Value Bet: Silk to shine

  • By: Ben Linfoot
  • Last Updated: June 28 2014, 10:47 BST

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value from Northumberland Plate day at Newcastle and Irish Derby day at the Curragh.

Noble Silk: Worth a bet in the Northumberland Plate
Noble Silk: Worth a bet in the Northumberland Plate

Two of the most interesting Irish-trained horses running on Irish Derby day are not at the Curragh, but at Newcastle for the John Smith's Northumberland Plate.

Willie Mullins' Lucky Bridle and Tony Martin's Dark Crusader are the raiders in question, as both have been backed throughout the week as if the Plate has been the plan for a long time.

Mullins has booked the services of Paul Hanagan for Lucky Bridle, a Listed-placed horse in France and a good second at Cork last time off a 1lb lower mark at a much shorter trip.

Shorter trips have been the norm for Dark Crusader, too, on her last three starts, but she's better judged on her victory in the Melrose Stakes at York last August.

Both, clearly, could go very well but at 10/1 we've definitely missed the boat as I couldn't back either at that price on what they've shown on the track recently.

The favourite is Angel Gabrial and he too is another possible winner after his fine second behind Suegioo, who reopposes, in the Chester Cup last time.

However, he's gone up 5lb for defeat and at 13/2 that sort of profile doesn't appeal to me in a race as competitive as this.

The one I like at the odds is Lucy Wadham's NOBLE SILK who has been underestimated at 20/1, probably because his trainer is one of the least fashionable names in the race.

But Noble Silk is an improving horse at two miles and there was lots to like about the way he won at Haydock last time; travelling well, kicking clear and staying on right to the line.

That was just his fifth go at the trip, and his second go at the trip on turf, and he's related to plenty of stayers including stablemate Watered Silk, who is a dual winner at Market Rasen over hurdles.

There could be plenty more to come from him at two miles and, up just 4lb, this in-form grey shouldn't be missed at 20/1.

The one possible negative is his draw out in 15, but on faster ground I think this is less of an issue and Paul Mulrennan will drop this hold-up merchant out the back in any case.

The biggest danger could well be NEARLY CAUGHT who was an eye-catching second behind the selection at Haydock and a saver on him is recommended.

Hughie Morrison's yard is in good form and this son of New Approach could have plenty more to offer in races over two miles.

He was given too much to do at Haydock but stayed on really well and he could well reverse that form granted a more aggressive ride. From stall two, Adrian Nicholls won't have much choice and I expect him to be in the van throughout.

Nearly Caught is also related to plenty of stayers including the high-class Pale Mimosa who is a half-sister and at double-figure prices he has to be part of the staking plan.

Over in Ireland the Irish Derby takes centre stage, but while Australia should follow up his Epsom Derby win in the feature there is a far more complex puzzle earlier on the card in the form of the Paddy Power Scurry.

A total of 25 sprinters go to post for this six-furlong handicap and the one to be on is Ger Lyons' GREEK CANYON at 25/1.

This son of Moss Vale was a course and distance winner from just a 2lb lower mark last October, but has run just twice since over an inadequate five furlongs.

He'll love the strong pace in this big-field and could be produced for a late charge if his win here last season is anything to go by.

He loves fast ground and is still improving at the trip too. Lyons also has last year's winner Burn The Boats in the line-up but he's been struggling for form and is 7lb higher than when he won last year's renewal.

At least his presence in the line-up ensures Greek Canyon is an inflated price due to his second-string status.

I also can't let Jim Bolger's INTENSICAL go unbacked at 25s.

This horse's form ties in closely with Due Diligence and Scurry favourite Alkasser and he too looks likely to benefit from a strongly-run six.

He was last in a messy conditions race last time after doing too much too soon, but can be seen in a much better light here.

Bolger won the race with Rock Moss in 2008 and Intensical has a similar profile, being a three-year-old that is dropping back in trip.


1pt e.w Noble Silk in 3.50 Newcastle at 20/1

1pt win Nearly Caught in 3.50 Newcastle at 11/1 (NON-RUNNER)

1pt e.w Greek Canyon in 4.15 Curragh at 25/1

1pt e.w Intensical in 4.15 Curragh at 25/1

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: +276.81pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).

Posted at 1735 BST on 20/06/2014.