couldn't be working out any better. The winner, Rolling Aces, has gone in again since, the third, Handy Andy, won next time and so did the fourth Listen Boy. Even the last home Godsmejudge won on his next start at Folkestone. Off 1lb lower in a much weaker contest Bennys is not to be Mist today.
We'll go to the all-weather polytrack venue down at Kempton for today's longshot and Gary Moore's Herschel who might be worth chancing at prices around 33/1. Moore is also in good nick in both codes as he followed up a few winners on the Flat at Lingfield last week with three winners over the sticks at Sandown and Plumpton at the weekend including Sussex National winner Well Refreshed. Hopefully Herschel is well refreshed after just one race in the last two-and-a-half months, though that run was a stinker and you have to forgive him that if backing him today. I'm happy to as it's factored into his price and he's given the benefit of the doubt given it was his first return to the Flat after a couple of tough races over hurdles. He usually runs very well at Kempton, winning at the Sunbury venue many moons ago as a juvenile while his form in the early part of 2012 at the track makes him of interest today off a lower mark. 7lb claimer Ned Curtis almost got a 33/1 chance home on New Year's Eve and we'll take him to go one better this afternoon.
Graham Wylie bought this Irish pointer for £100,000 last year but whether that was such a Sound Investment remains to be seen. He'll only get £2,737.60 back if he wins the Happy New Year Maiden Hurdle at Taunton this afternoon but he has sound claims of doing so as the step up to almost two-and-a-half miles looks sure to suit on breeding. He couldn't live with the speed of Puffin Billy at Newbury on his latest start but few novices will this season and that was a decent run in third. It will be interesting to see if he can win this impressively in a first-time tongue tie for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh who could be eyeing up substantially higher targets with this five-year-old in the future.
Sky Bet go 12/1 about Cantlow and Saphir Du Rheu winning along with today's bet of the day and horse in focus and it's a tempting price. Cantlow looks capable of defying a penalty against moderate opposition over a longer trip while in the previous race Saphir Du Rheu will be very hard to beat on these terms.